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WDTF Fourth Annual Dinner/Meeting

WDTF Schedule

WDTF-LP, CATHOLIC RADIO


The second Vatican Council urged Catholics to utilize modern broadcast technologies to spread the Gospel, stating that “All members of the Church should make a concerted effort to ensure that the means of communication are put at the service of the multiple forms of apostolate without delay and as energetically as possible” and “Catholic stations should be established where it is opportune.” Yet in the many years following the Council this exhortation went largely unheeded.  Today that is changing. 

Just a few years ago there were over 1,800 religious radio stations across the United States, but only three of these were Catholic.  Now there are many Catholic stations which regularly air Catholic programming and, thanks to low power FM licenses, hundreds more may soon be going on the air.  These stations have helped strengthen the faith of many Catholics and have also led many non-Catholics into the Church. 

An example of one of these groups working to be a part of this ‘Catholic radio movement’ is Defenders of The Faith, Inc (DTF).  DTF was formed by a small group of lay Catholics five years ago committed to using the media and modern means of communication to spread the teachings of Jesus Christ.  Today their newsletter has hundreds of readers in West Virginia and many other states.   Their website is read by Catholics throughout the United States and in many foreign countries.  Their goal to bring Catholic Radio to the local area was finally achieved in January 2003.

After receiving assistance from Starboard Broadcasting they received a permit from the FCC to construct a low power FM broadcasting station in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia back in 2001.  Starboard is a non-profit Catholic postulate organized and run by lay men and women.  They own and operate community Catholic radio stations throughout Wisconsin and Minnesota.  In addition to assisting DTF, they have helped many other Catholic organizations in obtaining a Low Power FM license.  Starboard is not an owner or operator of these stations, nor do they have control of the station’s mission or agenda.  They really are evangelists providing assistance to small groups like DTF helping them to spread the gospel.
 
After obtaining their permit, the first item on DTF’s agenda was to start a prayer group.  DTF developed their own prayer card and mailed it out to everyone asking for prayers.  It went to every reader of their newsletter and everyone else who had distribution lists.

They then began the job of raising funds for the equipment.  They needed approximately $20,000 just for the hardware.  The next item on the agenda was planning the location and installation.  There were several choices to be made based upon optimum broadcast area, costs, and time.  They only had 18 months to get their station up and running before the FCC revoked the building permit. They, did as many other low power FM stations were doing, rented space in the local radio station.  They were able to use an old satellite antenna that required rebuilding for receiving input signals from Starboard, and they used the station’s existing 80 foot tower to mount their transmitting antenna.

DTF obtained volunteers for doing the engineering, the equipment assembly, and the installation.  They were up and running two months ahead of schedule thanks to these volunteers and a lot of prayers.

Defenders of The Faith, Inc, operating as WDTF-LP and broadcasting at 107.9 FM, provides 24 hour programming from Starboard Broadcasting as well as providing local public service announcements to their area.  Their operating expense runs about $700 per month provided by ‘community supporters’ who are recognized on the air several times per day.  Their broadcast area includes Berkeley Springs, West Virginia as well as Hancock, Maryland and even parts of Pennsylvania and Virginia.  Reaction to the station has been very positive from both the lay people and the clergy.

Footnote:
Starboard is the first radio network to be approved by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops as a national media outlet.  They have chosen to call their programming relevant radio™ – a new format of Catholic talk radio designed to bridge the gap between faith and everyday life by providing timely programming relevant to today’s world.  Starboard also provides live streaming audio via the web at www.relevantradio.com

 

Fourth Annual Dinner/Meeting
May 1, 2008  

Our fourth annual Dinner/Meeting was held at Maria’s Garden and Inn in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia and began at 7 PM.  All members of the Defenders of the Faith, Inc. and supporters of the WDTF-LP radio station are encouraged to attend these meeting.

The meeting began with an invocation by Father Edward Brienz. Father Brienz is from the diocese of Youngstown, Ohio and has been a long term supporter of our radio station efforts here in Berkeley Springs and Hancock.  Several years ago he was assigned to take charge of the catholic charities effort in New Orleans after Katrina. He worked to help rebuild that area and also managed a national campaign to recruit construction volunteers from all parishes across the country.  He has interesting stories to tell of his experience.  We were blessed to have him in our midst.  He has been an inspiration to all of us in our work for the Lord. 
Father, as usual, gave an inspirational invocation.

A buffet dinner, provided by one of our sponsors Peg Perry, was enjoyed by all.

Dinner was followed by some great music by Valerie Von Fange. Valerie has been performing as a soloist and in musical groups for over 25 years. Her unique style of keyboarding allows her to play tunes from the ‘20s to present, capturing styles such as country, oldies and inspirational. Valerie had two hits in the top ten of Catholic Songs:  A Hymn to Him for Easter/Alleluia and Psalm 123 for Adoration. Both were in the National Catholic Register and both are from the Steadfast Love CD.  She entertained everyone with her great selection of music and especially her sing-along songs.

Father Edward Brienz closed the dinner with more encouraging and inspirational words citing the importance of Catholic Radio.

The business meeting emphasized “where we are now and where we going”. Carol Ambrose gave a brief status report about our radio station in Berkeley Springs and our relationship with the Diocese, Relevant Radio, Catholic Radio Association and Defenders of the Faith, Inc. Marion Thomas gave a brief summary of the current status of our sister station in Hancock and other activities. Jim Fritz provided a summary of the other area of interest pertaining to Defenders of the Faith, Inc. emphasizing that membership is important!! The meeting ended with a vote on new officers. The following are excerpts of the talks.

Carol Ambrose
Did anyone get to see Pope Benedict, this past month? He emphasizes Catholic Radio as an important tool for evangelization. How wonderful that we are employing this tool, with the help of all of you. And non-Catholics as well as Catholics listen and support us financially.


As you’ve listened to WDTF, perhaps you’ve had ideas regarding additional local programming.  Already in place are:
Praise Ye the Lord –Alan Jemison
Around the Kitchen Table–which I host
The Carol and Alan Show, which includes interviews with Deacon John Locke, as well as numerable other members of our community

Karen and Kids 
Catholic Answers – We rebroadcast two hours each week.  An important player in California visits our area to visit her son J. Wakelin.  
Encore Presentations of these shows are aired on WDTF, in addition to our original broadcasts.

As a member of the Wheeling/West Virginia Diocese we did obtain permission of our bishop when we became operational four years ago.  

Our programming consists almost entirely of Relevant Radio’s programming with the exceptions previously mentioned.

We are a member of The Catholic Radio Association (CRA), based in Birmingham, Alabama - Mother Angelica’s home.  I had the rare opportunity of shaking her hand and thanking her for her commitment to her original goal of broadcasting Catholic programming around the world.  It’s been more than 25 years ago that her dream came true, and blossomed.

Some members of CRA don’t yet have a station up and running; therefore, we are committed to supporting some of them.  In Morgantown and Front Royal, we’ve offered prayer, ideas, expertise, and encouragement.

Our parent organization, Defenders of the Faith, is based right here in Berkeley Springs; many of you are members.  Without them, we would not exist.  It was they who obtained our broadcast license.  Jim Fritz will tell us more about the Defenders, this evening. Marion Thomas, our President, will now give us the status of or sister station, Splendor of Truth Radio in Hancock, Maryland

Marion Thomas – President

After six months of rushed and frantic attempts to make our deadline to get Splendor of Truth Radio up and running in Hancock, Maryland, we officially went on the air on Divine Mercy Sunday in April 2007.  Our joy was short lived because we began to hear reports that some neighbors were getting static and radio interference at home.  We began the process of investigating and evaluating this problem.  We talked to people, listened to their radios and then bought more sophisticated radios to the problem areas to see if they worked better.  There were about 12 homes involved, but we discovered that there was a real problem.  It should not have happened this way-but it did.  The local newspaper and several irate citizens followed our dilemma with gusto.  We attended Town Council meetings and faced some very vocal and unhappy citizens who, interestingly enough, actually had not been individually affected by the problem.  We asked for, and obtained, permission from the FCC to cease broadcasting until we solved the problem.  The FCC had already received a complaint from one angry gentleman and thus they were already aware of our problems and granted our request.

It was wonderful to discover that God had a special plan and a much better site in store for us.  We were able to lease this property and notified the FCC requesting a location change.  However, because our site was less than 2000 feet from our very small, local private airport, the Federal Aviation Administration informed us that we needed to ask for an aeronautical study to determine if our 40 foot tower would cause a problem to the four pilots in the area.  It was a little miracle that this study was accomplished in about a month.  We were told we needed to light our tower and paint it-an achievable solution.  As of today we are waiting until May 15 to hear if there are any objections to our new site.  The FCC will then make their decision…and then it will be "Onward Christian Soldiers"!  Never give up!

Jim Fritz – Executive Director

In order to keep my talk short I have provided a handout of the Executive Report that is available to everyone each month.

Carol has covered the radio station quite well.  We are operating in the black which is good. We are providing four hours of non-Relevant Radio programming.  We can always use more volunteer help.

Our newsletter, The Defender, has an audience of 550 and growing.  It has also been in publication for over 10 years and is read in more than 35 states.  We have shifted from a short monthly publication to an expanded quarterly version. Our Defender is at times hard hitting, but it is accurate.    Each issue is reviewed by at least two priests.  The three priests on our board are Fathers Pavone, McAfee, and Parker.  These are all nationally known orthodox priests.

Our website www.thedefender.org is basically an online version of our newsletter.  We encourage you to visit us on-line and review all of the available information. The number of readers is significant.  We have had responses from all over the US and from several foreign countries. We have made significant technical improvements in our website during the past year. The main advantage of the website is that it is included in the major Internet search engines.  Our newsletter and website have received a ‘Fidelity Green Light Award’ from CatholicCulture.org for excellence in Catholic Fidelity.

We are in good standing with the Catholic Media Coalition and this is an asset as far as information coming to us and information being disseminated by us.

What’s next? We have made great gains in the past few years and with your help we will make even more gains in the near future.  This can be:

  • Wider circulation of our newsletter - Please submit names of interested persons
  • More live programming on WDTF -  We are open to suggestions
  • Expanded WDTF coverage

So what can you do?

  • Continue to pray for our success
  • Spread the word about our newsletter, website, and radio station
  • Pass out a copy of the newsletter
  • Hand out flyers about the radio station
  • Provide us with suggestions for improvement
  • Look for new members to be active with the newsletter and radio station
  • Contact priests that would be willing to be part of The Defenders

The meeting continued with a voice vote on the nominations of for the positions of Vice President and Treasurer.  Curtis Perry was nominated for Vice President and Laura Haber was nominated for Treasurer.  Both were elected by voice vote.

Meeting was adjourned at 10 PM

 

 

Radio Station WDTF at 107.9 FM in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia and 96.3 FM in Hancock, Maryland
Relevant Radio – Bridging the gap between our Catholic faith and everyday life.
(Note: Local shows between 1 and 2 PM Sunday)

WEEKDAY

7 am to 10 am

Morning Air with Sean Herriott & Wendy Wiles
Great guests, current topics, news, story comer and call-in questions (877-766-3777)

10 am to 11am

Life is Worth Living
Bishop Fulton J. Sheen

11 am to Noon

Father John Corapi
A dynamic speaker about the teachings of Jesus Christ

Noon to 1 pm

On Call with Dr. Ray Guarendi
Humorous psychologists answering call-in questions 877-766-3777

1 pm to 2 pm

Searching the Word with Chuck Neff and panel of apologists
Lively interaction that captures the heart of the New Evangelization

2 pm to 3 pm  

The Inner Life with Chuck Neff and panel of priests
Spiritual direction and call in 877-766-3777

3 pm to 7 pm

The Drew Mariani Show (Preceded by the Divine Chaplet)
Discussions on current-events with call-in interaction (877-766-3777)

7 pm to 8 pm

Searching the Word with Chuck Neff and panel of apologists (Encore)
Lively interaction that captures the heart of the New Evangelization

8 pm to 9 pm

Changed Forever with Father Larry Richard                              (Same time Saturday and Sunday)
Learn from Father's zeal and humor and your life will be changed forever

9 pm to 10 pm

Holy Rosary followed by                                                                     (Same time Saturday and Sunday)
                 Holy Mass                                 (Catholic Bookmarks on Saturday & Word on Fire on Sunday)

10 pm to 11 pm

Relevant Radio Classics                                                                      (Same time Saturday and Sunday)
Bishop Fulton J. Sheen             

SATURDAY

7 am to 9:30 am

The Best of Morning Air
Repeats of the best of the weeks productions

9:30 am to 10 am

Karen & Kids                                                                                                         (Local Programming)
Music and Christian Ministry for Children

10 am to 11 am

Father and Sons with Chuck Neff
Focus on Male Spirituality with call-in interaction (877-766-3777)

11 am to 1pm

 The Inner Life with Chuck Neff and rotating panel of priests (Encore)
Repeat of the best of the weeks productions

1 pm to 2 pm

Father John Corapi  (Encore)
A dynamic speaker about the teachings of Jesus Christ

2 pm to 3 pm

Catholic Radio Weekly followed by
Word on Fire

3 pm to 7 pm

The Drew Mariani Show (Preceded by the Divine Chaplet)
Interesting guests and topics with call-in interaction Personally

7 pm to 8 pm

Personally Speaking followed by
American Catholic Radio

SUNDAY

 

7 am to 8 am

Changed Forever with Father Larry Richard
Learn from Father’s zeal and humor and your life will be changed forever

8 am to 9 am

Catholic Bookmarks followed by
Word on Fire

9 am to 10 am

Personally Speaking followed by
Word on Fire

10 am to 11 am

Sunday Morning Mass
Live from Green Bay, Wisconsin

11 am to Noon

Father John Corapi (Encore)
The teachings of Jesus Christ by a very dynamic speaker

Noon to 1 pm

Best of On Call with Dr. Ray Guarendi (Encore)
Humorous psychologists answering call-in questions

1 pm to 1:30 pm

  Praise Ye the Lord with host, Alan Jemison                                                             (Local Programming)
Traditional music of the Church

1:30 pm to 1:45 pm

Around the Kitchen Table with host Carol Ambrose                                                  (Local Programming)
Relating our Catholic faith to day-to-day events

1:45 pm to 2 pm

The Carol and Alan Show                                                                                          (Local Programming)
Hosts Carol and Alan interview Deacon John Locke and other interesting people of faith

2 pm to 3 pm
Best of The Inner Life with Chuck Neff
3 pm to 4 pm

The Divine Chaplet followed by
American Catholic Radio

4 pm to 4:30 pm
Karen & Kids                                                                                                         (Local Programming)
Music and Christian Ministry for Children
4:30 pm to 5 pm
Catholic Radio Weekly
5 pm to 6 pm
Best of Vatican Radio
6 pm to 7 pm

Hearing the Call:  Destination Ordination

7 pm to 8 pm
Father and Sons with Chuck Neff (Encore)

 

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