A small community of Marian Franciscans in Gosport, Hampshire, is setting up an internet radio station.
With the tagline “Bringing forth Christ through Mary”, Radio Immaculata launched last week on the feast of the Immaculate Conception.
The radio station, which is non-profit and non-commercial, will broadcast a mixture of live programmes and audio on-demand, from music to talk shows, from interviews and stories to meditations and prayers. The station is at radioimmaculata.org.
The programming schedule is structured around the holy rosary, which will be prayed on air four times a day. There will also be narrations of the lives of the saints, roundtable discussions on faith and culture, catechetical programmes and live talk shows, so listeners can call in and speak with the friars live on air.
As well as the scheduled programmes, the station has an archive including recordings of renowned Catholic speakers such as Archbishop Fulton Sheen and Fr Hugh Thwaites.
“We are very keen on using the mass media for evangelisation,” said Fr Serafino Lanzetta, the superior of the community, which is currently nine-strong. Three or four friars “with technical knowledge” are running the project, with three priests helping with the programmes.
“It will take a lot of time,” said Fr Lanzetta. “It is very demanding.”
The Marian Franciscans have been in Gosport for about two years. “Bishop Egan invited us to the parish and encouraged us, and is supporting us in this project,” Fr Lanzetta said.
The Marian Franciscans – more formally the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate – were founded in 1970, and were established as an Institute of Religious Life with Pontifical Right by Pope John Paul II in 1998.