Catholic Free Press

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  • Feb
  • 9

Bishop says Catholic radio would evangelize

Posted By February 9, 2012 | 1:53 pm | Local
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By Patricia O’Connell
CFP Correspondent

FITCHBURG – Bishop McManus discussed the crisis of faith last week during a gathering for WQPH FM, 89.3., a new EWTN affiliated radio station based at the former Madonna of the Holy Rosary Parish. The station is not yet broadcasting.
“We’ve had at least two generations of Catholics who are under-catechized,” he said to the 100 or so people in the audience. “We have thousands and thousands of Catholics who do not know the faith properly.”
Bishop McManus said he is shocked to read obituaries, in which the deceased was clearly a baptized Catholic. Yet, many times, these people don’t have a funeral Mass.
“There seems to be a type of spiritual amnesia which has settled over many families,” he added.
He provided grim statistics showing the majority of Catholics have fallen away. In the Diocese of Worcester, he said, only 25 to 30 percent of Catholics practice their faith. In the Archdiocese of Boston, this figure was 18 percent.
Bishop McManus underscored the importance of mass communication to spread the truths of the Catholic Church, and to bring people back to Mass.
“To do this, we have to call upon as many avenues of media as we possibly can,” he said.
Given the extent of the crisis, he said there are three options when it comes to evangelization.
The first is to do nothing, which he noted would be “catastrophic.” The second is to retreat, which he said is not an option. The third is evangelization, which, he explained, the Church has chosen to undertake.
Later this year, beginning Oct. 11 and continuing until November of 2013, will mark the universal Church’s “Year of Faith,” according to Bishop McManus. He said pastors should work to promote television and radio transmissions.
Bishop McManus said it is “very appropriate,” right now, to have a Catholic radio station in the pipeline. “The radio serves as a wonderful means of evangelization,” he said.
David Vacheresse, general manager of EWTN’s Global Catholic Network Radio Division, flew in from Alabama to attend the event.
He said the station is scheduled to be on the air by June, and he urged attendees to be generous in their financial support.
Catholic radio has the potential to bring people back to church, he said, noting that in other markets it has proven successful. One survey he cited showed radio has a positive impact. Of the people polled, who had returned to church, 42 percent of them did so as a result of listening to Catholic radio.
Mary Ann Harold of Medford, founder of Prayers for Life, a nationwide organization, has been a driving force in establishing the new Fitchburg-based station.
“Radio speaks to your heart,” she said. “When you’re in your car, God speaks to you.”
“I think when God blesses us with this station in June, you’re going to see a resurgence of faith,” she added.
Last week, after a fundraising dinner, Mrs. Harold said that the station is trying to reach a $75,000 goal in order to get the station on the air.