The following article was published by the (New Bedford) Standard Times shortly before the official launch of Radio CorMariae
By Linda Andrade Rodrigues
NEW BEDFORD — After a prayer-filled journey of three years, the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate of Our Lady's Chapel and their lay apostolate will launch their new Catholic radio station Friday, March 25, the Feast of the Annunciation.
The kickoff and initial broadcast of Radio CorMariae (Latin for heart of Mary) at 88.5 FM (WPMW) will take place at 6:30 p.m.
"Bishop George Coleman graciously agreed to come and preside over a prayer service at Our Lady's Chapel, which will consist of Evening Prayer and Eucharistic Benediction," said the Rev. Louis Maximilian Mary, who serves as Father Guardian at the chapel and the general manager of the studio. "Our plan is to broadcast live."
After the service, the bishop will bless the studio and a reception will follow.
"This is a very exciting phase of Radio CorMariae," said Father Louis. "The public is invited."
The signal of the first Catholic radio station located in the Diocese of Fall River will cover the New Bedford area and surrounding communities. Thirteen years ago there were 12 Catholic stations nationally; today there are 170.
"Over the past decade or so, a door has been opened for the proliferation of Catholic radio," he said. "Many people have received this calling, and we are amongst those people."
EWTN Radio will provide an around-the clock feed of authentic Catholic radio coverage to the station, which will later be augmented by local programs produced by the Franciscans of the Immaculate and contributors from within the diocese.
"Initially what we are going to do is simply rebroadcast content from EWTN because our initial focus is get the radio station on the air," Father Louis said. "We hope and anticipate to grow our part of the programming."
The friars are consecrated to the Virgin Mary and follow the example of St. Maximilian Mary Kolbe, who began the Militia of Mary Immaculate. He circulated his Marian vision through the press, especially in "The Knight of the Immaculate", the bulletin of the Militia of Mary, which was published in a million copies in many languages. In 1941, the saint was executed by the Germans at Auschwitz, where he offered himself in place of a Polish sergeant, the father of a family.
"He employed modern and the most sophisticated means that were available," said Father Louis. "The friars of his day worked feverishly around the clock to create and devise these publications."
Likewise, today's Franciscans of the Immaculate use radio, television and the Internet to evangelize and reach out to baptized Catholics who have fallen away from the faith.
"In a broader sense we are contributing to the process called the New Evangelization in an effort to inform and catechize a culture that has been traditionally Christian but is becoming increasingly secularized in our day," said Father Louis. "People are longing for God, and we are the means of tapping into that desire."
Carrying on the work of St. Maximilian, the patron saint of journalists, Friar John Mary is the chief operator of the station. He is one of 400 friars in the order worldwide and 31 professed friars assigned to North America. He holds a degree in mechanical engineering.
"I handle the hands-on technical side of things to keep the station FCC compliant," he said. "Our Lord called me to the Friars of the Immaculate, and this deals with technology which has been my training. I'm grateful to be used."
Father Louis said that the friars are indebted to the laity, who have given their time and resources in helping make the radio station a reality.
"A small team was responsible for the construction of the radio station," he said. "It was truly a volunteer effort with no paid staff. They contributed their own time to realize this common goal."
The new station is both Catholic and Marian. Consequently, the major focus of their broadcasting will be to educate the faithful on the role of Mary Immaculate, Mediatrix of all Graces.
"We intend the radio to be the means of bringing souls to know and love the Virgin Mary, the surest means of bringing them to Our Lord Jesus," said Father Louis. "This is our spirituality."
For more information, call the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate at (508) 996-1039.
Source: Southcoast Today