Last week, I partially ticked an item off of my bucket list.
I say “partially”, because when I wrote “co-host a national radio show” on that list way back when, I imagined that my co-host would be in the same studio as I was.
As it turned out, my amazing opportunity to be a part of Lino Rulli’s fantastic show “The Catholic Guy” on Sirius-XM’s The Catholic Channel was super fun, even if it did play out on two different coasts!
A few years ago, Lino contacted me to share that his show was “going on the road“. Since then, he has been broadcasting literally around the world! In most of his destinations, he invites a “co-host” to share the microphone and be a part of the fun. I’ve long imagined what highlights I’d share with Lino if he came to little old Fresno…
As it turned out, Lino contacted me when he started planning his most recent trip to Los Angeles. Four hours South of my Central California home, LA is far more cosmopolitan that my suburban venue. But it affords great access to celebrities, and as such is obviously a great destination for Lino’s show. We began to plan that I would spend a few days with him in the Sirius studios on Wilshire Boulevard. The trip was planned to coincide with my venture south for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles’ Religious Education Congress.
I booked (and prepaid) my hotel room and began daydreaming about the fun that Lino would have teasing me. If you haven’t heard the show, I highly recommend that you check it out. Lino takes his guests along on his adventures. The show is always packed with laughs, but he manages to fit some learning in each day too. The fact that he makes that part so fun is a part of what makes Lino’s show pure magic.
As it turned out, in the end Cardinal Egan’s very sad passing came right before our planned time together. Lino had to cancel his trip to California, but was still kind enough to let this Catholic Mom into the Southland studios! We arranged that he would broadcast from New York and I would have the studio in LA. A producer was assigned on my end. But when I drove south the weekend before my planned appearance, I really wasn’t sure that I’d even be on the show. Obviously Cardinal Egan’s funeral was to take priority, as it should. Cardinal Egan was the visionary in the Archdiocese of New York who “greenlighted” the entire concept of The Catholic Channel. And Lino’s emotions at the passing of a friend and mentor were fitting.
In the end, I spent two amazing days last week in the Sirius XM studios. On Monday, I performed well enough that I wasn’t fired and was invited to come back on Wednesday. The four hours I spent “co-hosting” with Lino flew as quickly as the cars racing around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (inside joke!) The only “iffy” moment happened on Day Two when, in the middle of a conversation with Lino, I suddenly was diverted to the middle of a sports talk radio program! Imagine my surprise when I was suddenly asked for my opinion on Chip Kelly. “Curtis the Producer” soon jumped in and had everything fixed!
We had some things planned for our shows. Other things just sort of “happened”. That’s part of Lino’s magic. His comedic timing is almost as perfect as his love for our Catholic faith. Don’t let that “Sinner” gig fool you. This is a (Catholic) Guy who loves our Church enough to understand that the way to help people fall in love with Her is to sometimes tease the way you would your own mom. We played games, swapped stories, discussed popular culture, and laughed… a lot. I even had my chance to pitch my winning strategy for Survivor! And even though I’m still waiting for Mark Burnett and Jeff Probst to call, I’ve heard from tons of friends and readers who had as much as I did with Lino.
I’m still hoping that some day, I’ll actually sit in a studio with Lino and share more laughs. I don’t know if it will happen any time soon. But I can–without a doubt–say that I’m more impressed than ever with the work ethic and faith of The Catholic Guy. I still remember first discovering Lino’s show when our now-college-sophomore was in junior high. Little could I have dreamed then that I’d be lucky enough to call Lino a friend and mentor.
If you don’t know The Catholic Guy yet, do yourself a favor and check him out:
- Sirius XM The Catholic Channel
- The Catholic Guy with Lino Rulli
- Lino Rulli Facebook, Twitter, Website
- Books by Lino Rulli: Sinner, Saint
Copyright 2015 Lisa M. Hendey