I found Radio Maria quite by accident as I was scanning for something to listen to on the radio. There are currently two stations in the Western Ohio area. WHJM in Anna went on the air in May of 2006 and the newest station, WULM in Springfield has been on since May 31 of 2008. The Call Sign WHJM stands for "With the Hearts of Jesus and Mary". You can imagine my surprise to find that Anna had a radio station. Now of course if I was Catholic there is a very good chance I would have known that. The radio station is promoted through the local churches. But when I heard 88.7 FM Anna, Ohio I just had to stare at my radio and say to myself did I hear that right.
Of course I had to Google it when I got home. Between Google and my conversation with John Koening the Ohio Operations Manger (Yes, I called the radio station), I found out the following:
The transmitter / antenna was located in Botkins. They were leasing the old AT&T tower. The radio station was licensed to Anna Ohio. (Makes no sense to me.) The local headquarters and broadcasting studio is in Minster
John invited me for a tour and I was more than happy to show up with my camera. There I met John and one of the volunteers that helps keep the station running named Ernestine. Pictured here is John explaining how the transmitter works and Ernestine who is a dear and a joy to talk with, working on a Bible study. John is also an amateur photographer and there is a good chance we my hook up for a picture outing.
The radio station was actually started in Milan, Italy for the local parishes in 1983. By 1990 it had grown to cover all of Italy. By the year 2000 the radio station was broadcasting from over 30 countries and opening up shop in the United States. Alexandria, Louisiana was the first station to broadcast in the U.S. and became the headquarters for all American broadcast. Anna and Springfiled Ohio were added in 2006 and 2008. For more details about this Ministry be sure to check out these related links:
Wikipedia Radio Maria
The following prayer is called the Radio Maria Prayer and was composed by Pope John Paul II.
"Mary, guide us in our major decisions and give us strength in times of trial so that we may, with humble courage, follow the hidden ways of Heaven, keeping faith with God and mankind so that we can bring the joyful message of Christ, the Savior, to the hearts and minds of all. Mary, guiding star of evangelization, be with us. Be with Radio Maria as guide and be its protector."
You don't have to be near a transmitter to listen to Radio Maria. You can catch it on the Web at www.radioamaria.us.