|Deacon Jim Walsh, right, founder of Catholic Media Productions, signs an agreement that will allow the non-profit to put a radio tower atop Villa Maria Manor. David Glascoe, managing agent for Villa Maria Manor, waits to sign the agreement. The tower will be for a new low-power Catholic radio station, WBOU 100.5 FM, that will be operated by Catholic Media Productions.|
The Catholic faith is filling the radio airwaves in Middle Tennessee as several low-power Catholic radio stations are either on the air or close to it.
“Because of the interest on the part of several different parishes and entities in the Diocese of Nashville, the opportunity to have radio in Middle Tennessee has been progressing,” said Bishop David Choby. “I’m delighted to know we can make an impact on the local scene by the presence and activity of Catholic radio. …
“From the beginning of the life of the Church, its mission has been to bring the joy of the faith proclaimed in the Gospel to the world,” Bishop Choby said, “and Catholic radio offers us another means to do that.”
About two years ago, the Federal Communications Commission started accepting applications from non-profit agencies that wanted a license for a low-power radio station. At least five groups in the diocese have received preliminary or final approval.
Risen Radio, WRIM.C 89.9 FM in Cookeville, and Risen Radio WRSN 88.1 FM in Lebanon, are already on the air with programming from EWTN Global Catholic Radio, Bishop Choby said. The Lebanon station has a coverage area that includes Lebanon, Gallatin and Hartsville. The coverage area for WRIM.C in Cookeville stretches from Monterey in the east, Crossville and Sparta in the south, Smithville and Carthage in the west, and Gainesboro in the north.
St. Rose Radio, WSRR 99.3 FM, in Murfreesboro will officially start broadcasting on Sunday, Aug. 14, the National Day of Prayer for Catholic Radio, with EWTN programming on 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
And in Nashville, WBOU 100.5FM, a project of Catholic Media Productions, hopes to start broadcasting on Sept. 29, the Feast of St. Gabriel, Patron Saint of Communications, said Deacon Jim Walsh, the founder of Catholic Media Productions.
|WBOU 100.5 FM’s tower has been set up atop Villa Maria Manor on White Bridge Road in Nashville. The coverage area for the low-power station should include most of the city of Nashville, according to Deacon Jim Walsh, founder of Catholic Media Productions.|
WBOU will broadcast programming from Relevant Radio in Green Bay, Wisconsin and local programming produced by Catholic Media Productions, primarily the “We Believe” radio show Deacon Walsh and Dr. Rev. Richard Shriver, a Methodist minister, have been hosting for nearly 30 years, Deacon Walsh said.
The last group, in Clarksville, is not yet ready to start broadcasting, Bishop Choby said.
St. Rose Radio
Richard Richard, a parishioner at St. Rose of Lima Church in Murfreesboro, was watching EWTN in September of 2013 when he saw an announcement about the FCC accepting applications for low-power radio stations. “I thought if Mother Angelica (EWTN’s founder) can do it, I could probably do it,” he said.
Richard started researching the project and asked fellow parishioner and friend Billy Trout, who has experience in radio, to help. They got the support of former St. Rose Pastor Father Mark Sappenfield. The current pastor, Father Nick Allen, has offered his support for the project as well, Richard said.
The Church encourages Catholics to use radio, the internet and other media to promote the New Evangelization, Richard said. “We hope to change lives and save souls.”
“Our goal is to get the Catholic message out there so people who are Catholic can learn more about their religion, and non-Catholics too,” Trout said.
Richard listened to Catholic radio stations when he lived in California. “It was a big part of my growing in faith,” Richard said. “I could listen to questions and answers and apologetics to help me grow in my faith.”
“I know what it has done and what it can do in other communities,” he added.
The tower is currently attached to the bell tower of St. Rose Church, Trout said, and the coverage area should include most of the city of Murfreesboro.
Although they are starting out with EWTN programming, Richard hopes to eventually add local programming. “We could broadcast a St. Rose Stars basketball game or have Father Nick answer questions,” Richard said. “The possibilities are wide and varied.”
Other parishioners who have helped with the project, Richard said, include John Grubar, Rob Thomas, Rick Smith, Deacon John D’Amico and Alton Dellinger.
For more information about the station or about how to become a sponsor, visit www.saintroseradio.com.
Bridges of Understanding
WBOU, which stands for Bridges of Understanding, is making progress toward its launch date of Sept. 29, Deacon Walsh said. “We’re moving right along.”
Catholic Media Productions has received permission from the diocese to put a tower atop the Villa Maria Manor on White Bridge Road in Nashville, which means it will reach about 12 stories high, Deacon Walsh said. That saved the $14,000 it would have cost to build their own tower, he noted.
“It looks like it’s going to cover a good portion of the city,” Deacon Walsh said.
Catholic Media Productions and Deacon Walsh are no strangers to radio. The “We Believe” radio show, which features Rev. Shriver asking Deacon Walsh about Catholic teaching, started when he was invited to appear on WMQM 1300 AM radio to explain Catholic teaching about the Blessed Virgin, he explained.
They’ve been on the air ever since on WMQM at 9:30 a.m. Saturdays. Catholic Media Productions branched out into television and a videotaped version of the show is shown at 10:30 p.m. Wednesdays on Cable Channel 19, the cable access channel in Davidson County. The shows have also been shown on cable access stations across the country, Deacon Walsh said.
“We’ve won national awards in both radio and television,” he said. “After 30 years, we’re an overnight success.”
Once WBOU goes on the air, “We Believe” will move to the new station, Deacon Walsh said. The rest of the programming will be provided by Relevant Radio, the second largest provider of Catholic radio programming in the country, Deacon Walsh said.
Through the years, Catholic Media Productions has received support from several individuals, parishes and organizations, including the diocese, Saint Thomas Foundation, St. Matthew, St. Ann and St. Henry parishes, Knights of Columbus Council 544 and Father Mark Hunt, pastor of Holy Rosary Church, Deacon Walsh said.
For more information about how to support WBOU visit www.webelieveshow.org.