On Thursday night a group of about 100 people gathered at the former Holy Rosary Church (now chapel) in Fitchburg Massachusetts to celebrate both the feast of the Presentation of the Lord and the Kickoff of the “Presentation of his word” through the new WQPH 89.3 FM ETWN affiliate.
It was one of a pair of special events promoting the station this week, on Saturday Fr. Andrew Apostoli was the guest of honor at the spaghetti supper fundraiser for the station which is expected to begin broadcasting in June of this year.
The opening of the station is the culmination of 3 years of work by a large group of dedicated people who worked this event and others, most notably Mary Ann Harold who has been tireless in her efforts to raise funds, secure licenses and tower location for the station.
The station will be broadcasting the feed from EWTN’s national programing in addition to original programs 24 hours a day serving the Fitchburg/Leominster area and beyond.
Officials of the Knights of Columbus, faithful Catholics and many current and former state and Local pols were also in attendance including the Mayor Lisa Wong, State Rep Steve DiNatale and city Counselor Rosemary Reynolds who also provided music for the event on the harp.
The primary speakers included the most Reverend Robert J McManus Bishop of Worcester who spoke on the subject of Evangelism.
He noted that at Vatican 2 was called to make the church talk to the modern world, but Secularism and relativism have been strong. They were forced to report to the pope that NE has become the least religious part of the country saying “We have reached a point in the west and the US where the faith had grown “tired”. He celebrated the new station as part of the new evangelism as a step to change this.
He talked about his own coming to Catholic radio noting that while there are over 1500 Protestant radio stations there are only 300 Catholic stations with WQPH being the first in the area. He spoke of the church’s position as analogous to the children of Israel as they first reached the promised land.
He noted the church had ceded ground and once ceded it had been taken by those opposed to the word.. He urged the assembled to become the Calebs and Joshuas to lead to help support Catholic Radio financially and to have the faith to retake the ground the church had ceded over the years.
I spoke to Mr. Vacheresse and Mr. Mike Mitchell also of ETWN during the reception.
Although the Bible and the church fathers often speak of evangelism it is very rate that it is pushed in the Catholic church, by this station and the actions of those who support it, this will change.