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103. The Pop Culture Priest: Fr. Jim McDermott, SJ

Published: October 05, 2021

Changing Our World‘s Jim Friend speaks with Fr. Jim McDermott, SJ, a Jesuit priest, writer, and editor for America Magazine. Fr. Jim writes about pop culture and our faith in Christ. During this conversation, Fr. Jim discusses his career as an editor, writer, and screenwriter and his experience of writing an op-ed this year about his life as a gay priest and the support he received from readers and his community after he wrote this article.

Father Jim McDermott, SJ, is a writer from the suburbs of Chicago. Before coming to Los Angeles, Jim did magazine journalism and improvisational comedy in New York; he also worked as an English teacher, drama coach, and bus driver on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. While pulling out of a gas station, he once scratched a brand new bus so deeply he cut completely through its steel shell. He was named “Bus Driver of the Year” and awarded a can opener by the school. (He wishes he was kidding.) He has also spent the greater part of a year working and wandering in Australia and is more than slightly obsessed with Australian politics and football.

In addition to past studies in Literature (Marquette, Harvard) and Old Testament and Liturgy (Weston Jesuit School of Theology), Fr. Jim recently completed his MFA in Screenwriting from UCLA. For the last three years, he interned in the development department of the AMC network and sold his first TV pilot.

Fr. Jim can be found on Twitter at and on Facebook: He writes a weekly newsletter on pop culture and spirituality; sign up at

Watch the video presentation of this discussion

Recorded September 28, 2021

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