Good Distinctions
Good Distinctions
Ep. 16 - Exploring Catholic & American Identity w/ Simone Rizkallah

Ep. 16 - Exploring Catholic & American Identity w/ Simone Rizkallah

Certain to be controversial but well worth the listen!

🌐 Join us in this thought-provoking conversation as Will Wright and Simone Rizkallah share their perspectives on the often overlooked aspects of their identities as Catholics, Americans, and immigrants. Delving into the rich history of the Armenian Catholic Church and the various rites within the Catholic Church, they explore the impact of persecution and poverty on the Eastern Church.

🔍 Throughout the discussion, Will and Simone tackle important topics such as the busyness of the American Church, the necessity of leisure and contemplation, and the dangers of tribalism and activism. They stress the importance of Scripture and prayer while cautioning against conforming the Church to American values, advocating instead for Catholics to align themselves with the teachings of the Church.

🔑 Key Takeaways:

  • Respect and honor the feminine and masculine genius in society.

  • Align societal structures with Gospel principles for human flourishing.

  • Evaluate personal beliefs in light of Church teachings.

  • Prioritize Catholic identity over national identity.

  • Challenge American exceptionalism with a critical examination.

  • Foster authentic relationships and community for a more humane existence.



📚 Chapters:

00:00 - Introduction and Background

03:00 - The Armenian Catholic Church

06:00 - Different Rites within the Catholic Church

09:00 - Influence of Persecution and Poverty

13:00 - Busyness of the American Church

19:00 - Need for Leisure and Contemplation

25:00 - Dangers of Tribalism and Activism

32:00 - Importance of Scripture and Prayer

38:00 - Clarifying Church Teachings on Women and Work

41:21 - The Feminine and Masculine Genius

42:27 - Structures and Society

43:40 - Liberalism and the Church

44:39 - American Exceptionalism

46:36 - American Catholicism

47:34 - Conforming the Church to Americanism

49:20 - Orthodoxy and Right Belief

51:18 - Personal Beliefs and Catholicism

52:37 - Living Out Solidarity

54:46 - Fostering the Presence of God

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Who is Simone Rizkallah?

Simone has spent the last two decades in service of the New Evangelization. Before discovering her passion for the Faith and the call to evangelize, she worked in marketing, communications, media, radio and her first love, theatre. She has worked at the parish level, for both youth and adult formation at St. Ambrose parish in Annandale, Virginia and taught high school seniors moral theology and Church History and chaired the Theology Department at St. Mary’s Catholic High School in Phoenix, Arizona. As the daughter of immigrants from the Armenian Diaspora in Cairo, Egypt, she has a particular interest in matters of religious freedom and culture.

You can find her talks and publications on her blog at


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