Radio Maria hits Australian airwaves

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A panel discussion with Radio Maria broadcasters, (from left to right: John, Sarah, Emily and Sherryl) in their Melbourne studios. Photo: Radio Maria Australia

The international Catholic station Radio Maria has begun broadcasting in Australia with its team hoping it will become a powerful platform for evangelisation, helping to inspire more Australians to learn more about the Catholic faith and helping to re-engage lapsed Catholics as well.

The station, which currently broadcasts in 84 countries, will broadcast online and on digital radio from a dedicated studio in the northern Melbourne suburb of Preston from 13 May with plans to expand this in time to other studios in Sydney and Brisbane.

Radio Maria’s Australian Director, Fr Sam Randall said the station will be launched on the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima which is quite appropriate given the appeals made by Our Lady in the Portuguese town to spread the truths of the Catholic faith, had inspired the establishment of the station in 1987.

The station will have a strong Marian devotion, featuring a daily “Something about Mary” hour during May as the month of Mary, time for the Rosary, the Angelus and Regina Coeli, alongside daily Mass, Vatican News, Christian music and Lectio Divina, reflecting on the Gospel reading and saint of the day.

Radio Maria Australia Director, Fr Sam Randall in the station’s new studios in Preston in northern Melbourne. Photo: Radio Maria Australia.

Fr Randall, who helped set up Radio Maria England in 2019, has told The Catholic Weekly, the Australian station has been established thanks to strong overseas support, including a fundraising appeal through Radio Maria Switzerland.

He believes the new station will have a strong future in Australia.

“We really want to reach out to those people who have either left the Catholic Church or who have never had an encounter with Christ and this will be reflected in some of the music we broadcast which will be aimed at people who may not be used to going to Mass”, Fr Randall explained.

The station will initially broadcast from 7am to 8pm, with plans to expand this to a 24 hour format over time. Each morning broadcast will begin with Vatican News and the popular weekday breakfast program will feature a Good Morning Show” allowing for talkback discussion on the issues of concern to Australian Catholics.

Radio Maria broadcaster Sr Cecilia Bernadette. Photo: Radio Maria England

Each week, popular broadcasters will include the Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus of Melbourne, Peter Elliott, who will host a “Liturgy of the Ages” program and Australian-born Sr Cecilia Bernadette from the Stone Dominican Sisters in Cambridge who has a twice weekly program about faith and conversion, inspired by her own experience, having originally trained to be a Pentecostal pastor, but converted to Catholicism.

“we really want to reach out to those people who have either left the catholic church or who have never had an encounter with christ”

Many Australian Catholics will feel at home with the Parousia Hour from 7pm each evening, which will feature Parousia’s podcast “All Things Catholic”.

Fr Randall said one of the great strengths of Radio Maria is its ability to appeal to people across faith backgrounds and interests with a rich variety of programs from “Defend the Faith” on Catholic apologetics through to “Jubilee for the Earth”, examining Pope Francis’ landmark encyclical, “Laudato Si”.

Radio Maria programs will broadcast from 7am on Friday 13 May online live from its website: https://www.radiomaria.org.au/ and from digital radio frequencies, 204.64 in Sydney and 202.928 in Melbourne as well as VHF Channel 9A.