The second Vatican Council urged Catholics to utilize modern broadcast technologies to spread the Gospel, stating that “All members of the Church should make a concerted effort to ensure that the means of communication are put at the service of the multiple forms of apostolate without delay and as energetically as possible” and “Catholic stations should be established where it is opportune.” Yet in the many years following the Council this exhortation went largely unheeded. Today that is changing.
Just a few years ago there were over 1,800 religious radio stations across the United States, but only three of these were Catholic. Now there are many Catholic stations which regularly air Catholic programming and, thanks to low power FM licenses, hundreds more may soon be going on the air. These stations have helped strengthen the faith of many Catholics and have also led many non-Catholics into the Church.
Defenders of The Faith, Inc (DTF) is working to be a part of this ‘Catholic radio movement’. DTF was formed by a small group of lay Catholics committed to using the media and modern means of communication to spread the teachings of Jesus Christ. Today our newsletter has hundreds of readers in West Virginia and many other states. Our website is read by Catholics throughout the United States and in many foreign countries. The goal of our current evangelization initiative is to bring Catholic Radio to the local area and, in time, to adjacent states.
We have received a permit from the FCC to construct a low power FM broadcasting station in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia. We will be able to provide 24 hour programming from a selection of today’s top Catholic evangelists as well as provide local religious information to our area. Our call letters are WDTF-LP and we will be broadcasting at 107.9 FM.
We have received a great deal of assistance from Starboard Network in obtaining a license and establishing a station. They are a non-profit Catholic postulate; organized and run by lay men and women. They own and operate community Catholic radio stations throughout Wisconsin and Minnesota. In addition to assisting DTF, they have helped many other Catholic organizations in obtaining a Low Power FM license. Starboard will not be an owner or operator of the station nor have control of our station’s mission or agenda.
Starboard Network is the first radio network to be approved by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops as a national media outlet. They have chosen to call their programming relevant radio ™ – a new format of Catholic talk radio designed to bridge the gap between faith and everyday life by providing timely programming relevant to today’s world. Starboard also provides live streaming audio via the web at www.relevantradio.com. Initially, the greatest percentage of our programming will be from Starboard Network. The remainder will be programs purchased for this purpose, pre-taped local programming and local public announcements. Other sources of programming may be St. Joseph’s Radio and Ave Maria Radio.
Excerpt from Starboard Network
“By providing programming that speaks to the human condition we hope to bridge the gap between faith and everyday life. Pope Paul VI said, "The split between the faith which many profess and their daily lives deserves to be counted among the more serious errors of our age" (Gaudium et Spes). Through our programming, we want to avoid this split and aid in bringing the faith to everyday living. The format of Morning Air ™, our flagship show airing in drive time, includes a comprehensive lineup of informative, inspirational, and useful information. We will present the daily news, weather, and sports, along with useful information such as stock market reports, airport delays, and breaking news. We want our listeners to stay with us, not feeling it necessary to change channels to find out what's happening in the "real world." Also featured in our programming line-up are popular shows, such as "Catholic Answers Live," "The Doctor Is In," hosted by Dr. Ray Guarendi, "Catholic Radio Weekly," sponsored by the United States Bishops, and our noon news magazine show, hosted by Teresa Tomeo.”
When Defenders of The Faith, Inc. informed the Archdiocese of Baltimore of our intentions to broadcast Catholic programming in the Hancock, Maryland area, Cardinal Keeler responded: “Recently I met the leadership of Starboard Radio in Milwaukee. They presented a very positive approach to Catholic broadcasting.” Bishop Schmitt, Bishop of the Wheeling-Charleston area, also gave us a positive response.
We need your involvement!
As you look around our world, it's clear that now is the time to open the door to the real love and real joy of walking with Jesus Christ everyday and forever. We will play a part in this mission of peace by delivering programming that is relevant, vibrant, innovative, and faithful to the teachings and tradition of the Catholic Church. That's where you come in!
What You Can Do
We need you! We invite you to be an evangelist by praying, participating, and partnering with us to bring relevant Catholic radio to our community.
- Pray that Defenders of The Faith, Inc. will be successful in its effort to establish and operate a local radio station to bring the Word of God to Berkeley Springs and adjacent areas. We anticipate going on the air prior to the end of 2003.
- Be a faithful listener to your area Catholic radio, WDTF, 107.9 FM.
- Tell others about us and invite them to listen.
- Tell us what you like about Catholic radio, WDTF, 107.9 FM.
- Volunteer your time and talents.
- Participate financially on a monthly basis.
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