Did you attend the Catholic Radio Conference in Alabama this past week sponsored by the Catholic Radio Association and EWTN? If so leave a comment and give us a report. I’d expect the Spirit was moving in Birmingham!
EWTN and the Catholic Radio Association are sponsoring this year’s Catholic Radio Conference October 14-17 in Alabama. Speakers include Most Reverand Robert J. Baker, S.T.D., Bishop of Birmingham, Alabama, Most Rev. Michael J. Sheehan, Archbishop of Santa Fe, New Mexico, Fr. Mitch Pacwa, S.J, Host of EWTN Open Line, EWTN Live & Threshold of Hope and Kelly Donahue, FCC Audio Division Attorney, Media Bureau.
The latest Catholic Radio Directory from the Catholic Radio Association lists over 300 Catholic stations in US alone. Of these – 88 are listed as new or soon to be on the air! That is a 28% increase! I can’t think of much else these days that is growing at that rate. Back in 1997 there were only about 7 Catholic stations in the US. The CRA was instrumental in helping numerous local organization file for FCC licenses during the recent open application period.
The following is a letter written in response to a friend who answered a question I posted on the Catholic Radio Group site on Linkedin.com
Thank you for your reply. I deeply appreciate the situation in your country and have been very puzzled by the lack of outrage among your countrymen regarding their loss of freedoms. The Church has a huge job to do, but not an impossible one.
I posed the question because I have recently been asking myself what is the fruit of Catholic Radio? There is fruit, doubtless, but specifically what I’m asking for is evidence of action on the part of those effected by Catholic Radio. Where are the rosary groups? The home bible studies? The street preaching? The active part of our calling is in my opinion seriously lacking. Granted I live in the Pacific NW – Portland, OR – where things are very bad for christianity, but I’ve worked in the Midwest, California, Nevada and haven’t seen enough corresponding action among Catholic Radio listeners. My response to this is to wonder if Catholic Radio as such, is enough?
I don’t think so. Catholic Radio is a great tool, but just a tool. More is needed. Stations need to be centers of evangelization. They need to encourage evangelization, teach it, demonstrate it, and live it. I think this will require a new initiative in programming. Catechesis is good and necessary – knowing your faith is good but if all you do with that knowledge is contemplate it for your own benefit then you are a poor servant indeed. We MUST act!
For myself I have made a committment with two other friends to make a new kind of catholic radio program. One that creates and promotes a kind of campaign like what Fr. Peyton did with his radio rosary. We will broadcast a program that demistifies the process of evangelization. That interviews those who’ve “gone ahead” and ARE evangelizing and how they got started and what they’ve learned, so others can take courage from their example. Then we plan to produce films that show the fruit of this action and online video tutorials that teach the steps of evangelization. And, then we plan to raise crowds of people to hear Catholic Evangelists – stadiums of people. It is time to “put out into the deep” and to not be afraid!
As for your circumstances my friend, Hallelujah! You are in a perfect (albeit painful) place. Allow the Lord to work through your circumstances to humble you and to prepare you for the work that He is calling you to. I believe that the message of the current times is “Have Faith, God will Provide without fail!”
Colorado Springs Bishop Sheridan’s address to the 2008 Catholic Radio Conference is here
I am surely dating myself by starting this way, but perhaps a few others here can remember one of the most famous radio commercials in the history of the medium, Stan Freberg’s “Stretching the Imagination,” from 1965. In the commercial, Freberg addresses a skeptical marketer by stating, “You can do things on radio that you couldn’t possibly do on TV.”
Then he “illustrates” his point. “OK people, now when I give you the cue, I want the 700-foot mountain of whipped cream to roll into Lake Michigan, which has been drained and filled with hot chocolate. Then the Royal Canadian Air Force will fly overhead towing a 10-ton maraschino cherry, which will be dropped into the whipped cream to the cheering of 25,000 extras.” And with cues and sound effects, that is exactly what happens. “You wanna try that on television?” Freberg asks the marketer. And he concludes, “You see, radio is a very special medium because it stretches the imagination.”
This is where I would like to begin. Radio stretches the imagination, and presumably Catholic Radio stretches (if I may borrow Fr. Andrew Greeley’s expression) the Catholic imagination.
The most recent issue of Catholic Radio Weekly reports that the meeting room next door to the recently held Catholic Radio Conference featured Mrs. Clinton as speaker!