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.

Also speaking was Mr. David V. Vacheresse the General Manager of EWTN Global Catholic radio who came up from Alabama for this event.

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.

One of my friends attends a Catholic church in a large city (not Boston).  This Church has never made political statements, never invoked God in politics, and the congregation is of the sort to listen respectfully.

Last Sunday, the priest asked for a special intention: “May God grant us a different President in November!” Cue wild applause from the congregation.

Yeah, priests aren’t supposed to advocate for political positions from the pulpit, as a condition as a requirement of remaining a 501(c)(3). But when Washington dictates to 501(c)(3)s what they can and cannot believe, and attempts to score political points off of them, those groups will speak out rather than silently endure the outrage against their core beliefs.We generally assume that Washington does not have any place in telling religious groups what they can believe, so religious groups don’t have any business talking about Washington. But a large, intrusive government changes that dynamic.

Let me also remind our election-watchers that Obama got 54% of the Catholic vote, compared to McCain’s 45%, in November of 2008.  Amongst Catholics who attend church weekly, it was a dead heat at 50-49 for Obama. (I will note, however, that McCain won amongst people who attend church at least once a week, while Obama won among those who attend monthly, yearly, or not at all – but that McCain’s margin of victory amongst those who attend weekly was relatively small: 55% to 43%.)  If Obama alienates people who go to church at least once a month (i.e. have some gut-level feeling that the HHS shouldn’t be mucking around in what religions can and cannot do with their health insurance), he’s lost the election.

One of the things that we worried about in 2009 was that the Administration’s various tactics – the “shovel-ready” stimulus, cramming through ObamaCare right before Christmas when no one was watching, the Cornhusker Kickback, cap-and-trade during a recession – would be forgotten by the time November 2010 rolled around.  We worried that Bin Laden’s death would assure him reelection, or at least popularity. Then we worried that Obama would triangulate.  Then we worried that he would, miraculously, stop being such a raging ideologue. But it’s February of 2012, a mere nine months before the election, and the Obama Administration is busy doing a Martha Coakley and flipping off Catholics.

Today’s Saturday Diner is the West End Diner 247 West Street in Leominster mass.

I was unaware it was an award-winning location:

Best new restaurant 2006

The very first thing I noticed was the giant menu board

Forgot my glasses today but it didn't matter here

All of the specials are in large letters all over the walls, that’s very good since I forgot my glasses again today and must be very handy for any older customers.

Many places to eat have HD TV’s in their places but in a retro move the individual booths have small Monitors with their own controllers.

They are incredibly creative from the individually named stools to the ceiling tiles.

Oh and you’ve heard of “Hungry Man Specials”? Well they have a hungry man special to end all specials:

Now THAT'S a hungry man special!

Of course in the end, the way you judge a diner is the food…

#2 special Sans Watermelon slice $5.75

and the food was GREAT! The eggs were exactly how I like them and the pancakes were better than most. Lots of places tend to give you giant pancakes with a small taste, these are normal sized pancakes with an over-sized taste.

Without a question this place makes my top three Diners since I’ve began the feature. I very much recommend it.