Group Hoping to Bring Catholic Radio
Back to Birmingham
“I listened to Catholic radio all the time...taking the kids to school, going to the grocery store, waiting in line to pick the kids up from school - when I was in the car, I was listening to Catholic radio. I had it tuned to the Catholic station and that was all I would listen to, and I never had to worry about what my kids would hear coming from the radio. I learned so much about my faith listening just a few minutes a day - it truly was a blessing!” Tricia Kitchens, Birmingham
A group of Catholics is hoping to get folks in the Birmingham area to stop talking about Catholic Radio in the past tense. They are working to bring Catholic Radio back to Birmingham.
The numbers say Catholic radio is a promising mix.
The Roman Catholic Church is the largest Christian faith tradition in the United States. Religious radio is a huge format the third most numerous format in U.S. stations behind news talk and country, according to the radio research firm Arbitron. Yet out of some 2,000 religious stations nationwide, only a little more than 100 are Catholic stations.
“There are many, many Catholics here who remember Queen of Peace radio,” says Marc Corsini, a local businessman, member of Our Lady of Sorrows, and one of the people working to purchase a new Catholic radio station. “Queen of Peace had a devoted following. Many people listened regularly as a way to strengthen their faith.”
That radio station, which first went on the air in September 1999, featured programming provided by the EWTN Global Catholic Radio Network - which included the Mass, the Rosary, and the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, as well as shows on the saints, on spiritual and temporal matters relating to the Faith, on apologetics, and a host of other areas. “It was an evangelical tool to reach Catholics and non-Catholics alike with the truths of the Catholic Faith,” Corsini adds.
Queen of Peace Radio, which was owned by a group out of Jacksonville, Florida, was sold by its Jacksonville owners in the Summer of 2004. Now, Queen of Heaven Radio, a non-profit formed by a group of local Catholic businessmen, wants to build on the work of the previous station by bringing Catholic radio back to Birmingham.
In early 2006, Queen of Heaven Radio hired John Martignoni as a consultant to help locate a station. Currently the organization is actively pursuing stations in the Birmingham area. An offer was made on a station a few months ago, but it was sold to a higher bidder. Now, another offer has been made and they are waiting to hear if that offer is accepted or not.
“The Christian Community in Birmingham is thirsty for more of the truth that Jesus so wants us to have,” notes Fr. Michael Deering of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton parish. “Being able to receive daily installments of God’s wisdom over the radio would quench this thirst for many people, especially those who spend time in their car during the business day. By listening to Catholic radio, they will surely grow in their knowledge and their love of God and His Church.”
Pope John Paul II said that radio may be the most cost effective means of reaching large numbers of people with the message of Jesus Christ. And, he further stated that it is a very intimate medium, because people can take it with them in their cars, at work, or in the home.
Queen of Heaven is looking to first get on the air in Birmingham, but they hope to eventually cover all of Alabama with Catholic Radio. "As an evangelization tool, it is hard to beat the effectiveness of Catholic radio," said Martignoni. "It makes good Catholics, better Catholics; it brings fallen-away Catholics back home; and it brings those that were never Catholic closer to, and quite often into, the Church."
“Whether we’re talking politics, sports or news, radio has traditionally allowed people to connect with their communities,” Corsini says. “And that’s exactly what we want to do. Again.”
For more information on Catholic radio, write to:
Queen of Heaven Radio, Inc.
40 Park Road, Suite B
Pleasant Grove, AL 35127