Catholic radio helps Marsha Beach of Mount Pleasant turn rush hour into a spiritual experience.
“Just hearing the programs they offer while I’m sitting there in traffic helps me learn more about my faith and, I think, become a better Catholic,” said Beach, who attends the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Charleston.
She is one of thousands of listeners who benefit from daily programming offered by Catholic Radio in South Carolina, based in Greer. Founded in 2002, the station originally only broadcast programming from the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN).
Local material now plays a more prominent role. Offerings include “More Christianity,” a syndicated program by Father Dwight Longenecker of Greenville, live coverage of important events, broadcasts of Bishop Robert E. Guglielmone’s annual messages for Advent and Lent, and occasional noon broadcasts of Sunday Mass from parishes around the state. They will broadcast from Stella Maris Church on Sullivan’s Island later this month.
The annual Radiothon on Oct. 16-17 is a fundraiser and chance to raise awareness of what they offer, said Gary Towery, president of Catholic Radio South Carolina.
Listeners can also call (864) 877- 8458 during those two days to offer feedback about the programming.
Tune into Catholic radio on WCKI 1300 AM (Upstate), WQIZ 810 AM (St. George in the Lowcountry), or WLTQ 730 AM (Coast, broadcast out of Charleston). Towery said they also are exploring ways to add a station in the Midlands.
Streamed broadcasts are available at www.catholicradioinsc.com, or download the Tunein App to listen on smartphones or tablets.
Michael Brennan, executive vice president, said Catholic radio helped him in his journey back to the Church. He listened while traveling between St. Louis and Spartanburg in 2003, and got involved with the project when he moved back to the Upstate permanently in 2008.
“Our purpose here is two-fold,” he said. “First thing, we are a tool of the Holy Spirit to bring people closer to their faith and let them experience it more, and our other goal is to serve the Diocese [of Charleston] and its apostolates, to serve as a medium of information that people can really use.”
Brennan said they try to run as many announcements as possible for parishes and organizations such as the Knights of Columbus, and do special programs in advance of events including the annual March for Life in Columbia and the recent Marian Eucharistic Conference in Greenville.
Catholic Radio also tries to build community ties with events, such as the Catholic business breakfasts they host in Greenville and Charleston.
“We’re trying to bring all the parishes and Catholics around the state a little closer,” Brennan said.
They don’t maintain a count of listeners, but Towery said they know they’re making an impact from phone calls and emails they receive. He said one man recently called to say he had fallen away from the Church, but went to confession and sought counseling to heal his marriage after listening to one of the programs while driving through the Charleston area.
Laurie Rappl of Simpsonville started listening about two years ago and especially likes programs that talk about faith and current events.
“I don’t have the patience to read through a lot of books and don’t have the time to go to some of the educational activities at my church, but I’ve always got Catholic radio,” she said. “Even if I turn it on just for 10 or 15 minutes, I feel like I learn something.”
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