Georgia Archdiocese Ventures Into Hispanic Radio

The Georgia Bulletin reports:

With an enthusiastic “Buenos dias!” the Spanish Catholic radio program went live on the air.The four hosts, a mix of radio veterans and novices, a priest and laymen, sat knee to knee in the small studio. They prayed, read the Gospel, laughed, sang and answered callers during the hour show.

“There are a lot of non-Catholics listening, and they love the show,” said Juan Diaz, 36, who with nearly five years in radio is the most experienced behind the microphone.

The daily show, “Neustra Fe” (“Our Faith”), is an initiative by the Atlanta Archdiocese to reach the Hispanic community. By some estimates, upwards of 50,000 Latinos attend Catholic churches on Sundays around Atlanta. That leaves an estimated 300,000 who are not in the pews despite coming from heavily Catholic countries, said Jairo Martinez, the Hispanic ministry director for the archdiocese. The surge of Latinos in North Georgia is one reason for the growth of the Catholic Church here.

 The church is taking its message to places it hasn’t been before. A Catholic Mass is now part of the regular programming at the Atlanta Interfaith Broadcasters, a local cable TV channel. And thousands of drivers on Atlanta’s Downtown Connector highway see billboards promoting the church’s support for marriage and life issues.

The radio station for 610 AM WPLO Grayson/Atlanta, home for Our Faith, is a modest building tucked behind a mobile home park on the edge of Lawrenceville’s historic district. Its broadcast covers Gwinnett County and some 43 other counties in North Georgia, the hub of the Latino community in Georgia, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

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