Be My Guest: Chika Anyanwu on ADHD, Bad Homilies, and Making a Good Confession

Fr. Josh is joined by Chika Anyanwu, Catholic speaker and author, to answer questions about being disappointed with homilies, teaching the Faith to a child with ADHD, and how much we need to divulge in order to make a good confession.


Glory Story (5:22) 

Feedback (8:34)

Always Disappointed with Priests’ Homilies (10:58)

Hi Fr Josh, 

I attend Church every Sunday (sometimes with friends), and due to my schedule and area where I live, I have had exposure to many different churches and priests. However, I often leave feeling disappointed in the homily either for myself or for my companions if I have them, who are there hoping to experience whatever keeps drawing me to Mass. I can often tell after homilies that it was exactly what they expected–predictable, and unmoving. I understand the wonder and power of the consecration itself and that you only get out of Mass what you put into it, but I wanted to ask you specifically about the Liturgy of the Word. Why don’t priests speak on relevant or applicable topics during their homilies? I have never heard a priest discuss any of the topics you cover on your podcast. No homily that I have ever heard discusses pro-life issues, Catholic voting responsibilities, other religious denominations, the Devil, or even the reality of heaven and hell. If our priest never tells us these things, who will? These are the things we encounter in our day to day life that we need direction on, and is the reason your podcast is so impactful. I know they need to interpret the Gospel during the homily so it may depend on what it is that week, but all the homilies are normally so high level and just contain a bunch of buzzwords and buzz phrases of Catholicism without being super tangible or applicable. I just want to leave Mass feeling invigorated and purposeful but I am struggling to get much out of the preaching. Again it is not due to lack of exposure as I have tried a large number of different churches. I have heard about non-Catholic denominations having such powerful preaching and I definitely feel like ours is lacking. Is there a specific reason this kind of direct approach is avoided?

– Amanda

Explaining the Faith to Children w/ADHD (22:01)

Dear Fr. Josh,

I found your podcast via your episode with the wonderful women at Abiding Together and have enjoyed listening to your archives. Your advice is real and rooted in love and I appreciate your affirmations. 

I need some help discussing our Faith with my 7 yr old. He attends Catholic school and studies religious ed as part of his curriculum but he’s also enrolled in his First Communion class at Catechism. He struggles with ADHD so even with medication and diet support he struggles to get through an hour of Mass AND an hour of Catechism. He told me this week that Mass is boring and he doesn’t understand why he has to go every week or why I even WANT to go every week and I was without words. I didn’t know how to explain a) the obligation or b) the graces I receive and how important that is to my soul. I didn’t know how to explain in 7 yr old terms the rest and peace I receive when attending Mass even when my mind is distracted with all the things I have to do to prep for our week. My parents, and my husband’s parents, forced us to go to Mass as kids and it drove us away as teens and young adults and I don’t want that for my kids. I want them to know that it’s ok to not want to go sometimes but the importance of going anyway. How do you explain encountering Jesus in the Eucharist to a 7 yr old or a 5 yr old? 

Thank you for remaining faithful to your calling and your ministry. 

– Rosana

Making a Good Confession (33:00)

Thank you for your podcast. Listening to a young priest and layman gives me such hope for the future!

At the age of 50, I converted to Catholicism after marrying my cradle Catholic husband. I was raised in the midwest and was very unfamiliar with the Catholic faith. I attended a fairly liberal Christian Church for 18 years, and spent the next 30 years believing I could do it on my own. It’s a long story and I will not go into details, but can tell you I experienced a radical change when I started praying the Rosary everyday.

I attend daily Mass, I’m involved in a Rosary Walking Group that meets 3x a week, a Bible study group led by a layman, I pray the Rosary and Divine Mercy daily, and spend time with the daily Scriptures, and go to Adoration, so I have honestly have felt at peace until recently. 

Through all of this I have never made a general confession. During my confession with the priest prior to my confirmation the priest told me he didn’t need the whole book, just the most egregious, which I provided. Is this enough? Most of the time I believe in my heart it is enough, but then always wonder if there is more.

– Cathy


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