Pat & Urszula Firlik
Diocese of Grand Rapids Chair Couple
What are the benefits we receive from Catholic radio – and Holy Family Radio in particular – and what are the differences that it brings to our lives?
They are many, and we should be grateful for them.
Whether one is in business or plays music for a profession, stays at home with her kids or volunteers for his parish, Catholic radio is for everyone. The people of west Michigan experience countless benefits from it, and it’s best to consider them as graces.
It’s fair to say that our Catholic faith is reinforced or relearned with every program on Catholic radio. This is especially true, and important, because many Catholics have a limited knowledge of their faith, either because they were not properly catechized or because they have drifted away from regular practice of their faith. Sound familiar? Perhaps that’s your son-in-law or your wife. Others simply have forgotten the catechism they learned in school, or never had more than a superficial understanding of their faith. Still others take their faith for granted, as many do, too, the blessings of life and liberty. A woman who works at Holy Family Parish in Caledonia told me, “we welcome [Holy Family Radio] because we want our parishioners to think about their faith every day of the week, and not just on Sunday.”
Sometimes it’s those who did not have the blessing of a Catholic upbringing, but who became acquainted with the Church later in life, who appreciate it best. Catholic radio is especially meaningful to them. My neighbor, who is an adult convert to Catholicism, described her gratitude for the support that Catholic radio gives her Catholic faith, with its well developed theology and rich traditions that relate to every part of our lives. Another listener, Douglas, who attends Immaculate Heart of Mary parish and who holds a degree in theology, said that listening to Holy Family Radio has taught him so much that it is like receiving “another degree in theology.”
Holy Family Radio is great spiritual nourishment for Catholics, as we are increasingly confronted with a coarse, amoral culture. It is easy to detach from our moorings, our foundation, and to wonder if the world can ever be a place of Christian dignity, where human life is cherished and Catholic virtues are valued, not attacked.
For many who, from time to time because of circumstances in their lives, yearn for the peace and “good news” of Jesus Christ, Catholic radio is that needed help through those difficult times. Listen and you will hear it in the spiritual discussions, informative talk shows, or the prayers heard every day on Holy Family radio.
I personally have been drawn to the rich, diverse presentations on Catholic radio, whether the topic is world history, science, eastern religions, or ancient culture. Holy Family Radio has it all: shows that cover daily news, the arts, and literature; and then hold learned discussions that run the gamut from Martin Luther’s theses to the teachings of Islam, from Darwin’s self-doubt about his evolution theory to the ethics of utilitarianism.
Perhaps Catholic radio is most important to the cause of ecumenism. It offers a way for non-Catholics to understand our faith in a world where ignorance of Catholicism is wide and deep, and where that ignorance presents not only challenges to religious freedom but opportunities for evangelization.
So does Catholic radio make a difference in our lives? I think that there are many places, many ways in which it does.
For one, Holy Family Radio can renew and strengthen the faith of its listeners. I feel that, and I know others do too, every time that we hear a show. And the great thing about radio is that it’s available almost any time and place: while working, driving, gardening, cooking…
Catholic radio also is a real confidence booster because we all experience doubts about our future, our faith, our life’s purpose. As a family member recently said to me, “we all have worries and struggles in our lives, and Holy Family Radio can help us keep those things in perspective. It can shore up our flagging confidence in God’s plan. This brings us joy, a joy in knowing God’s plan for heaven.” That’s a reminder that we need every day.
Finally, I see Catholic radio as a practical expression of two spiritual works of mercy: instructing the ignorant and admonishing sinners. Every Holy Family Radio broadcast plays a role in guiding the faithful on a path to Christian salvation. Thank God for this tremendous resource. What would we do without it?
Pat and Urszula Firlik are long-time residents of the Grand Rapids area. They now reside in Cannon Township where they are members of St. Patrick Parish, Parnell.
Pat retired from a long career in the federal government and presently works at a family business. He also volunteers for Holy Family Radio and Right to Life of Grand Rapids. Urszula practices family dentistry in Belmont. In her free time she enjoys reading and travelling.
They have two sons. Patrick is a University of Michigan business school graduate who works in Chicago for a business consulting firm. Peter is a sophomore studying finance and accounting at Ferris State University where he also plays basketball. Both boys attended St. Patrick School and Catholic Central High School.
Ryan & Jeselyn Basler
Diocese of Kalamazoo Chair Couple
Hello, we are the Basler family and we love Catholic radio! Jeselyn and I have five children with another child due in February. We have two boys and three girls; Brooks (9), Bella (7), Bracken (5), Braelynn (4), and Bennett (1). Jeselyn started our reversion back into our Catholic faith when we were married. The Holy Spirit continued to lead us closer to God through many different avenues, one of them being Catholic radio.
Two years after our marriage, we were living in Buffalo, NY and had our first experience with Catholic radio. We learned so much about our faith! Catholic radio exposed us to so many beautiful teachings of the Church. Shortly after, we moved back to Michigan and found out that Holy Family Radio was coming to Grand Rapids. We were so excited for the area because we knew it would touch so many lives, and we were hoping that it would expand into Kalamazoo. Within a few short years, we are now blessed to have our own Kalamazoo station! We love that we can turn the radio on and be spiritually fed while driving the kids to swimming or doing chores around the house.
We know first-hand that Catholic radio can bring people closer to God. In today’s society, where the media distorts the truth, we need Catholic radio! Holy Family Radio speaks the truth and provides such a great resource for all walks of life. We all are on different parts of our journey with Christ, and Catholic radio benefits all of us in different ways. It is a powerful tool to evangelize and be spiritually fed.
Listening to and supporting Catholic radio is part of the way that we can fight the spiritual battle of our times!