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Catholic radio comes to Rockford, Ill.; bishop’s show now Web accessible

STEWARD, Ill. (The Catholic Observer) - Listeners in parts of DeKalb, Lee and Ogle counties have a new Catholic radio station broadcasting at 100.5 on the FM dial. The station, W263BM, owned by the Rockford Diocese, is located in Steward, near Rochelle, and broadcasts 24 hours a day seven days a week.

It has a translator license, meaning it is only authorized to carry another station’s programming. That programming is being provided by WSOG (88.1 FM), located on the St. Bede Academy campus in Spring Valley. Most of the programming originates with the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN), which offers Catholic programming to radio and television stations around the clock.

"Bishop Thomas G. Doran has always placed a premium on using the mass media to reach out to Catholics in the diocese," said Penny Wiegert, director of the diocesan Office of Communications & Publications. "Years ago, he asked our office to explore taking a more active role in radio broadcasting, and we see 100.5 FM in Steward-Rochelle as just the first step in our efforts to making Catholic radio programming accessible to people throughout the diocese."

Some people living in the eastern part of the diocese can listen to Relevant Radio, another Catholic network, which owns WNTD (950 AM) in Chicago and WAUR (930 AM) near Sandwich.

WSOG, the new diocesan translator station’s programming source, is owned by Spirit Educational Association. Its president, Louis J. Perona, indicated that he and all members of the WSOG family are very pleased that its signal is on the air in the Steward-Rochelle area on a 24-hour-a-day basis.

He said that he knows that Bishop Doran has, for many years, wanted Catholic programming to be available in the southern part of the Rockford diocese. WSOG carries Bishop Doran’s "Daily Insights," a one minute weekday reflection on the day’s Gospel reading, which will also be heard on the diocesan station at 100.5 FM

"We are indebted to Louis Perona and everyone at WSOG, especially Jim Enger and Allen Drake, for their cooperation and technical assistance," said Wiegert. "Without them and the help of Ron Bergman and Dr. Owen Phelps, who are coordinating radio development for the diocese, we would not be able to offer this service."

W263BM (100.5 FM) can be heard within the following boundaries: east to Malta; west past Franklin Grove to Grand Detour; north on Rt. 2 almost to Byron; and south to Rt. 30 and I-39.

Bishop Doran’s show now accessible by Internet

The “Catholic Forum with Bishop Thomas Doran,” aired on Rockford’s WROK AM 1440 Radio Station, can now be heard live no matter where you live as long as you have computer access.

The Rockford Diocese and The Observer have linked to the live broadcast stream on the Web provided by the station.

"We are so pleased to bring Bishop Doran’s informative hour-long broadcast to a greater audience through use of the Internet," said Wiegert.

“Catholic Forum” is broadcast every Monday from 10:05 to 11 a.m. To listen to the weekly program, go to http://observer.rockforddiocese.org and click on Bishop Doran, then click on the Bishop Doran broadcasts button.

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This story was made available to Catholic Online by permission of The Catholic Observer (www.iobserve.org), official newspaper of the Diocese of Springfield, Mass.

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