One of the great, often overlooked, resources for learning our faith and increasing personal holiness is Catholic Radio. It is an ideal source of information while “multi-tasking.” Listen while you are driving to work, preparing dinner, cleaning the garage, exercising or doing other tasks. Depending on the particular show, radio can also play a role in your prayer life such as at bedtime, waking-up or at some other specific time.
The variety of content is huge and far from boring. You will find shows that are engaging, interesting and relevant to you. If you are a radio listener now, you will find Catholic content to be a refreshing change from secular news, talk radio and music stations.
Catholic Radio Networks
There are innumerable Catholic radio stations across the country and the world. They typically feature a mix of their own content plus content from other sources. Local stations are usually part of a network of stations. Each network also produces their own content. Some of the larger English language networks are:
- Ave Maria Radio
- Catholic Radio Network
- Covenant Network
- Immaculate Heart Radio
- Guadalupe Radio Network
- Holy Mother World Network
- IHS Network
- Relevant Radio
- Renewal Ministries
- Rural Catholic Radio
- Sacred Heart Radio
- Spirit Catholic Radio Network
- St. Joseph Radio
- Stations of the Cross
Many of the Catholic radio networks include content from two powerhouses: EWTN and Catholic Answers.
EWTN (Eternal Word Television Network) is the largest religious media network in the world. Their content is original including both television and radio, via every media format imaginable and in many languages. Wikipedia has an overview. A good book on EWTN’s founder is Mother Angelica: The Remarkable Story of a Nun, Her Nerve, and a Network of Miracles.
Two other content producers in this category are noteworthy, although not currently radio oriented. Catholic TV is an original video network and the Newman Connection offers instructional videos. I was delighted recently to discover that EWTN, Catholic TV and the Newman connection are all available as free “channels” on the Roku.
On the Internet too
Most areas of the country have an AM or FM station on at least one of these. Oddly, there are 2 large metropolitan areas that do not – New York City and Atlanta. No problem! Almost all of the networks also provide their content free of charge over the Internet. It is not as accessible or portable as simply tuning in your radio, but it is widely available and the sound quality is often better than broadcast.
One way to access content is via the websites linked above, but an easier way is via a free web service known as tunein. They make finding all available internet radio content very easy. You can also create your own “presets” list of favorite stations and more. Smart phone and tablet users can also download their free app (Android or Apple) which offers many features and syncs presets with your (free) account. Recommended.
Online Recording Service
In many cases, the scheduled network shows are archived on their websites for access at your convenience. Some might not be, but when they are you may have several favorites and prefer not to visit multiple websites to access them. What you need is a TiVo-like DVR to record your favorite radio shows. That is exactly what DAR.fm provides. They also have apps for your smart phone or tablet (Android or Apple).
One other way technology comes to the rescue is via satellite radio. SiriusXM Radio offers quality Catholic content on their “Catholic Channel” (#129) and EWTN (#130). It is a good solution for those who would like to receive Catholic radio on the go but lack local sources. I particularly recommend Greg and Jennifer Willits show The Catholics Next Door (also available here).
Speaking of your portable devices, podcasts are also available for download in many cases. Be sure to check the network website, the Android Marketplace and the iTunes store.
Some of My Favorite Shows
I occasionally listen to many shows, but there are a few that I seek out and listen to fairly often: