November 11, 2022

Catholic Radio Indy announces acquisition of two new stations

Msgr. Joseph Schaedel, right, speaks on Oct. 18 to attendees of the annual Catholic Radio Indy fundraising dinner after receiving the radio apostolate’s Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen Evangelist of the Year Award. (Photo by Sean Gallagher)

Msgr. Joseph Schaedel, right, speaks on Oct. 18 to attendees of the annual Catholic Radio Indy fundraising dinner after receiving the radio apostolate’s Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen Evangelist of the Year Award. (Photo by Sean Gallagher)

By Sean Gallagher

CARMEL, IND.—Catholic Radio Indy keeps growing and growing.

When it went on the air initially in 2004, it had one frequency (89.1 FM) that could be heard by 1.1 million people and about 150,000 Catholics on the west side of Indianapolis and in counties west of the city.

Through the years, two more frequencies were added that could be heard north of Indianapolis in Noblesville, Ind., and Anderson, Ind.

At its annual fundraising dinner on Oct. 18 in Carmel, Ind., Catholic Radio Indy general manager Gordon Smith announced that two new stations have been acquired by the radio apostolate: 89.5 FM in Franklin—formerly the radio station of Franklin College—and 94.3 FM in Lafayette, Ind.

“This is a huge deal,” said Smith in a press release about the acquisitions. “Catholic Radio Indy is positioned to become the premiere go-to for Catholic media and programming, and ultimately bring more souls to Christ through our local Catholic media network.”

The Franklin station is now on the air with Catholic programming. Final approval from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for the Lafayette station is expected to come in the next couple of months. A request has also been made to the FCC to expand the coverage area of 89.5 FM. If it is granted, that station is expected to be heard throughout much of Marion County and areas south of Franklin.

These two new frequencies will cover an area with a population of nearly 3 million people and nearly 400,000 Catholics.

“Mother Angelica said, ‘Unless you are willing to do the ridiculous, God will not do the miraculous,’ ” said Smith at the dinner, referring the late Poor Clare nun who founded the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN). “When you have God, you don’t have to know everything about it, you just do it. And we’ve done so intentionally and incrementally over these past [18] years.”

Catholic Radio Indy broadcasts EWTN programming but also has an increasing number of shows that are locally produced.

“We take seriously our responsibility to save souls,” Smith said. “We want to remain relevant to our audience by providing local programming and, at the same time, provide a lot of important programming that comes from EWTN.”

Msgr. Joseph Schaedel was honored during the dinner with Catholic Radio Indy’s annual Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen Evangelist of the Year Award.

The current pastor of St. Luke the Evangelist Parish in Indianapolis was archdiocesan vicar general in late 1999 when Catholic Radio Indy founder Robert Teipen approached him about his desire to start a Catholic radio station in Indianapolis.

Msgr. Schaedel, who had worked as a radio broadcaster as a young adult before being ordained, was enthusiastic about the idea.

“I always thought radio was a very effective tool of communication because it’s so versatile,” he said in an interview with The Criterion prior to the dinner. “You can listen to the radio anywhere.”

Through the 18 years that Catholic Radio Indy has been on the air, Msgr. Schaedel has advised its leadership and been glad to see its growth and success.

“It’s a proof of the need and hunger for instruction and evangelization among people,” he said. “They don’t get anywhere if they don’t have a lot of listeners. There are a lot of people who are listening. And once they listen, they want to get involved and be supportive.”

Grace Trahan-Rodecap, who was a broadcast journalist at WRTV Channel 6 in Indianapolis for 18 years, was the keynote speaker at the dinner.

A member of St. Monica Parish and the director of marketing since 2018 for Cathedral High School, both in Indianapolis, Trahan-Rodecap told the more than 200 people attending the dinner how grateful she is to work at a Catholic school.

“We start the day with prayer, and we end the day with prayer,” she said. “We start meetings with prayer. We go to Mass together as a school. I’m surrounded by like-minded people. I can talk about my faith openly and be supported.”

Trahan-Rodecap noted how she experiences a “sense of peace” in her work now that she never had as a broadcaster.

“I get that sense of peace because I stay in the truth,” she said. “The truth is the real source, and the faith is the real source that we should get our news from—the good news.

“That’s why Catholic radio and Catholic newspapers and Catholic magazines have never been more important than they are today. There are so many forces out there that are dividing us and pulling us away from what really matters and from that truth.

“When you want to come back to the truth, come back to your Catholic media.”
 

(For more information on Catholic Radio Indy, to listen to it online, to learn other ways to listen or to donate, visit catholicradioindy.org.)

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