Friday, June 8, 2012

EVANGELICAL CATHOLICISM IN THE METRO AUGUSTA AREA AND MY DEEP PRIDE IN MY FORMER PARISH OF THE CHURCH OF THE MOST HOLY TRINITY IN AUGUSTA, GEORGIA'S OLDEST CATHOLIC CHURCH!








The following is from the Augusta Chronicle and about Catholic Radio in the Metro Augusta area which includes a significant portion of South Carolina (Diocese of Charleston). McCormick, South Carolina is a little "hole in the wall" about 40 miles from Augusta!

But what really brought joy to my heart is the role that the Church of the Most Holy Trinity in Augusta played in the establishment of this Catholic radio station. I was pastor there from 1991 to 2004. Since I've departed they are now on their 4th pastor! So there has been some chaos created by all that but God is seeing them through all their travails, dissent and disintegration. They're headed back to what they were. God bless them.

Saint Paul Catholic Radio now on air
Work on new local station began in '08
By Kelly Jasper
Staff Writer
Thursday, June 7, 2012


For years, the only way John Pro­haska could listen to Catholic radio was by satellite.
"It's all about bringing the Gospel to the people in a modern way," said John Prohaska, the president of Saint Paul Catholic Radio.

"It's all about bringing the Gospel to the people in a modern way," said John Prohaska, the president of Saint Paul Catholic Radio.
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That changed in May, when Saint Paul Catholic Radio quietly launched the area’s only station dedicated to Catholic radio. Hundreds of thousands of households now can receive WKER-FM (91.1), an EWTN Catholic Radio affiliate based in McCormick, S.C.

“It’s all about bringing the Gospel to the people in a modern way,” said Prohaska, the founder and president of Saint Paul Catholic Radio.

Starting the station took years of work, a dedicated committee and about $100,000 in donations from local families and churches, he said.

Work on the station began in 2008. That’s when Saint Paul Catholic Radio joined with Mediatrix SC Inc. and applied for a noncommercial educational FM license in McCormick.

After the team received the license, “we had three years from that point to make the station happen,” Prohaska said.

Volunteers held fundraisers, Catholic business breakfasts, family movie nights and a dance. In all, early efforts raised about $30,000, less than a third of the goal.

“It wasn’t really progressing,” said Prohaska, a pharmaceutical hospital sales representative and a commander in the Navy Reserve. “What we needed was for churches to allow us to come in and do presentations.”

That’s what they did.

Last August, a presentation at the Church of the Most Holy Trinity in Augusta raised $32,000. Two months later, a presentation at Good Shepherd Catholic Church in McCormick raised $10,000.

That same month, members of St. Teresa of Avila Catholic Church in Grovetown gave $68,000.

“We worked real hard, prayed hard and stayed out of the way,” said David Vernon, Saint Paul Catholic Radio’s vice president. “We got to watch miracles happen.”

In December, the group had raised enough money to order antennas and cables that would be installed at a 250-foot-tall radio tower near Lincolnton in February.

The station aired its first program in March and launched full time in May with 24 hours of programming a day, seven days a week, from EWTN Catholic Radio, Ave Maria Radio, St. Joseph’s Communications and Catholic Answers Live.

“I’m so glad we have it and I’ve been able to be a part,” said Bernie Hulshof, the treasurer. “Whenever I’d hear about the subject of evangelization, I felt guilty I wasn’t doing enough. I’m not the sort to go out on a street corner.

“This allows me to do my part. It gives all of us a chance to play our part.”

In the future, up to 20 percent of the programming could be local, Prohaska said. He envisions broadcasts of Mass from local parishes and athletic events from Aquinas High School shared over the airwaves. The station features occasional local spots and advertisements for church events.

“We want to make this an integrated station working with the local parishes,” he said.

The station will cost an additional $3,000 to $4,000 per month to run.

“You feel like God’s calling you to do something, and you say yes, and you learn as you go. That’s what’s happened here,” Prohaska said. “God really did answer our prayers. We surrounded ourselves with good people, and good things happened.”
WANT TO LISTEN?

Tune in to Saint Paul Catholic Radio at WKER-FM (91.1). It can be heard in most of Augusta; Evans; Grovetown; Lincolnton, Ga.; Martinez; McCormick, S.C.; Thomson; and Wash­ington, Ga. See saintpaulradio.org for information.

5 comments:

MHT Dissenter said...

The sad thing about the introduction of Catholic radio in the CSRA (Augusta area) is the lack of financial support from the most affluent parish in Augusta, St. Mary's-on-the-Hill. It came down to MHT, St. Teresa's, and Good Shepherd in McCormick, SC (Diocese of Charleston) to plant the seed money.

Another sad commentary is the lack of a feature article in the Southern Cross (or the Georgia Bulletin) about the first Catholic radio station in Georgia. Bishop Hartmayer, Bishop Boland, and Archbishop Gregory should have been at the radio station for its blessing and dedication.

If I were Bishop Hartmayer, I would push for at least one Catholic radio in every deanery of the diocese. The Catholic Church in Georgia must use modern mean of communication to proclaim the fullness of the Truth as taught by Our Lord's Church.

G. Marconi said...

Were the bishops invited, with the 3 to 4 months advance notice as most bishops require, given their schedules, to the station blessing?

And why is Bishop Guglielmone of Charleston given a pass here?

MHT Dissenter said...

G. Marconi (a.k.a. Pater Ignotus?),

Didn't intend to slight Bishop Guglielmone of Charleston...just in a hurry to post.

Don't know if the bishops were invited, but a good, holy priest, Fr. Michael Lubinsky, did bless the station. Usually it's pretty tough for lay people or a lay apostolate like St. Paul's Radio to make suggestions to a bishop and get on his schedule for a visit.

Given the hostility to St. Paul's radio by some of the priests of the Augusta deanery including my former pastor, I wouldn't be surprised if no invitation was extended to the bishops.

G. Marconi said...

Diss - It is not at all "tough" for lay people to invite a bishop to an event. Here's how it's done:

"Dear Bishop ________:

On (date) we are holding a (event) at (location) and we would be grateful if you would be present for this important event. If you need more information, please contact (name, contact information.)

Kissing the Royal Purple, I remain your obedient and submissive servant in Christ, (signature)."

You send this letter/email at least 4 months in advance of the event, given the heavy schedules our bishops have.

See? It's easy!

As to the absent "feature article" in the diocesan papers, was a press release sent to the editors of these papers in advance informing them of the event, or was a feature article (with photographs) sent immediately after the event? I know the Southern Cross is happy to receive such and will, in most cases, print them. Just don't send it a month later, when the event is no longer newsworthy.

SPR listener said...

What a great blessing it is to have Catholic radio in our city!
May God continue to bless this endeavor and may the station flourish in bringing many souls to Christ!
Blessings to all who have and continue to support St. Paul Radio.