Radio Maria Puts Prayer on the Air

Broadcasts to 30 Million Listeners and Counting

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By Antonio Gaspari

ROME, OCT. 16, 2009 ( Radio Maria, an international Catholic broadcasting service, is spreading Christian prayer, faith formation and human values throughout the globe.

Father Francisco Palacios, editorial head of the World Family of Radio Maria, spoke with ZENIT in Rome. The directors were gathered close to the Eternal City this week for an international meeting on the theme «Servants of the Church with Mary» at the Shrine of Collevalenza.

The priest explained that the network challenges the «prevailing models of communication, because in an ever more secularized world estranged from God, Radio Maria practices and takes prayer everywhere.»

The service is currently present in five continents, with 58 radio stations in some 50 countries. It has an average of 30 million listeners daily, and it continually spreading to new areas.

Father Palacios affirmed that the radio service’s work «is not a unilateral action; we pray and invite our listeners to pray and meditate with us.»

Some 200 of the organization’s leaders from around the globe gathered Wednesday in St. Peter’s Square, where Benedict XVI greeted them at the end of the general audience. The Pope encouraged them «to continue their important work at the service of the spread of the Gospel.»

Father Palacios noted that each national association within the family has a priest as the editorial director and a layperson as the president. In this way, the priest guarantees that the programs follow the Church’s Magisterium, and the president organizes, promotes and manages the community that maintains the radio station’s activities.

He explained that the 24-hour daily broadcast is roughly divided into seven hours of prayer — including the Mass, Eucharistic adoration and the rosary — seven hours of Christian formation, seven hours of human formation and three hours of information and music.

Global outreach

In this way, the priest said, each station is an expression of an ever larger group of persons, united fraternally in an endeavor to improve the life of each one.

Thanks to the power of prayer that has driven the global expansion, Father Livio Fanzaga, a presenter of Radio Maria Italy, explained that the program with the greatest audience is the celebration of Mass.

Father Fanzaga said that in this meeting, he was very moved to see the growth in maturity and faith of the directors of Radio Maria worldwide, and stressed that the force and charism of this work is totally in Mary.
He affirmed, «The more we follow the Virgin, the more we will spread the Christian message in the world.»

Founded in Italy in 1983, the broadcast hit the United States in 2000, beginning in Louisiana. From there it has been spreading its multilingual stations throughout various states. The English broadcast is also present in Canada and the Philippines.

The programs can be listened to through the internet by accessing the organization’s Web page.

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On the Net:

World Family of Radio Maria:

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