LEWISTON, Maine — More than 150 supporters and listeners joined The Presence Radio Network’s staff and board members to celebrate the third anniversary of Maine’s only Catholic radio network at a Mass and reception held on Sunday, July 7, at the Basilica of Ss. Peter & Paul in Lewiston.
The Presence Radio Network, which relies on the pledges of Maine listeners as its primary source of funding, has quickly had an impact on countless and varied people in the state: Catholics who have returned to the Church after years away; many people converting to Catholicism; and those in need of solace, guidance and enthusiasm who tune in routinely, according to graduate student research.
“We are constantly reminded of a quote from Mother Angelica, founder of EWTN: ‘Unless you are willing to do the ridiculous, God will not do the miraculous. When you have God, you don’t have to know everything about it; you just do it.’ I think we accomplished, by the grace of God, the ridiculous!” said Cynthia Nickless, executive director of The Presence Radio Network.
On July 7, 2010, the network’s first station hit the airwaves on WXTP 106.7 FM, which serves Greater Portland. Since then, stations have been added in Greater Bangor (90.3 FM), Augusta (89.5 FM), and in the Bath/Brunswick area (89.7 FM).
“The biggest blessing is hearing the stories of how the programming on The Presence Radio Network is making a difference in people’s lives,” said Nickless. “We have been privileged to witness how Catholic radio is helping to strengthen the faith of Catholics, calling people back to the Catholic faith, and welcoming people home to the Church for the first time.”
The network holds two crucial pledge drives each year, including this fall from Sept. 18 to 20, and occasionally, is touched by the generosity of groups and organizations. Recently, the network received a $30,000 donation from Knights of Columbus Council 148 in Waterville. The money will be used to complete a station upgrade in Augusta.
The contributions from listeners and donors help to ensure that the Catholic broadcasting remains on the air in Maine. A survey conducted by MBA students at the San Diego-based John Paul the Great Catholic University revealed that of people who listened to Catholic radio regularly: 94 percent are more spiritually engaged and inspired; 47 percent attend Mass more frequently; 32 percent have returned to the practice of their Catholic faith; and 12 percent had their marriages saved.
For more information about The Presence Radio Network, its history, or to speak with listeners who have been affected by The Presence, contact Dave Guthro, Communications Director at the Diocese of Portland at 321-7810, or at dave.guthro@portlanddiocese.