CHARLESTON—“Hello everyone and welcome to the Charleston-area FM Catholic radio station. We are happy you can join us today!”
That’s what Lowcountry residents will soon hear broadcast on a local FM radio wave as part of the Carolina Catholic Professionals’ initiative to increase communication among local churches, schools and the diocese itself (humanitaschristi.com).
The FM public radio station will be a source of local and national Catholic news broadcast to the Daniel Island, Mount Pleasant and Charleston areas; and can be heard worldwide when streamed online.
Frank Dirks, a volunteer with Carolina Catholic Professionals who has spearheaded the initiative, said the station will help “further increase the church’s reach and help us spread the liturgical word.”
The plan is to house the radio station inside Bishop England High School. That way, the radio station’s purpose will be two-fold — the students will have the opportunity to learn about radio broadcast journalism and communication, and it will give the larger Charleston community the resources to spread the Good News and happenings.
“Catholic radio is a way to be the ‘boots on the ground’ for our Lord, so to speak. It will bring our Catholic community together to support one another,” Dirks said.
The studio space that Bishop England has set aside remains unfinished until fundraising is complete. Efforts to launch the station were aided by Gloria Purvis, an alumna of Bishop England and host on Eternal Word Television Network.
“Gloria Purvis was so kind to come speak at our event this past February,” said Patrick Finneran, Bishop England principal.
The “Bring FM Catholic Radio to Bishop England” fundraiser featuring Purvis, who hosts Morning Glory and the Authentically Free at Last series, netted about $24,000, Dirks said. The total needed to get the FM broadcast on the air is $35,000.
Mediatrix, which is located in Greer and manages Catholic radio in the state, will provide the technical support. They currently manage two AM stations: WCKI 1300 AM in the Upstate and WLTQ 730 AM in the Lowcountry. Dirks said the FM station will be more community oriented than the AM stations are.
Finneran said the station will give students a chance to learn to broadcast in a closed circuit space, where they can conduct radio shows and interviews with alumna and local Catholic leaders, and even broadcast their sporting events.
Dirks said he is excited about having another way to proclaim the Gospel.
“This will help us support other ministries and learn about other Catholic-rooted missions. It is another way for us to come together through faith and Christ,” he said.
The Knights of Columbus and other private entities have donated to the cause. Dirks said he hopes to raise the rest of the funds in time to launch the radio station at the Carolina Catholic Professionals annual fall fellowship dinner on Oct. 24, which will feature Lt. Gov. Pamela Sue Evette talking about her faith.
By Theresa Stratford/The Catholic Miscellany