BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — The Catholic Radio Association and EWTN will host the annual Global Catholic Radio Conference in Birmingham, Ala., Oct. 14-17.
Organizers said this year’s event will have a larger attendance than any previous conference. Stephen Gajdosik, president of the Catholic Radio Association, said pre-registrations have surpassed last year’s attendance.
“I think that is an indicator of the life and grace active within Catholic radio. We’re adding listeners and stations every month. They, in turn, are leaven within the culture,” Gajdosik said in an interview with CRA.
The four-day convention will kick off Oct. 14 with a tour of EWTN’s radio mountain. A day-long retreat led by Father Mitch Pacwa is scheduled for Oct. 15 at which Bishop Robert J. Baker will celebrate Mass. Archbishop Michael Sheehan of Santa Fe, N.M., will deliver a keynote speech and the final two days will offer workshops on improving radio show production.
One of the goals of the conference is to help equip dioceses, parishes and lay groups with the most effective ways to evangelize through the radio, Gajdosik told The Miscellany in an interview.
He said there are many stories of people who have found their way back to church after tuning in to Catholic radio. And one member station from Kansas City reported that they receive about five calls a year from men interested in priestly vocations.
The CRA has 151 radio stations and Gajdosik said they expect 160 to be on board by the end of the year.
He added that in 1997 they only had seven stations, and Catholic Radio now reaches 150 million people across the United States.
The short-wave radio station was established on a mountain top by Mother Angelica, a Poor Clare nun. Gajdosik said it is an engineering anomaly that should not reach five miles down the road, yet is broadcast across the globe.