Jeanette De Melo is the editor in chief for the Register. She recently became co-host to Register Radio along with Thom Price and Dan Burke. Before joining the Register staff in 2012, she served as the Archdiocese of Denver’s communications director, spokeswoman and general manager of the Denver Catholic Register, El Pueblo Católico, and the archdiocesan website. Prior to this position, she was the associate communications director for the Archdiocese of New Orleans, where in addition to managing media relations, she co-produced a weekly archdiocesan television program.
This week on Register Radio I spoke to EWTN’s General Manager of Radio Networks, Dave Vacheresse about the Annual Catholic Radio Conference in Irondale, Alabama. The conference has gone on for more than a decade and all the affiliates of EWTN Radio were invited to attend. EWTN radio personalities were present to encourage the affiliates in their important work of evangelizing through radio broadcasts.
EWTN has 230 affiliated stations in the US. And the total number of Catholic radio stations in the country is approximately 270.
Vacheresse said that the number of EWTN radio affiliates has more than doubled over the last 10 years and he says that growth in Catholic radio is often associated the excitement the bishops and the dioceses have for the stations. According to Vacheresse, “the bishops’ support is what’s pushing Catholic radio forward.” He recounted that Archbishop Joseph Naumann of the Archdiocese of Kansas City, Kansas said that radio was the most effective tool for teaching adult Catholics the faith in his diocese.
I asked Vacheresse what’s the strength of Catholic radio in evangelization. He said that quite simply, quoting Romans 10:17, “Faith comes by hearing.”
“It’s the spoken word that has an effect that cuts through. We know that scripture says that when the Word of God goes out it doesn’t return void but accomplishes that for which it was sent,” said the general manager of EWTN radio. “We know that if we can simply get the spoken word out there that the Lord will make sure that the people who need to find it find it and when they find it ….it makes a difference in their lives…sometimes in the most dramatic situations.”
Again quoting scripture, Vacheresse said the work of Catholic radio and of all EWTN media endeavors is about Jude 1:22-23, “Convince some who doubt and save some by snatching them from the fire.”
Vatican II Documentary
In the show’s second part, Dan Burke talked with Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, who was appointed six years ago by Pope Benedict XVI to lead the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Social Communications. In that capacity, last year, Archbishop over saw the production of a documentary to mark the opening of the Second Vatican Council, Oct. 11, 1963. The documentary was co-produced by Micromegas Communications.
Many of the images in the documentary show historical video clips of the actual council from the Vatican archives.
Archbishop Celli explained that the documentary seeks to highlight for today’s audience, especially young people who don’t know much about the council, the importance of the event not only in the life of the Church but in humanity. The archbishop lamented that too often people don’t know what the documents of the council are about and he enthusiastically said that the documentary is an opportunity for the viewers to “touch with their own hands what was happening at the council through the images.”
The documentary highlights the council’s background, votes, controversies and difficulties.
It is Archbishop Celli’s hope that the film is used in universities and schools “as a historical introduction into what was happening in the decades before the Second Vatican Council.” He said the production offers a “moment of hope to think about and perceive the beauty of the Church and its teaching for people today.”
As the Year of Faith, draws to a close next month, this documentary, which can be purchased through EWTN’s Religious Catalogue, is a great way to gain a greater understanding of how Vatican II has shaped the new evangelization. Listen to the show to learn more.