Can You Define Happiness? (with Dr. Jennifer Frey)

What is happiness and how do you get it? This question has been at the forefront of humanity since the beginning of time. Mike Gormley and Dave VanVickle are joined by Dr. Jennifer Frey to discuss happiness and the role virtue plays in attaining it.

Snippet from the Show
The reason why sin must be avoided at all costs is because it prevents you from being totally fulfilled with God.


Our Guest: Dr. Jennifer Frey

Jennifer A. Frey is the inaugural dean of the Honors College at the University of Tulsa, with a secondary appointment as professor of philosophy in the department of philosophy and religion. Previously, she was an Associate Professor of philosophy at the University of South Carolina, where she was also a Peter and Bonnie McCausland faculty fellow in the College of Arts and Sciences. Prior to her tenure at Carolina, she was a Collegiate Assistant Professor the Humanities at the University of Chicago, and a junior fellow of the Society for the Liberal Arts.

Dr. Jennifer Frey earned her Ph.D. in philosophy at the University of Pittsburgh and her B.A. in philosophy and Medieval Studies (with a Classics minor) at Indiana University-Bloomington. In 2015, she was awarded a multi-million dollar grant from the John Templeton Foundation, titled “Virtue, Happiness, and the Meaning of Life,” Dr. Frey has published widely on virtue and moral psychology, and she has edited three academic volumes on virtue and human action  Her writing has been featured in Breaking Ground, First Things, Fare Forward, Image, Law and Liberty, The Point, and USA Today.  She lives with her husband and six children in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

About the Sacred & Profane Podcast (by Dr. Jennifer Frey)

Iris Murdoch once claimed that “the enjoyment of art is a training in the love of virtue.”  I suppose this podcast aims to show that her claim is worth taking seriously.  Most episodes of Sacred and Profane Love focus on literary art. The format of the podcast is a conversation, typically with a philosopher, theologian, or literary critic. 

As a philosopher, I often turn to literature because it is a very specific mode of access to the truth. Whereas philosophical theory operates at the level of the abstract and general, literature operates in the particular and the concrete. This is the space of choice and desire. While the philosopher can articulate the essential structure of vice in her theory, the novelist can show us how vice works to destroy the life of a particular person, in a particular way. Fiction, therefore, has the power to expand our moral imaginations such that we see reflections of ourselves and our own lives in the characters we come to invest ourselves in while reading. In this way, fiction often serves to reveal to us both uncomfortable and hopeful truths about ourselves. In this podcast, the idea is not that we read to escape reality, but to throw ourselves more deeply into it.


Meet Your Hosts


Michael “Gomer” Gormley

Michael spent 17 years in full-time parish ministry and is now the Mission Evangelist for That Man Is You!, a men’s apostolate for Paradisus Dei. Michael is a frequent speaker at conferences, retreats, and parish missions all over the US and Canada.

He is the founder and creative director of, and hosts three Catholic podcasts: Every Knee Shall Bow, Catching Foxes, and Becoming God.

He is married to his college sweetheart, Shannon, and has four beautiful and hilarious children: Kateri, Cecilia, Noah, and Thomas.


David “Dave” VanVickle

Dave VanVickle

Dave VanVickle fell in love with the Lord at the age of fourteen and has since dedicated his life to bringing others into a radical relationship with Christ.

He is a speaker and retreat leader who focuses on proclaiming the universal call to holiness, authentic Catholic spirituality, spiritual warfare and deliverance. Additionally, Dave has over ten years of experience assisting Priests with their ministries of exorcism and deliverance.

Dave married his late wife Amber in 2010. He now resides in Pittsburgh with his five children: Sam, Max, Judah, Josie and Louisa.

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