Wednesday, May 10, 2006

The Church Gets Sirius

A couple months ago, on the phone with a friend who happens to be an alum of Vatican Radio, I was remarking about how much I love my satellite radio -- yes, again, I'm an enraptured Sirius subscriver, because I just couldn't live without Stern.

Anyways, we were chatting about all the budget/personnel cuts Vatican Radio is undergoing, and I said "We should really just start a 'Vatican Satellite Radio' channel," throwing out ideas such as Reggie Foster doing an hour completely in Latin (and taking Latin call-ins), with another hour in English; a beefed-up news roundtable, and Richard John Neuhaus' restaurant reviews.

Well, it seems my prayer has been heard. After making my Christmas morning better by experimenting with satellite radio for the holiday from St Patrick's Cathedral, the archdiocese of New York is going to have its own channel on Sirius, to be called "The Catholic Channel."

Do you realize how exciting this is?

Launching this fall exclusively on SIRIUS, The Catholic Channel will feature a modern format with an open dialogue focused on Catholicism in the 21st Century, especially as it is lived in today's world. Listeners will be encouraged to call in to talk about the issues that are on their mind and in the news -- everything from what's happening in the Church today, to the headline stories of current events and politics, and the latest in the world of entertainment, the arts and sports. They will interact with hosts who will bring a Catholic perspective to the world around us. Daily program hosts and guests will include members of the clergy and distinguished laity from across the land. Regular and previously unavailable content from The Vatican will also be a part of the channel, including programming from Vatican Radio.

The Catholic Channel programming will also include human interest stories and inspirational themes, shows offering counseling and guidance, educational programs, musical content, and daily Mass from St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City. A detailed schedule with specific programs and hosts will be announced prior to launch.

A prominent contributor to The Catholic Channel will be His Eminence Edward Cardinal Egan, Archbishop of New York, who will periodically appear exclusively on the channel.

Cardinal Egan said, "The Catholic Channel represents a splendid opportunity for the Church in the United States. By using this modern medium, we will be able to communicate directly with the Catholic faithful as well as anyone of any religious faith who might be interested in what the Catholic Church is saying and doing here in New York and around the country. SIRIUS Satellite Radio has my sincere thanks for making this channel become a reality."

Four words for my friends at 1011: Give. Me. A. Show.

Rejoice and be glad, everyone -- authoritative, genuine Catholicism is hitting the airwaves at long last. It's about bloody time.

Well done, Edward. And thank you, Jesus.