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Legatus Magazine

Cover Story
Thomas Monaghan | author
Mar 01, 2010
Filed under Chairman
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The power of Catholic radio

Tom Monaghan writes that Catholic radio has the power to move hearts and save souls . . .

Thomas Monaghan

I met Al Kresta in 1992. Our first meeting was at one of our First Friday events; he was a speaker and then again later he was a speaker at a Legatus chapter event in Michigan.

He had a popular Christian radio show in Detroit. Over his years hosting this show, he reverted back to the Catholic faith. In 1996, I acquired a small radio station and asked Al to run it. He accepted my offer because he was limited in his ability to talk about Catholic issues such as contraception on the air. It was a leap of faith on his part.

With this move, WDEO in Ann Arbor became only the sixth Catholic radio station — and the first “all talk” station — in the United States. Meanwhile there were 1,600 Protestant stations. Besides Al’s show, Kresta in the Afternoon, we used EWTN programming to fill air time. Subsequently, we bought a station that covers most of Detroit, a station in Saginaw, Mich., and an FM station in Naples, Fla. Now, in addition to Al’s show, Ave Maria Radio produces 21 other programs and over 50 hours of original Catholic talk radio per week.

Meanwhile in Green Bay, Wis., Legatus member Mark Follet started Relevant Radio. It now has more than 30 owned and affiliated stations. Today there are over 150 Catholic radio stations across the country, many of them started and/or supported by Legates.

I believe that Catholic radio is a major reason why the faith is rebounding in the United States. Many converts tell me that Catholic radio was the reason they became Catholic.

If you have a Catholic station in your area, I suggest you check it out. Surely it can use your support. If there is no Catholic radio in your area, perhaps you might do what other Legates have done: Put a group together and buy one. All of the programming is readily available. Simply contact the Catholic Radio Association or call my office.

Thomas Monaghan is Legatus’ founder and chairman. He is a member of Legatus’ Naples Chapter.

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