Catholic Free Press

Catholic Free Press Digital Edition

  • Sep
  • 9

Catholic radio station on the air, ready for local programs

Posted By September 9, 2011 | 6:00 am | Lead Story #2, Local

By Patricia O’Connell
CFP Correspondent

WORCESTER – The city’s first all-Catholic radio station, 1230 AM Emmanuel Radio, went on the air May 1, Divine Mercy Sunday.
All of its content, up until now, has been provided by the radio division of Eternal Word Television Network, based in Alabama.
This will soon change, according to the station’s general manager Nick Everett, who said the plan is to “really branch into local programming this fall.”
The idea, he noted, is to make “this more of a local-flavor station – that’s the goal.”
The station will broadcast Catholic news, prayers, music and faith formation shows 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Emmanuel Radio’s official launch is scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 25, with a 10:15 a.m. Mass at St. Paul Cathedral, celebrated by Bishop McManus and retired Bishop Reilly. This will be followed by a reception in the lower-level Cenacle and tours of the radio station. Assumption College President Francesco Cesareo will introduce the reception’s speaker, Scot Landry, Secretary for Catholic Media in the Archdiocese of Boston.
Groundwork for the Catholic radio station was laid in 2008, by members of the Lauring family, who formed a group called Emmanuel Communications. The Laurings own and operate Worcester-based Lauring Construction Company.
“It was definitely my father’s idea and this is his baby,” said Lauring Vice President Mark Lauring about his father, Raymond.
Mark Lauring said the last few months have been spent getting the “bugs” worked out, and now the station is ready for its formal inauguration and blessing by the bishop.
He hopes it will serve as a means of evangelization, as committed Catholics tune in, and then encourage their family and friends to do the same.
“Hopefully, they will realize the value of the programming and tell their friends,” he added.
Mr. Lauring said he doesn’t expect casual or lapsed Catholics to immediately set the dial to 1230 AM, WNEB, unless they are told about the station or “once somebody refers them to it.”
He said he wants, right now, for people to be aware the station exists.
“We aim to be a mainstream radio station,” he stated.
Mr. Everett said in addition to the upcoming inaugural Mass, representatives of Emmanuel Radio will be speaking at parishes in the listening area, in an effort to attract listeners and support.
The radio signal can be heard in the city of Worcester and in bordering communities, according to Mr. Everett.
People can also tune in by logging on to the station’s website – Mr. Everett noted that programs can also be downloaded onto a mobile device, such as an iPod.
Mr. Everett, 23, a recent graduate of Indiana’s Purdue University, said the station, once local content starts to air, has the potential to spur increased collaboration among area Catholics by bringing “parishes, organizations and causes together.”
“One of the goals of the station is to bring more unity to the diocese,” he explained.
Mr. Everett said he hopes to put “different (local) priests on the air.”
“The local (programming) is what we really hope will draw people to the station,” he said.
Also, Mr. Everett said, he and others involved with the station, with its offices located in the former St. Paul School, across the street from the cathedral, becomes a “community station,” even though it was launched primarily through the efforts of one family.
“This is the station that’s adopted by the community,” he said. “The more it’s adopted by the community, the more it survives and thrives.”