On entering the Radio Maria Philippines HQ in Tarlac in central Luzon, I was greeted by the familiar image of Our Lady of Tihaljina on their logo and immediately knew the quality of their mission. The focus is almost entirely on prayer, both the Mass and Rosary broadcasts daily coupled with the prayer of the church and solid Catholic teaching.
Each Radio Maria station in the world has its own special role to play in bringing the Gospel to the people. Here the terrestrial coverage is limited to a few regions of the country but it struck me that it’s real potential was way beyond that.
We have reached a stage in human history where we can almost ‘proclaim the gospel to every creature’ by partnering with technology. The station is also available through internet and an App for IOS and Android smart phones and can be heard all over the world. This is particularly important for Filipinos because the work force is so mobile. More than 2 million are OFW’s (Overseas Foreign Workers) and are often employed in some of the most inhospitable countries where the faith is restricted or outlawed entirely but via Radio Maria they can now stay connected to their faith and join in unity with this huge praying community and in their own language.
Another enormous potential audience are the seafarers. Somewhere between 30-40% of the world’s seamen are Filipinos as Maritime schools have flourished here for many decades. It can be a lonely and isolated life spending months at sea without much to feed the soul, but now they can listen in and join together in prayer as they plough the ocean and sea roads.
Most of the funding comes from the pennies of the poor: parishes and school children filling tins with coins to keep the station running and volunteers provide most of the content as well. A class of school kids might be leading the Rosary on air today, a group of college students from another town tomorrow so it’s really a grassroots and providential undertaking.
Before I left, the station Director Fr. Raymund Cruz told me news that quickened my spirit even more. They are just starting a new station in one of the darkest corners of Europe…England.
In my mind’s eye, I could see the angels gearing up for this Marian invasion of my homeland. It’s almost a thousand years since the apparitions of Our Lady in Walsingham, at one time a shrine almost as popular as Jerusalem or Rome; such was the strength of faith and Marian devotion in those days. Perhaps the Mother of God is set to reclaim England which in ancient times was referred to as the ‘dowry of Mary’ How wonderful to live in such days of restoration!
A video of Walsingham below with a beautiful song by Paul Lisney called Mary's Garden ..
Mary's Garden from maxtmh on GodTube.