GREEN BAY — On one occasion, while listening to music in the car, Jake and Cathy Moore began analyzing the lyrics of the song that was playing. They broke down the message of the song in terms of their faith.
“We just had a really great conversation,” said Cathy. “Jake said, ‘We should do something with this. Someone should be recording us.’”
The idea for the couple’s podcast was formed. The mission for “TruthPop,” which launched last spring, is “connecting Christ into culture.” Most episodes feature Jake and Cathy analyzing pop songs, movies and television shows from a faith perspective.
For example, the song “Don’t Give Up on Me” by Andy Grammar was the topic of the Oct. 3 episode. Songs by Halsey, Selena Gomez and Dierks Bentley were also among the music covered in season one of TruthPop. Both Jake and Cathy enjoy Christian music, but have focused on secular selections for the podcast.
“You don’t have to just listen to Christian music,” said Jake. “There is truth in other music as well. I like the phrase, ‘You have to be in control of the medium, you can’t let the medium control you.’ You have to ask yourself those deep questions; what music do I listen to and how is it affecting my life?”
Movies covered in the first season of the podcast include “Toy Story 4” and “Yesterday.”
“Throughout the week, we keep our eyes and ears open to music, TV shows or movies,” said Cathy. “We bring ideas up to each other. Maybe we can pull a topic from it. To prepare for the show, we go over certain topics and have a rough draft. It’s a relaxed plan.”
“We have found that for our best episodes we go out to dinner beforehand and map out some notes,” said Jake. “If we have somewhat of a structure, it turns out to be a little better. We like to have a soft structure.”
Jake is the producer of “The Drew Mariani Show” at Relevant Radio, Cathy is an occupational therapist at HSHS St. Vincent Hospital. They were married in July of 2018. A few months later, they joined St. John the Baptist Parish in Howard where they serve as mentors for the faith formation program. They are also part of a vigil group that prays for the sanctity of life and have become involved in marriage preparation.
Both Jake and Cathy are from Chicago. They shared the story of how they met on the first episode of TruthPop.
“It was actually three years ago at a church speed dating event in Chicago,” said Cathy. “I was living in Chicago at the time and Jake came down from Green Bay to the event.”
They almost missed each other. Jake thought he was supposed to be on a break when he realized that he had not met “Cathy” on his list.
“I thought, ‘Oh no, I skipped her,’” he said. “It was a Holy Spirit thing. I turned around to try to find her and she was on break, too.”
“They sent an email saying the girls will judge you if you skip them,” said Cathy with a laugh. “It was so chaotic that I didn’t realize that he skipped me. Everyone was out of order.”
In addition to analyzing music, film and television, episodes of TruthPop also feature interviews. Biblical expert Dr. Scott Hahn and Chris Stefanick, founder of Real Life Catholic, were among the interview guests in season one. The bimonthly podcast, which is part of the studioDNA lineup, has found an audience.
“Some of our most listened to episodes averaged in the 700 downloads,” said Jake. “The top podcasts (on the studioDNA network) usually range around 1,000 downloads, so (Denee Hughes, studioDNA director) said the audience is there. The episodes that had a well-known song were the most downloaded.”
The podcast is designed to appeal to people who are immersed in their faith, but according to feedback has reached beyond that demographic.
“My friend is a fallen away Catholic and she says that she has been listening,” said Cathy.
“We target predominantly Catholics, but I think that’s expanded,” said Jake. “We just want to be real and authentic.”
The couple hopes to fill a need in Catholic media for more programming for young adults. Jake, who edits the TruthPop episodes, is impressed with his co-host’s broadcast skills.
“It’s funny, you would think that she works in radio,” he said. “She is such a natural.”
Season two will begin in January. Jake and Cathy closed season one by sharing their personal struggle in starting a family and how God is with them during this difficult time. They explained how the suffering has strengthened their marriage.
“We received such a positive response,” said Jake. “We got very personal and vulnerable in our last episode. We both wanted to share what we are going through. We learned that it’s very therapeutic.”
“We always saw our relationship, our marriage, not just for us, but for the community,” said Cathy.
TruthPop is available to download on podcast outlets including Spotify, Apple and GooglePlay. Jake and Cathy are open to other mediums.
“We don’t see TruthPop as just a podcast, but as a ministry brand,” said Jake. “At some point, our hope is to continue the podcast, but expand further to do videos and ministry work. This is far long term. We would like to give talks to schools and college students about the impact of media and healthy media choices.”