Looking Ahead 2011

American Catholic Radio began in 2004 as a faith-formation program, sponsored by the U.S. Bishops. We have moved, in recent years, from a fully funded project of the Catholic Communication Campaign (part of the bishops’ fundraising efforts nationwide), to partial funding from the CCC and the support of other underwriters—whom you hear from on each program. It is our hope in 2011 to broaden that support, seeking help from those who wish to affirm and promote our radio ministry.

The change in support does not mean a change in the basic goal of ACR, which is “to help you know your faith, so you can grow in your faith.” That’s faith formation in a nutshell! Our program offerings seek to span all aspects of Catholic life and belief. We deal not just in the history or theology of our faith, but also in the lived reality of Catholics in the U.S. and beyond.

Early in this new year, our radio production team will take some time to review our basic goals in the light of the U.S. bishops’ groundbreaking document on faith formation, Our Hearts Were Burning Within Us. The bishops give the three major goals of adult faith formation:

  • invite and enable ongoing conversion to Jesus in holiness of life;
  • promote and support active membership in the Christian community;
  • call and prepare adults to act as disciples in mission to the world.

The ACR production team believes that at the end of each program, our audience ought to have experienced something of those three goals. Somehow, the listener should hear a call to conversion, with a mention of Jesus in the course of our presentations. The reality of being an active Catholic must pervade our appeal to our audience. Finally, we must equip listeners to be articulate and empowered to present the gospel in the world.

This year, we hope to take a “big picture” approach to the program. We will be planning the overall sweep of the program year 2011. In addition to seasonal and liturgical events, we will also take a long view of “know your faith, grow in your faith.” We will challenge ourselves to select topics and show elements, and to write our scripts with the bishop’s three goals—personal conversion, active membership, call to mission—in mind.

This, after all, is what every parish, pastor and Church teacher is called to do. We hope that, a year from now, you will find that you’ve grown in your faith through listening to American Catholic Radio and, indeed, to all our Franciscan Media efforts.