Monday, October 22, 2007

Sioux City to Get New Catholic Radio Station

Catholic radio will soon be coming to the Sioux City area thanks to a lay apostolate that formed St. Gabriel Communications, Ltd.
PATRON - A stained-glass window depicts the Annunciation, the moment when St. Gabriel appeared to Mary and told her she was to bear the Christ child. The founders of a new Catholic radio station in Sioux City, Iowa, selected St. Gabriel Communications as their corporate name because he is the patron saint of communications.

The three officers on the board of directors for St. Gabriel Communications in Sioux City have something in common besides their love of the Catholic faith - they were all friends of the late Father Harold Cooper.

The priest who died on Sept. 1 of this year is best known in the Diocese of Sioux City as founder of Trinity Heights Queen of Peace. After that dream and project came to fruition, his next line of business was promotion of Catholic radio.

Dr. Ken Roach, secretary/treasurer of St. Gabriel Communications, said listeners will soon enjoy Catholic programming on the radio dial at 88.1 FM.

Fitzsimmons pointed out that they selected St. Gabriel Communications as their corporate name because he is the patron saint of communications. It was St. Gabriel who made the announcement to the Blessed Virgin Mary that she would be the mother of God.

He knew Father Cooper while growing up in Vail. Fitzsimmons remembers that back in the mid-1990s the priest hosted a weekly prayer group. “Then after we would pray, we would talk about some things that needed to be addressed and one of those things was Catholic radio,” said Fitzsimmons.

They made application for the station back in 1998 and nine years and 11 months later their license came through last spring. It took longer than normal to receive a license because another entity counter-filed for the same frequency so the FCC had to do a comparative hearing. The Catholic radio station received the approval on May 30 and the other was rejected.

“It was the answer to a lot of waiting, a lot of prayers and then the action began,” said Fitzsimmons.

Coverage area in the diocese should extend to Hawarden, Alton, Orange City, Marcus, Correctionville, Mapleton and Onawa. The programming will reach listeners in Northeast Nebraska and Southeast South Dakota as well. According to Fitzsimmons, initially they will utilize national programming from EWTN and Ave Maria. The plan is to eventually add in local programming, with guidance from Bishop R. Walker Nickless. [...Snip] Catholic Globe

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