Frequently Asked Questions about The Presence Radio Network, and Catholic Radio
Frequently Asked Questions
- 1. What is the vision and mission of The Presence Radio Network?
- 2. Who has been involved with the project?
- 3. What stations are on the air?
- 4. What programming is carried?
- 5. Is there local programming?
- 6. How are funds raised to support the stations?
- 7. Is the capital campaign funding the project?
- 8. How is the Catholic radio apostolate organized?
- 9. Are donations tax deductible?
- 10. Are people able to listen via the internet and smartphones?
- 11. How is The Presence Radio Network succeeding?
- 12. Will lives be changed?
- 13. Why is Catholic radio so important?
Although Christian radio was heard throughout the State of Maine, a vital voice had been absent – the Catholic voice, as expressed in Sacred Scripture, through Sacred Tradition and the Roman Catholic Church – UNTIL NOW. The Presence Catholic Radio Network fills that very silent void.
The Presence Radio Network is a voice for our Church, for the truth, and for our faith. Catholic radio reaches Catholics, non-Catholic Christians, and non-believers alike. Catholic radio program providers offer the teachings and doctrines of the Catholic Church as intended by its founder, Jesus Christ. Jesus promised to guide the Church in all truth by sending us his Holy Spirit. Maine’s Catholic radio stations (106.7 FM in Greater Portland and Lewiston-Auburn, 90.3 FM in Greater Bangor, 89.7 FM in the Midcoast region, and 89.5 FM in Augusta) provide the voice of the Spirit of truth on the air waves, smartphones, and the internet.
The mission of The Presence Radio Network is to provide radio programming that strengthens Catholics in their faith, informs non-Catholics, and invites fallen-away Catholics to return home. Catholic radio serves the communities in which it broadcasts by teaching the truths of the Catholic Church.
The project to bring Catholic radio to Maine began in 2005 as a volunteer effort. The Knights of Columbus partnered in these early efforts in several communities throughout the state.
The Presence Radio Network launched 106.7 FM–WXTP in Greater Portland (July, 2010), 90.3 FM–WXBP in Greater Bangor (December, 2011), 89.5 FM–WWTP in Augusta (April, 2012), and 89.7 FM–WTBP in Bath-Brunswick (August, 2012).
Programming is normally the most significant expense of running any radio station, but Catholic radio programming is graciously provided FREE by Catholic radio apostolates throughout the country. This has enabled Catholic radio to grow rapidly over the last ten years on a national basis. The Presence Radio Network airs programming from a number of sources, including the following Catholic radio program providers:
- EWTN Radio
- Ave Maria Radio
- Relevant Radio
- St. Joseph Communications
- Franciscan Radio
- Catholic Answers
These programming partners affirm the unity of the universal Catholic Church: her beauty, her Sacraments, her Traditions, and the gifts of her people.
We currently air many local announcements, short features, interviews, and weather reports that serve the local communities in which we broadcast. We may consider adding long-form local programming in the future as we continue build a solid base of financial support.
Catholic radio stations across the country are listener-supported. Our primary source of funding is, and will continue to be, listener support. We conduct two pledge drives per year–one in the spring (March) and one in the fall (September). The pledge drives provide us with the opportunity to host local priests and guests, and feature testimonials about the value of Catholic radio.
We also conduct Parish Presentations throughout the Diocese. This provides us with the opportunity to educate parishioners and inform them of the precious gift of Catholic radio in their communities.
Funds are also raised through underwriting announcements aired on The Presence. Businesses and Catholic ministries are given the opportunity to broadcast underwriting announcements 24 hours per day, 365 days per year.
The Diocesan Capital Campaign provides a limited amount of funds to operate The Presence Radio Network. These funds alone do not sustain the station and are decreasing each year. We are very grateful for the capital campaign contributions; however, we are an independent lay apostolate and must rely on the generosity of our listeners to remain on the air and growing in the State of Maine.
The Presence Radio Network is a Catholic lay apostolate, non-profit corporation, organized to support Catholic evangelization utilizing radio and the internet as communications media. We work in concert with our Diocese but we are not owned and operated by the Roman Catholic Diocese or Portland.
Yes, The Presence Radio Network is a 501 c(3), charitable organization, recognized by the USCCB group tax exemption (“Group Ruling”). The Presence Radio Network is listed in the Official Catholic Directory.
The Presence Radio Network’s programming is available throughout Maine communities and beyond via the internet by clicking on our “Listen Live Now” button at www.thepresence.fm. Listeners can also hear The Presence on their smartphone by using the TuneIn Radio application.
Many factors enable The Presence Radio Network to reach its goal of facilitating Catholic radio in communities across the State of Maine:
- LOW COST: Programming from multiple, proven, high-quality, Catholic radio apostolates, are re-broadcast FREE of charge or licensing fees.
- PROVEN MODEL: The Presence follows the model of other successful Catholic radio ministries in operations, programming, engineering, and expansion efforts.
- NON-PROFIT: Catholic radio stations are non-profit and listener-supported. This frees us from the need to generate profit; the only operating cost is direct overhead.
- COMMUNITY INPUT: The Presence Radio Network is made up of local Catholics who are active parishioners, committed to the Catholic Church and to Catholic radio. The Presence works with our Bishop and the Diocese in the mission of attracting Catholics to the sacraments and educating them about their faith. Short-form local announcements and features are a prominent part of the programming.
- FOCUS: Local stations rebroadcast proven and professional Catholic programming. We focus on representing Catholic ministries, schools, and our churches in a truthful and positive manner.
- SHARED EXPERIENCE: The Presence Radio Network is a member of the Catholic Radio Association (CRA), a group founded by pioneers who started Catholic radio stations and are dedicated to sharing ideas, experience, and advice with other Catholic radio stations all across the country.
We know from Our Lord’s example on the cross that the salvation of even one soul more than justifies the effort and cost of bringing Catholic radio to our local communities. Our Catholic radio stations give witness to inspiring stories of lives that have been dramatically changed through listening to our programming.
Here are just a few examples of what listeners are already saying about The Presence:
- “Your station brings me solace and hope during my prayerful moments. God comforts me through the various shows aired on your station, and I’m encouraged by the solid Catholic teaching you provide that leads me on the road of acceptance and trust in God’s Will….. I deeply appreciate this ministry.” (Linda, Westbrook)
- “As a convert, I find new treasures in the Catholic Church every day. The Presence Radio Network is such a wonderful way to share the treasures of Catholicism with Catholics and non Catholics alike! What a blessing!” (Cindy, Scarborough)
- “I am so very thankful for The Presence radio station here in Maine. I’ve been away from the Catholic Church for almost 20 years. Since listening to The Presence, I have a renewed spirit for the Church, my faith, and a desire to learn more. I’ve been attending Mass weekly for several months and look forward to Sundays. In a few short months, I’ve learned more about the Church then in all the years growing up in the Church. I truly feel as though I have come back home. I highly recommend this station to everyone—it will make a difference in your life.” (Herb G., Turner)
Of the approximately 15,000 radio stations broadcasting in the United States, only 220 or so are presently devoted to broadcasting Catholic programming. Recent growth has been very exciting, with a huge number of those stations going on the air in just the last 5-10 years. Non-Catholic Christians have been much more active in the effort to evangelize over the airwaves, with 2000-3000 stations designated as “Christian.” The remaining radio stations can fairly be described as secular, and it is fair to assume that a large number of these stations are, at best, casually encouraging negative perceptions of the Catholic Church.
Most Reverend Richard Joseph Malone – Harvest Magazine, March / April 2009
“Recent surveys of the beliefs and practices of the faith among U.S. Catholics, however, raise profound concern. The Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University, published in April 2008 a study of 1,007 self-identified adult Catholics regarding their beliefs about and participation in the sacramental life of the Church. Among major findings are the following:
- Only six in ten agree somewhat or strongly with the statement that ‘sacraments are essential to my faith.’
- Twenty-three percent say they attend Mass every week.
- Forty-seven percent say they believe Jesus Christ is really present in the Eucharist.
- Thirty-four percent say they can be a ‘good Catholic’ without going to Mass every Sunday.
These and other data clearly suggest knowledge of, and commitment to, the faith on the part of many U.S. Catholic adults is weak indeed. Not surprisingly, the regularity of one’s Mass attendance is a strong indicator of the importance of Catholicism in a person’s life.
‘In general, the more frequently one attends Mass, the more frequently he or she participates in other Church or religious activities, the greater his or her knowledge of the Catholic faith, the greater his or her awareness of current events in the Church, and the greater his or her adherence to Church teachings.’ (Sacraments Today: Belief and Practice among U.S. Catholics, CARA, Georgetown University, Washington, DC, 2008. p. 2)
Here again we see the great truth so famously declared by the Second Vatican Council: the Eucharist is the source and summit of the Christian life. It is a tragedy that fewer than 1/3 of our Catholic people in Maine – and in most of New England – are faithful weekly participants at Mass.
The Church in Maine has much on its pastoral agenda. In my judgment, though, nothing is as urgent as the work of strengthening our efforts at truly effective evangelization and lifelong faith formation. Evangelization leads people to discover Jesus Christ personally and to accept Him as their savior. Catechesis deepens communion with Christ and forms our minds and hearts in the truth of His saving message. Father Ronald Rolheiser, OMI, in his ‘Secularity and the Gospel’ (Crossword, NY, 2006), argues that we who live in U.S. secular culture must become missionaries to our own children. I would add that we, as adults, also must be missionaries to one another. There is our challenge.
Let’s not let our children, one another – and our Lord – down.”
Catholic radio is one of the most significant contributors to renewal in the dioceses in which it is broadcast. Some of the measurable results have been: an increase in parish participation, an increase in stewardship, an increase in RCIA participation, and an increase in vocations.
It is a blessing to have the ability to reach people in places and at times not previously available, 24 hours a day, 7 days per week. Catholic radio is an effective and efficient tool for evangelization.
“All for the glory of God and good of souls!!”
Blessed Mother Teresa
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