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New online radio network sees no reason to reinvent the wheel

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Virgin Most Powerful is featuring a variety of original Catholic programs -- "just helping people fall in love."

It is not rare to come across a Catholic who is full of faith and zeal, having recently found or returned to the Church. Many times, the stories behind these on-fire disciples have a common denominator: Someone heard something on the radio that touched their hearts and moved them to action.

A certainty about the power of radio ministry has led a group of Catholic apologists in California led by Terry Barber to launch a new online radio network, Virgin Most Powerful, featuring a variety of original Catholic programs.

The programs can be accessed live, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Past programs are archived on the network’s site, or can be heard on the network’s YouTube channel.

Barber launched the network this year after his The Terry and Jesse Show, a radio program he hosts along with apologist Jesse Romero, was dropped from the Relevant Radio network line-up broadcast on AM-FM stations nationwide.

“Jesse and I are two Catholic men very much in love with the Lord who are using our show and the network to share that love with others,” Barber said. His plan is to have the network provide programming 24/7, with 80 percent original programming, and to have radio stations pick up the programs for re-broadcast worldwide.

Barber’s background is in real estate, but his true passion is Catholic apologetics.  He has founded a variety of apostolates, including St. Joseph Communications, Lighthouse Catholic Media, and the Catholic Resource Center. He spearheaded the effort to bring Immaculate Heart Radio—now Relevant Radio—to the Los Angeles market via AM930, and sees the new network as the next step in his apologetics work.

Barber remarked, “St. Augustine said, ‘To fall in love with God is the greatest romance, to seek him the greatest adventure, to find him, the greatest human achievement.’ That’s my purpose with this network, and what gives me the greatest satisfaction in what I do: to help people fall in love with God.”

Current programming includes The Terry and Jesse Show and Jesus 911, which features Romero and two other retired law enforcement officers discussing such topics as spiritual warfare and deliverance. Barber does a weekly Bible study with his wife, Mary Dannielle Barber, MA, Bible with the Barbers, Azusa Pacific University Professor Ed Mazza hosts The Bar of History and Gary Michuta hosts Hands on Apologetics.

HAVING THE TIME OF MY LIFE

Taking the noon to 1 p.m. slot on weekdays is Catholic apologist Matthew Arnold who hosts his program Happy Hour. He’s discussed such topics as the Rosary, Christian perfection and the universal call to holiness, chivalry, atheism, the New Age movement, scandal in the Church and the two forms of the Roman Rite of the Mass. He said that he’s received an “overwhelmingly positive” response from listeners, and that “I’m having the time of my life.”

He had two reasons for naming the show Happy Hour, he noted: “First, because the Scriptures tell us to ‘rejoice always’ regardless of our circumstances or historical situation. I think of all people, Catholics have reason to be happy because we have the grace of the sacraments and the fullness of the faith. Secondly, I wanted the program to be a candid conversation between me and the listener, the kind of conversation two friends would have over a pint in a pub. And I hope that’s how each person hears it.”

Among the regular features of his program, Arnold said, are selections with commentary on the spiritual classic The Imitation of Christ by Thomas á Kempis.  While writing long ago, Kempis “had a profound understanding of human nature, and a deep, personal relationship with Christ. His insights into the spiritual life ring as true today as they did in the 1400s. Thomas was a follower of a late medieval spiritual movement called the Devotio Moderna or ‘modern devotion’ and his work is a powerful reminder that all men are ‘modern’ men in their own lifetimes.”

Traditional spirituality reveals that the problems society faces today have been common throughout history, Arnold said, so solutions to those problems are the same as well.

He continued, “We do not have to reinvent the wheel. I’m simply reminding people that the Ten Commandments are still in effect, the seven sacraments are still the means by which Christ communicates His grace to a fallen world, and the theological and moral virtues are still the best response to the deadly sins.”

Arnold began working in Catholic radio two decades ago as a host and producer.  He’s since spoken with many who have told him of the pivotal role Catholic radio has made in their lives: “People have emailed or called to say they have entered the Church, or returned to the practice of the Faith. Some have gone to Confession after years of being burdened by guilt. Some have started regular Eucharistic Adoration, or attending daily Mass, or praying the family Rosary. All of these life-changing stories have in common the fact that someone heard something on the radio that touched their hearts and moved them to action.”

Virgin Most Powerful radio is a donor-supported apostolate. To support the organization, visit the website or call (877) 526-2151.

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