Photo by Alan M. Dumoff, more photos ccdphotolibrary.smugmug.com
Deacon Michael Kolakowski of Our Lady Star of the Sea, Cape May, reads intentions April 8 in Whitesboro, during the blessing of WSMJ radio station, 91.9 FM, which was begun by local Catholics and broadcasts EWTN programming. Bishop Dennis Sullivan, far right, led the blessing and toured the site.
WHITESBORO — Bishop Dennis Sullivan blessed the new satellite dish and transmitter here for the new Catholic radio station in Cape May County, WSMJ 91.9 FM on April 8.
“We’re announcing to the world that we’re here,” said an excited Rita Tice, who first had the idea of the radio station five years ago when she saw Mother Angelica on the EWTN television network urge viewers to start their own affiliate stations in their area.
“This was something she needed to do,” said her husband, Mike.
The two of them, parishioners of Our Lady Star of the Sea in Cape May Court House, are a part of Soul Mates for Jesus, a group of parishioners who have met for the past decade, sharing faith and fellowship.
With the help of several local parishes, the group raised the money to acquire equipment, and the license last week, to spread the Gospel message throughout the county.
As an EWTN affiliate, the station currently broadcasts the television network’s radio programming 24/7, but WSMJ hopes to soon produce original content for the station.
Now, in its 28th year, EWTN has become the largest religious media network in the world, transmitting programming 24 hours a day to more than 148 million homes in 144 countries and territories on more than 4,800 cable systems, wireless cable, Direct Broadcast Satellite (DBS), low power TV and individual satellite users.
In his blessing, Bishop Sullivan thanked all who contributed to the start of the radio station.
As the day of the blessing was also the feast of the Annunciation, when the angel Gabriel announced to Mary that she was to give birth to Jesus, Bishop Sullivan remarked that “just as Mary received and shared the Good News, so will WSMJ.”
During his visit, Bishop Sullivan was given a tour of the equipment, which includes dish, transmitter and tower.
The Soul Mates for Jesus mission statement is: “Soul Mates for Jesus is a non-profit corporation dedicated to teaching the Truth as defined by the magisterium of the Roman Catholic Church through radio communications. Led by the Holy Spirit, we seek to bring knowledge and counsel into our lives through the eternal and everlasting words of God.”
The tower the station is transmitting from is located on Indian Trail Road, Burleigh. The station is non-commercial.
Among those who gathered for the blessing were Msgr. Timothy Ryan of St. John Neumann Parish, North Cape May; Msgr. John Frey, pastor, St. Brendan the Navigator, Avalon; Father Michael Field, pastor, Notre Dame de la Mer, Wildwood; and Father Thomas McGee, Deacon Michael Kolakowski and Sister Maria Metzger, all from Our Lady Star of the Sea.