May 19, 2010 // Uncategorized

Redeemer Radio blesses new home, launches campaign

Redeemer Radio host Matthew Bunson interviews Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades in one of the new studios located on East State Boulevard in Fort Wayne.

By Mary Kinder

FORT WAYNE— Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades joined the staff and friends of Redeemer Radio, Catholic Radio AM 1450, to bless the new facility located on 4618 E. State Blvd., Suite 200 in Fort Wayne.

Redeemer Radio staff, volunteers, community members, clergy and well-wishers filled the new studios. Executive Director Dave Stevens welcomed everyone and introduced Msgr. Robert C. Schulte, who led everyone in a prayer which focused on spreading the Divine message.

That sentiment was repeated in the words of Bishop Rhoades. After being introduced by Stevens, the bishop said the station has a holy and noble mission to spread the Word and build up the Kingdom of Heaven. The bishop said he fully supports the work of the station and enjoys listening to its programming. His hope is that the station can spread its reach to include all of the diocese.

Bishop Rhoades then spoke of the feast of the Ascension, explaining that before His ascension into heaven, Jesus directed the Apostles, “to go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature.” He said this holy mission is still vital 2,000 years later, calling for all Catholics to bring the truth and love of Christ to people.
The bishop said Redeemer Radio is helping in this holy mission every day. The station’s programs enrich the lives of active Catholics, those who have drifted from the Church, and non-Catholics alike.

After a Scripture reading and intercessions, Bishop Rhoades raised his hands and blessed the new building, calling for Redeemer Radio to promote the peace of Christ the Lord. He then moved throughout the building, blessing each area, including the two studios and all in attendance.

After the blessing, Bishop Rhoades spoke to members of the press. When asked how large of a role technology plays in spreading the message of the Catholic Church, he said that it is essential to use modern means, especially when reaching out to young people, and that we need to go beyond traditional means to spread the Gospel.

The bishop said they had tried to start a Catholic radio station in Harrisburg before coming to the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend. He said, “When I heard one was already well established I was delighted because I know the potential it has for evangelization and catechesis. It is real blessing for the people here.”

Redeemer Radio also used the occasion to formally launch its fundraiser, Building Faith, Sharing Christ: The Campaign for Redeemer Radio. This capital campaign for Redeemer Radio’s long-term growth is separate from station Sharathons that fund the daily operating expenses of the station.

According to Dr. John and Lona Pritchard, campaign co-chairs, “We need to build faith and share Christ in our community, and Redeemer Radio is the lifeline to do just that. It’s imperative that we reach our goal of $900,000, and even exceed it!”

Honorary co-chairs of the campaign are Bishop Rhoades and Bishop-emeritus John M. D’Arcy.

Bishop Rhoades said of the capital campaign, “I hope and pray that it is successful, especially so that many more people will be reached by this Catholic radio station.”
To date, the capital campaign has raised $569,000 (63 percent of the target amount) during its private phase.

Mike Kelly, Redeemer Radio board chair, said, “We are thrilled by the outstanding show of support so far, and we are excited to offer supporters an opportunity to join with us to help grow local Catholic radio in our area.”

Redeemer Radio is a listener-supported, local independent Catholic radio apostolate that receives no ongoing financial support from the diocese. Redeemer Radio serves listeners in Fort Wayne, northeast Indiana and northwest Ohio by broadcasting the truth and beauty of the Catholic faith.

The station has some important purposes for the campaign:
• Relocate and equip studio space — Due to success in the initial leadership phase of the Campaign, Redeemer Radio is relocating from a crowded, inadequate facility to new studios that provide both the space and technology for expansion.

• Develop local programming — Redeemer Radio will develop and broadcast a Monday through Friday, locally-produced program that will inspire Catholics and non-Catholics in their daily faith lives. Redeemer Radio will serve as a strong, local resource for the entire community.

• Add an FM noncommercial station — Although it will take several years for the planned growth, Redeemer Radio will be able to expand its coverage on additional stations through much of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend to many areas not currently reached by the station.

• Retire the initial investment — Since 2006, the Redeemer Radio has repaid over $200,000 of the initial loan that allowed Redeemer Radio to begin broadcasting. By repaying the remaining 70 percent of the loan ($450,000), the station will save $69,000 in principal and interest payments annually (2009).

Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades speaks with Redeemer Radio Executive Director Dave Stevens at the blessing of the new facilities located on East State Boulevard in Fort Wayne.

With substantial gifts in the initial leadership phase of the campaign, Redeemer Radio is moving to new studio facilities. The relocation provides the space necessary to expand Catholic radio in the diocese and for the station to install new state-of-the-art, digital equipment to reach beyond the current coverage area using additional stations that would carry Redeemer Radio programming. There are still additional technology investments needed for the new location to have all pieces in place for the expansion.

However, the new studio location is tangible evidence of the Campaign’s progress and the way that the generosity of Redeemer Radio’s listeners is already pointing to future success and growth.

The public phase of the Campaign will invite contributions from Catholics and non-Catholics to help strengthen Catholic radio in the area. Campaign Co-Chair Nick Gray noted, “Redeemer Radio has been built through parish involvement and with overwhelming support from the priests in this Diocese.” Parish efforts will begin in May and go through the end of July.

Ultimately, Building Faith, Sharing Christ: The Campaign for Redeemer Radio will help the station to continue the remarkable progress of the first four years. In order to become the best local Catholic radio station in the country, Redeemer Radio is committed to airing the highest quality, most relevant programming, while also expanding its reach so that more souls may be touched.

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