By Amy White
Special to The Texas Catholic
Families looking for wholesome and engaging entertainment need look no further! Father James Yamauchi’s new podcast, “That’s the Word,” is just the captivating content to satisfy that search.
Co-created by Father Yamauchi and his brother, John Peter Yamauchi, “That’s the Word” began its run during the start of this liturgical year, releasing its pilot episode at the opening of Advent and continuing to drop one episode each Wednesday in the weeks following.
“That’s the Word” presents short wholesome tales for the whole family that combine knowledge and entertainment with a twist,” shares Father Yamauchi. “Our goal is that each story will inspire, inform, encourage, and challenge our listeners in their own daily lives.”
John Peter, who has a background in software development, serves as the show’s producer and the manager of recording, editing, and uploading, while both brothers work together to script the segments.
“Writing is the part of the process that takes the longest,” Father Yamauchi remarks, “Between the idea and the finished story, there is a lot of research, false starts, and discarded subjects.”
Though Father Yamauchi serves as the Associate Director of Formation at Holy Trinity Seminary in Irving, he warns that listeners would be mistaken to assume that a priestly presence in the podcast will limit the show to stereotypical Catholic stories.
“There are amazing connections to the truths of the faith in both the stories of the saints and in world history, whether they are from the Roman Empire, the era of the American Revolution, or even life in Hollywood,” Father Yamauchi said.
Modeled after the style of radio’s Paul Harvey, “That’s the Word” consists of four- to seven-minute stories that invite listener-involvement by intentionally leaving out key details until the end of the segment. The podcast’s audience becomes an active participant in the story, trying to put the pieces of the tale together before the end’s revealing punchline.
This engaging storytelling format is no accident. The Yamauchi brothers chose this simple, story-oriented style after noticing Christ’s own use of creative narrative.
“We know from the ministry of Jesus Christ the majestic simplicity and effectiveness of storytelling. Everyone, no matter the age or the culture, loves a good story, because it has the power to captivate and influence the human mind and heart,” Father Yamauchi explains, “John Peter and I realized that this [podcast format] would be a fun and innovative way to contribute to the work of evangelization.”
“That’s the Word” is not the first collaboration between the Yamauchi brothers. In March and April, the two teamed up to host a daily Facebook Live show, “Father at 5.” This half-hour segment touched upon topics of faith and parish news before concluding with Vespers.
The Yamauchi brothers’ positive experience with “Father at 5” encouraged the creation of “That’s the Word,” which is now available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, sonsofthunderrock.com, or anywhere where podcasts are found.