Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta

Photo Courtesy of St. Marguerite d’Youville Church
Bishop Bernard E. Shlesinger III, left, blessed the endeavors of podcast hosts, from left to right, Dr. Grace Charles and Deacon Pete Ranft, at a March Mass at St. Marguerite d’Youville Church. Their pastor, Father Tomy Puliyan, MSFS, is also pictured, at right.


‘Pete Speaks with Grace’ podcast blends the everyday and the spiritual

By NATALIA DURON, Staff Writer | Published May 29, 2024

LAWRENCEVILLE—Bishop Bernard E. Shlesinger III recently blessed the launch of a deacon and parishioner’s media website. The duo’s first digital project is a podcast that dives into the mingling of the mundane and the spiritual.  

Deacon Pete Ranft, also director of development and communications at Catholic World Mission, and Dr. Grace Charles, parish life coordinator, are members of St. Marguerite d’Youville Church in Lawrenceville. The two asked Bishop Shlesinger to bless the project after their parish’s Mass March 16, and the bishop said he was fond of several podcast episodes. 

Charles and Deacon Ranft collaborated last August to create a nonprofit media company, The Catholic Grace, Inc. After deliberation, the co-founders decided to kick off the company with a podcast different than most spiritual talk shows.  

Titled “Pete Speaks with Grace,” the dynamic duo spends roughly an hour during each episode exploring the normal rituals of life that are intertwined with the Catholic faith journey with a bit of humor and contemplation.  

Their first episode, “Spiritual Intelligence in a World of AI,” was released in January on major platforms including Spotify, Apple Podcast and YouTube. There are now 13 episodes available for streaming.  

The hosts expressed that their podcast is designed to engage Catholics that are non-practicing and lost in the faith, or as Charles puts it, “the ones who never attend Mass but fast from meat on Fridays during Lent.”  

 “A lot of people who need an encounter with Jesus are not in church right now, so we meet them where they are through our channel,” Deacon Ranft said.  

The major emphasis of “Pete Speaks with Grace,” said Deacon Ranft, is to evangelize Catholics from two different mindsets: the mundane, Deacon Ranft, and the mystic, Charles. The differing perspectives provide theological answers to daily questions, which piques the interests of wondering Catholics.  

“I’ll talk about everyday life thoughts, and Grace brings in the theological credit that we need.” Deacon Ranft said.  

Episode topics are created from normal conversation, Charles said. Deacon Ranft shared a memory of when they were in a car together and passed by restaurants, and he curiously asked Charles what she thought Jesus would eat. Charles responded with a Biblical description of human consumption of the time. This structure is “exactly how the podcasts go,” Deacon Ranft said.  

While the pair likes to laugh and make jokes during their episodes, they know their work is important for spreading the Gospel. Through social media and marketing, they have been able to go worldwide and beyond their parish. While there’s a hope to reach those not attending Mass, the series is informative for all Catholics. 

The two plan to grow The Catholic Grace, Inc. with new side projects, including creating formation programs, a digital channel for teenagers and inviting clergy and special guests on the show.  

“Everybody has a different story, and there’s different reasons why people don’t practice their faith,” Charles said. “They rarely see how their life can be so intertwined with our faith. That’s why we are pursuing this podcast.”