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New Catholic radio stations for Spanish and Portuguese speakers

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Coming later this year we will launch Radio Catolica, WBNU, 96.5 FM-LP in Framingham and Radio Catolica, WGUA, 98.1 FM-LP in Lawrence.

Pope Francis has been challenging the Church to bring the Good News to everyone, especially to those on the "outskirts." Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley, since he arrived as our archbishop in July 2003, has been encouraging parishes, schools and central ministries to embrace the use of the media to share our Catholic faith and to welcome and invite those in our community to pray and serve with us.

With great joy, I am happy to announce two initiatives to further the Church's outreach through the use of media. Coming later this year we will launch Radio Catolica, WBNU, 96.5 FM-LP in Framingham and Radio Catolica, WGUA, 98.1 FM-LP in Lawrence.

As pastor of St. Stephen Parish in Framingham and as director of the archdiocese's Hispanic Apostolate, I see the need for catechesis and connection for newcomers, immigrants, and all those who live the Catholic faith in a language other than English. These new radio stations are a great step to bring quality Catholic radio programming -- local, national and international -- in Spanish and Portuguese to Catholics in our area.

Cardinal Sean recently sent a letter of support for these two radio stations, writing, "Radio is such a wonderful medium because it reaches people at home, in the car, at work, at all hours of the day and night. Radio provides the opportunity for our Catholic community to share the message of our Church with people in all of these settings. For some they have no other contact with our community of faith. I think the launch of your apostolate is an extraordinary blessing for us. I hope that it will be a source of grace in the lives of everybody who listens to these stations."

In Framingham, our call letters, WBNU, come from "Buena Nueva," which means Good News in Spanish. In Lawrence, our call letters, WGUA, represent "Our Lady of Guadalupe," who is the patroness of all the Americas and one of the most beloved saints for Catholics who have recently come to the Archdiocese of Boston from Latin America. We were very fortunate to receive these call letters.

We hope to begin broadcasting later this summer in Framingham. Programming will be in either Spanish or Portuguese for 24 hours per day. Local programs will come from St. Stephen and St. Tarcisius parishes in Framingham and from our local Brazilian and Hispanic apostolates. We will also broadcast great international programs produced by EWTN's Radio Catolica Mundial and from the Daughters of St. Paul, who have an extensive media ministry in Brazil in addition to their local presence in the archdiocese. There will be three ways to listen to WBNU: 96.5 FM near Framingham, on our website, RadioCatolica965.org, and also on a mobile app we are developing.

Given our patroness in Lawrence, Our Lady of Guadalupe, we are targeting her feast day, Dec. 12, for the launch of WGUA 98.1 FM. This station will broadcast Catholic programs in Spanish 24 hours per day. Its flagship local program will be "La Voz Catolica," which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this summer. It will also broadcast programs from our Hispanic Apostolate and EWTN's Radio Catolica Mundial. Similarly, WGUA's programs can be heard also on RadioCatolica981.org and later on a mobile app.

Both stations have just begun efforts to raise approximately $50,000 each, to fund the purchase of studio broadcast equipment, transmission equipment, promotional materials and the building of the transmission site. We are hoping that we can secure $25 from 2,000 Catholics to allow each station to begin broadcasting. Catholic radio programming can change lives by providing spiritual accompaniment, answering questions about the faith, and especially reminding people of Christ's universal love and offer of mercy.

In addition to financial gifts, we are requesting prayers that God will send many people to help us share the Good News on the radio as quickly as possible. We also ask everyone in our community to promote the station by word-of-mouth and by placing a bumper sticker on their car. We also need many volunteers for roles such as organizing events, helping select programs, putting together mailings, and answering phones and email.

If you might be willing to become a "founding sponsor" to bring Catholic radio to Spanish-speaking and Portuguese-speaking Catholics, please visit our website at RadioCatolica965.org or RadioCatolica981.org for ways to help us. Thank you!

FATHER PACO ANZOATEGUI IS DIRECTOR OF THE HISPANIC APOSTOLATE OF THE ARCHDIOCESE OF BOSTON.

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