Catholic Free Press

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  • Apr
  • 5

Catholic radio plans first on-air fundraiser

Posted By April 5, 2012 | 1:13 pm | Lead Story #3

Teresa Tomeo greets Robert Haran after her talk.

By Margaret M Russell
And William T. Clew

What does Catholic radio do? It enlightens, educates, informs and unifies, says Teresa Tomeo, the host of the Catholic Connection on EWTN radio. Ms. Tomeo, whose program can be heard weekdays at 9 a.m., was speaking to supporters of Worcester’s Catholic radio station, 1230 AM Emmanuel Radio, at a reception last Friday evening.
She was in Worcester to kick off Emmanuel Radio’s first fundraising campaign which continues next Wednesday, Thursday and Friday with an on-air radiothon.
Ms. Tomeo said she believes in Catholic radio although she hasn’t always worked for Catholic radio. In fact, she said, she trained herself in Catholic apologetics while she was working for an evangelical radio station – after being fired from her job at a secular radio station.
“God never wastes his time,” she joked. “If you are going through a tough time just wait, you know he has a reason for everything.”
Friday’s reception was hosted by Catholic businessman Frank Carroll in his Presidential Museum on Main Street. More than 75 people attended.
Ms. Tomeo said that having a local Catholic radio station connects all kinds of people in the community, builds bridges and builds up people’s faith.
“To have a brick and mortar station in your backyard is huge,” she said.
One of the community connections already made by the radio station is with Assumption College.
Assumption President Francesco Cesareo says Catholic radio plays a critical role in the new evangelization. For the past two semesters Assumption College students have done internships at the station and the college has played a supportive role in other ways too. Before he introduced the guest speaker, President Cesareo said that it was a pleasure to be involved with Catholic radio in Worcester.
Both Ms. Tomeo and President Cesareo made note of the fact that they share a common heritage and by the end of the night were joking about doing an Italian Hour for the upcoming radiothon.
Ms. Tomeo talked about the natural evangelizing power of Catholic radio. She said she hears from people all over the world who have listened to her program on EWTN affiliates or on the Internet. A person in China wrote to her to say he was grateful for the program because, “I don’t have anyone here to share my faith.”
“We are changing lives, you can have an impact,” she told the audience.
Station Manager Nick Everett reinforced her statements by telling about a woman who came up to him one day when he was getting out of the company Jeep that is covered like a billboard for the radio station. The woman told him that she had been away from the church for many years. After listening to 1230 AM, within a few hours, she said, all of the questions and “issues” she had were answered.
Mr. Everett said that it costs about $600 a day to run the radio station and they have set a goal of $100,000 for their spring fundraising efforts.
The three-day long Emmanuel Radiothon will run from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. April 11, 12, and 13, according to Mr. Everett. Volunteers will take telephone pledges and testimonials at 508-767-1230 from callers who wish to support the station and its programming. The theme of the radiothon is “Truth … for Life.”
Besides taking phone calls, volunteers will take part in adoration of the Blessed Sacrament at St. Paul Cathedral during the radiothon hours. Those who wish to volunteer may call Mr. Everett at that same phone number.
Media consultant  Sherry Brownrigg of Third Millennium Media will be the host for the three days and will engage local Catholics in conversations and interviews, he said. Father Daniel Becker, pastor of two parishes in Warren, will also act as host.
Among the scheduled guests are Bishop McManus; Msgr. Thomas J. Sullivan, diocesan Chancellor and pastor of Christ the King Parish; Jack Calareso, president of Anna Maria College; Bishop Reilly, bishop emeritus of the Diocese of Worcester; Msgr. James P. Moroney, rector of St. John Seminary in Boston; Allison LeDoux, director of the diocesan Respect Life office, and Francesco Cesareo, president of Assumption College.
Also scheduled to take part are Bill Gibbons, coach of the women’s basketball team at the College of the Holy Cross; Rod Murphy of Problem Pregnancy; Margaret Russell, executive editor of The Catholic Free Press; Father John F. Madden, pastor of St. John’s Parish and Father James S. Mazzone, director of the diocesan Office for Vocations.
1230AM Emmanuel Radio, an EWTN affiliate, went on the air May 1.
On its first day it provided coverage of the beatification of Pope John Paul II, the patron for Emmanuel Communications.
The station provides EWTN programming and is working on short local programs. The station, acquired by Emmanuel Communications Inc., was for many years known as WNEB. Mr. Everett said that those call letters are still used for legal reasons, but usually the station is identified on air as 1230AM Emmanuel Radio.
Emmanuel Communications identifies itself as a 501(c)3 non-profit Catholic apostolate registered in the state of Massachusetts. 1230 AM Emmanuel Radio, a division of Emmanuel Communications, is a young station is the Worcester community and serves the people of the Worcester area by proclaiming, “Truth … for Life.”