FoC 014: Seeing the Sacred with Tyler Blanski





Today we’re excited to have Tyler Blanski with us discussing the sacred and sacramental. Tyler is a writer and author of two books, a husband and father, as well as a youth minister who recently converted to the Catholic Church from Anglicanism.

We chat about his conversion, his family, the importance of a sacramental attitude towards everyday living, the themes of holiness and death in Kristin Lavransdatter, as well as the sacred role of mothers and family. We cover a lot of ground in this thought-provoking conversation.

Tyler’s books are entitled Mud and Poetry: Love, Sex, and the Sacred and When Donkeys Talk: A Quest to Rediscover the Mystery and Wonder of Christianity.



Things we talked about today:

Tyler’s recent articles on Kristen Lavransdatter: Death in Kristen Lavransdatter and Kristen Lavransdatter and Your Nordic Medieval Catholic Heart.

Rome Sweet Home: Our Journey to Catholicism by Scott and Kimberley Hahn.

Everyday Sacrament: The Messy Grace of Parenting by Laura Kelly Fanucci.

Clan Donaldson recaps of The Walking Dead.

Haley’s post: Rob Bell’s “Tribe”, MacLaren’s Pub, and the Homeless Guy I Have (Almost) Nothing in Common With.

To connect with Tyler:

(Apparently he is on social media!)

You can listen to us on iTunes, and we’d love a quick rating or review. If you have an android device we’re also on Stitcher. And as always, you can find all links, show notes, upcoming guests, and listen to all episodes at Fountains of


Coming next week:






23 thoughts on “FoC 014: Seeing the Sacred with Tyler Blanski”

  1. Wow, I have loved every episode of this podcast but this has to be my new favorite (evidenced by the fact that I’m posting this early in the morning!)

    I want to affirm everything Tyler said to you beautiful ladies – it is such an immeasurable witness that you two are joyful wives & mothers. Listening to your podcast and reading your blogs has challenged me to a deeper holiness because you two radiate the joy that comes from living out your vocations. I strive to be like you in my own marriage. Thank you!

    Also, Tyler, welcome home! The Church is blessed to have you among us. It sounds like you are a true example of a loving husband and father. The world, the Church needs more men like you!

  2. This is the first podcast of yours I have listened to and I have to say thank you! I am so happy to know that all three of you are out in the world and evangelizing others through your coolness and intellect :-). Tyler you completely renewed my daily inspiration for my calling as a mother. I love the whole concept of mother as home and how that relates to the church as home. “School of love” may replace my current mantra of “this too shall pass.”

    Also appreciated the Kristen Lavransdatter discussion so much. Yes. To everything.

    And, kind of relieved to hear your experiences on how humbling being a part of the Catholic church can be. I am a revert and I too thought, as I returned, that the church was super lucky to have me and that my super-educated insights into religion after a decade or more of searching are going to be so enlightening to others in the church. This makes me laugh out loud now because I now see how completely ignorant and infantile I really am in my faith and I am completely on the receiving end of the grace. How insanely arrogant and hollow were those thoughts!

    Anyway, thanks to each of you and keep it all coming!

    1. Thanks Mary! So great to hear from you!

      It is so great to hear about the home being a school of love and the place where real holiness can happen. I know for me I need that reminder daily in the thick of things, because so often we’re swamped by tantrums and messes.

      It’s also so nice to hear from other fans of Kristen! I’m glad we’re taking over the world!

  3. I love that you have a podcast with a discussion of Kristen. I am of Norwegian descent and still have family near Trondheim. Our family name is Pederson (son of Peder- haha). Kristen was a life changing book for me and yet so few people that I know have read it. Right now I am in the Midst of Sigrid Undset’s The Master of Hestviken (4 parts). It is shorter and maybe more accessible to those who aren’t up for the 1000 page read!

    1. That’s so neat Kathryn! I think we’d all like to be related to Kristen, or at least claim the same nationality! I haven’t read The Master of Hestviken but it’s been on my to-read list forever, I hope I get to it soon, but after all our talk about Kristen I feel like I need a good reread!

    2. Kathryn,
      Can you help us all out with the pronunciation of the major character names /places in Kristin Lavransdatter? I’m starting the trilogy for the second time, and I would really like to attempt to say the names somewhat correctly this go-round, versus falling back on the (probably) totally bogus pronunciations I have made up in my head.

      Ragnfrid = ???
      Jorundgaard = ???
      Aashild = ???
      Every one of Kristin’s son’s names = ???

      I bet they sound sooo much nicer in Norwegian than after my no-experience-with-anything-Norwegian-ever butchering job!

    3. I was so intrigued by the discussion of _Kristen Lavransdatter_ that I reserved it at the university library while listening to the podcast. I just started it and I foresee it taking me some time, as I am reserving my reading time as my reward for completing my paper grading & submitting writing of my own. I’ll look forward to the other book that you mention here, Kathryn, for this summer!

  4. I loved this episode! I listened to it while driving and I was laughing and tearing up all the way through! One question though, you ladies seem to have good knowledge of the saints. I grew up a cradle catholic but I have embarrassingly little knowledge of our awesome role models. Any resources you can point me to? Like “important saints 101”?

    1. Thanks for listening Courtney! I don’t know if you read Catholic Exchange often but everyday on the homepage they have the saint of the day, and they usually have great articles on the major saints of the calendar. I think it’d be a great way to gradually start increasing your saint trivia, if you will. It’s Hope that helps!

  5. Love your podcast in general, but as someone outside of the Catholic Church, I found this one a bit disheartening. I’m not sure where you all stand on this, but I believe Catholic or Protestant, our salvation comes through what Jesus did for us alone. I felt that the discussion related to denominations other than Catholicism led to more building of walls than tearing down, and certainly doesn’t reflect my experience of Protestant Christianity. I get that you may have been speaking in generalizations that reflect your experiences or views of Protestant Christian faith, but I came away feeling saddened and excluded by this episode. One thing I appreciated about the previous episode (with Heather) was that she was from a non-Catholic background yet was invited to be part of the podcast. Overall I do love listening to your podcasts but just thought I’d share my thoughts about this one.

    1. Thank you for listening Amanda!

      Thanks also for sharing your thoughts with us. We do invite people of all faiths to listen and participate in our podcast, however, those of us who share the Catholic faith also are given voice to share what we appreciate and love about the Catholic faith. As Catholics, we believe that the fullness of truth is present in the Church, it’s teachings, and traditions. We also believe that Christ set up the Church for our salvation and for the salvation of the whole world. We do not intend to offend, but we will also be ready to share the fullness of the Faith that we believe.

      1. Thanks for your reply, Christy. I definitely understand that this podcast is a place for sharing your and your guests’ perspectives on life and specifically from a Catholic perspective. That is one of the things I enjoy about the podcast as well as your and Haley’s blogs, as I don’t come from a Catholic background or have many close friends from within the Catholic Church; I’m interested in how other moms incorporate their faith in their daily life and in raising their children. I just felt the need to comment as it seemed like the tone of this particular episode was more negative toward other believers than previous episodes have been.

  6. I have to agree with Amanda on this one. Usually I love your podcast but this one made me very sad and a little angry as well. I am an Anglican Christian, and I’m sorry, but your guest is just incorrect about a lot of what he said about Anglicans. Liturgy is not a fad in our worship. The Eucharist as Christ’s body and blood is something we take incredibly seriously, as Paul instructed (else you eat and drink judgement unto yourselves). I am glad that you find such spiritual sustenance in the Catholic church, but it makes me so sad to hear you denigrating my church. We, just like you, are doing our very best to follow Christ.

    1. Thank you for listening Emily, and thanks for leaving us a comment!

      Firstly, if was not our intention to denigrate anyone else at all. I think that Tyler’s comments in regards to fads or trends were directed within the broader framework of American Protestantism and what he sees often in different churches, be they Anglican or anything else. His intention was not to say that individuals faith was in any way a fad. His obvious respect and love of the liturgy is something that he talks and writes about passionately in many places and also something that he elaborated on in this podcast. I believe that we were commenting upon the general trend in mainline Protestantism today towards a leaning and yearning towards beauty and liturgy which is a great thing, but something that needs the theological understanding and dogma behind it as well. As we are all Catholics we believe that the fullness of beauty and the substantial theological awareness behind the liturgy is found to be complete within the Catholic Church.

  7. Hi ladies! I just wanted to say that this podcast has been my favourite one so far. I have really appreciated the previous ones too, but sometimes, being a mom with several children, I like to listen to a fresh perspective on a slightly less familiar topic. Translation: if I listen to too many moms talking about what motherhood or being a wife is like, it feels a bit like listening to my own thoughts out loud and I need a break from me! ☺ Thanks again ladies for all your hard work to create accessible Catholic content.

    1. Thanks Kelsie, and thanks for listening! It’s really true that it is refreshing to hear a bit of a different perspective on our vocation and the work we do. I’m so glad that this was encouraging for you, because it definitely was for me as well.

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