Catholic Free Press

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  • Nov
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WQPH-FM Catholic radio on the air ounty

Posted By November 2, 2012 | 1:33 pm | Lead Story #2, Local
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By Patricia O’Connell
CFP Correspondent

FITCHBURG – It’s been a long time coming, but WQPH 89.3 FM is finally broadcasting in northern Worcester County.
The new station, an affiliate of EWTN Global Catholic Radio Network, is based at the Madonna of the Holy Rosary Evangelization Center on Theresa Street.
St. Joseph parishioner and Fitchburg City Councilor Rosemary Reynolds is among a group of people who helped bring the affiliate to Fitchburg.
“There’s been a lot of bumps in the road,” said Ms. Reynolds, who said the team of volunteers “just kept going.”
“It’s a wonderful volunteer effort,” she added. “People worked tirelessly to do whatever they could.”
The station will air Catholic content around the clock. Most material will be supplied by EWTN, but up to five hours a day may be locally produced shows, John Pepe, EWTN manager of affiliate relations-marketing, said in an earlier interview.
Massachusetts Prayers for Life, a chapter of Prayers for Life based in Medford, received a provisional license more than two years ago to operate a Catholic radio station in northern Worcester County. WQPH received its final license on Nov. 1, the feast of All Saints, according to Mary Ann Harold, Prayers for Life director who has spearheaded the effort.
“Yes, it was a very long time,” Mrs. Harold said of the effort to get WQPH on the air. She said it was a combination of factors that slowed down the project, including raising enough money to buy equipment needed for constructing the station.
She said there were some large donations, as well as other people’s “nickels, dimes and quarters.”
The signal from WQPH, it’s call letters stand for “Queen of Perpetual Help,” will be heard Fitchburg, Leominster and surrounding communities.
Both Ms. Reynolds and Mrs. Harold believe WQPH will help the Fitchburg area. She also alluded to future announcements in the region that she can’t yet disclose.
“There will be a lot of things coming up there,” Ms. Reynolds stated, adding, “there’s going to be

a lot of action up there with EWTN personalities coming through.”
Ms. Reynolds envisions a “Catholic coffeehouse” that will travel to different parishes as one outgrowth of the effort to bring Catholic radio to the area.
Mrs. Harold said, “It’s just God at work. He really has a special plan for this area.”
“The most important thing is that the True Presence of Jesus Christ in that tabernacle in that church is being sent out over the airwaves,” she added.
Madonna of the Holy Rosary Evangelization Center, formerly Madonna of the Holy Rosary parish, was formed after the reconfiguration of the Fitchburg parishes in 2010. The Blessed Sacrament is still reserved in the tabernacle at Madonna, which is used for special Masses and other functions.
WQPH is one of a network of affiliate radio stations around the country. It is the second EWTN affiliate in the Worcester Diocese. Emmanuel Radio 1230 AM in Worcester went on the air in May 2011. Its signal reaches the city of Worcester and contiguous communities.
Last February Bishop McManus came to Madonna Evangelization Center for a formal kickoff of WQPH, also attended by David Vacheresse, the general manager of EWTN Global Catholic Network’s Radio Division.
“The radio can serve as a wonderful means of evangelization,” said Bishop McManus as he spoke during the event. He noted there has been a crisis of faith, with New England, in particular, now being the least religious part of the country, according to a survey conducted by Pew Research Center.