JOURNEY WITH ACN is our Friday newsletter which will be regularly posted to our blog. Our weekly newsletter was designed to provide us with an opportunity to acquaint you with the needs of the Catholic Church around the world – and with some of the projects we have been able to realize together with ACN benefactors.
This week: Argentina
Catholic Radio Programs
Adapted by Amanda Bridget Griffin, ACN Canada
ACN founder, Father Werenfried van Straaten, had many ingenious ideas for bringing the Church to those who could not get to church themselves, for among other reasons, they lived in regions where churches did not exist, and where priests could rarely reach.
He responded with a remarkable idea: to put the Gospel on wheels! Chapel trucks were born – and later Chapel boats. Mobile and floating churches. Nevertheless, it was clear to him that even so, it remained seeming impossible to reach all the faithful in every place.
That is why the media apostolate, and especially the radio apostolate, was an idea very dear to Father Werenfried‘s heart. Inexpensive transistor radios are affordable and obtainable almost everywhere in the world today. And in this way, the Good News can penetrate even into those regions that are most difficult, if not impossible, to access.
In places where the Church has such radio-based missions – even as far out as the steppes of Central Asia – one might see nomads sitting around the radio in the evening, praying the Rosary. But of course there are many others too for whom such a radio apostolate can the a true source of inspiration and a way of complementing more traditional methods of pastoral ministry.
The realisation that radio can be a sort of “pulpit”, from which the Word can be disseminated to millions, was something well understood by our present Pope Francis. When he was Archbishop of Buenos Aires, he established the communications centre of Our Lady of Lujan, for Argentina, also has its remote and impoverished regions where it is not physically possible to provide an adequate pastoral ministry to the faithful. Moreover, there are also many, while formally belonging to the Catholic Church, have little understanding of their faith and do not go to church, and cannot be reached via the usual parish ministry. Also in play are the increasing anticlerical tendencies in society that are attacking Christian values, which can hardly go unnoticed, and the culture of every day life.
In order to help the Church in these many challenges that are facing her in Argentina, ACN is supporting this Catholic ministry of the airwaves with a contribution of $12,000.