Broadcasting for ten years now as the only Catholic radio station in central Pennsylvania, Holy Family Radio’s mission is to nourish the faith of Catholics and share the faith with others.
As a listener-supported station, fulfilling that mission requires new ways of expanding its reach, and generating attractive fund-raising efforts to keep 720 AM and its programming on the air.
“We believe that Catholic radio is one of the best tools for evangelization today, because it brings the truth of the Catholic faith in a personal and local way,” said station manager Joe Nebistinsky.
The station is pleased to announce the return of its annual benefit dinner, scheduled for Friday, April 29 at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Mechanicsburg. This year’s keynote speaker is national radio host Dr. David Anders of EWTN Radio’s “Called to Communion” show.
“We haven’t had our benefit dinner the past two years because of COVID, so we are very excited for its return, and to welcome a well-known EWTN personality. Dr. Anders is a catechist and author, and he can break theological concepts down into understandable and enlightening information,” Nebistinsky said.
The event will begin at 6 p.m. with a Meet and Greet for attendees to interact with Dr. Anders, Bishop Ronald Gainer and emcee Tom Russell of CBS21. Dinner will be served at 7 p.m., featuring meals provided by the Knights of Columbus. The evening will include live music and door prizes. Father Charles Persing, pastor of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish; Msgr. William King, former pastor; and Father Timothy Sahd, Holy Family Radio’s spiritual advisor, are scheduled to attend.
Tickets are $100 per person, and can be purchased at www.720whyf.com or by sending reservations and payment to Holy Family Radio, P.O. Box 6028, Lancaster, PA 17607-6028. RSVP by April 6.
“The dinner is our biggest fund-raiser of the year, and we’re looking for a great turn out,” said Nebistinsky. “The station is 100 percent financially supported by listeners.”
A second fund-raiser this spring is also in the works as Holy Family Radio plans its second-annual online auction. During the week of May 13-20, participants can go to www.720whyf.com to place bids on a variety of items, including event tickets, theme baskets, gift cards and Catholic artwork.
As the week progresses and bids escalate, participants can receive notifications to increase their bids on items, which can make for an exciting fund-raiser, Nebistinsky said.
“Because the auction was successful last year, we thought we’d try it again. Last year, it brought in more than $2,000 with 25 items for bid. We’re pretty excited for what the auction will look like this year,” he said.
Holy Family Radio is currently seeking donated items for the auction. Call 717-525-8110 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to contribute an item for bid.
An App for That
Starting out solely at 720 AM on the radio dial, Holy Family has expanded its reach through the digital realm since its first broadcast in the summer of 2010. Listeners can now tune in live at www.720whyf.com, access the station on the myTuner Radio app, or listen to its programs as podcasts on PodBean.
Most recently, the station unveiled its first-ever app, WHYF Holy Family Radio. Its development was a nine-month process that included fund-raising and design.
The free app is available on Google Play and in the App Store, and is a user-friendly way to listen live.
“It’s an easy to use app with ‘one-touch’ listening,” Nebistinsky said. “Once you download the app to your device, you just click the icon and the program will automatically start playing.”
The app features buttons for links to the station’s website and social media pages, its complete listening schedule, an alert for program reminders, and the station’s contact information. Through the app, listeners can connect directly to the station’s website to listen to podcasts whenever they want. Local shows include “Candid Catholic Convos,” “The Family Show,” “In the News,” “Knight Talk,” “Minute Meditations,” “Reflections from the Heart,” “Central PA Voices,” and “Parish Bulletin Board.”
“We’re pleased with how the app turned out, and the feedback we’ve been getting is that people are really enjoying it,” said Joe Murphy, Holy Family Radio’s senior producer.
It’s one more way in which Holy Family Radio is expanding its reach to nourish the faith of its Catholic family and share the faith with others.
“We’re pleased to say there are now three ways to listen to Holy Family Radio. One is at AM 720 on the radio dial during daylight hours; one is via our website, and now we offer this third option through the app,” Nebistinsky said. “The great part about the app is, if you live or work or travel outside of our listening area, you can tune in wherever you are.”
Station personnel are optimistic for the additional listener-reach the app will bring, and for the revival of the benefit dinner and the camaraderie it forges between the station and its listeners.
Murphy is clear about the station’s evangelization efforts, and in urging folks to tune in.
“Whenever I speak to folks about Holy Family Radio, I ask them two things: Are you aware that there is a Catholic radio station in the Diocese? Have you listened to it or supported it, to help you increase your faith? Catholic radio is going to help you know your faith so you can grow in your faith,” he said.
Nebistinsky turns to a quote from Pope Francis to highlight the value of Catholic radio:
“Jesus teaches us that the Good News, which He brings, is not reserved to one part of humanity, it is to be communicated to everyone,” he reiterated. “That’s what we’re trying to think about as we work to expand the mission of Holy Family Radio.”
(Photo by Jen Reed, The Catholic Witness.)
By Jen Reed, The Catholic Witness