Catholic radio station to launch Sunday

St. Theresa Church will host a “Flipping of the Switch” ceremony Sunday to mark the beginning of Immaculate Heart Radio in Hawaii.

The state’s first full-time Roman Catholic radio station will be KCIK AM 740. The station will serve Maui, Molokai and Lanai and feature local programming through the office of Hawaii Bishop Larry Silva as well as Catholic programming from around the country.

A ceremony will be held beginning at 1 p.m. at the church, located at 25 W. Lipoa St. in Kihei. The radio station’s switch will be flipped by Silva and the Rev. Monsignor Terry Watanabe, vicar forane of the Maui Vicariate and senior pastor at St. Theresa.

“What a great blessing it is to celebrate the inauguration of Hawaii’s first Catholic radio station on the Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord,” Silva said. “This is the day on which the great gift of God, the gift of Jesus, God-with-us, is manifested, unwrapped and broadcast to the wider world. We pray that the seeds of faith sown by Immaculate Heart Radio may bear much fruit in evangelizers who take the good news of Jesus near and far.”

Watanabe said: “This is a wonderful opportunity for us to touch the hearts and lives of the people of Maui with the love of Christ and his word.”

Doug Sherman, president and founder of Immaculate Heart Radio, said the establishment of the radio station has come with the support of parishioners, priests on Maui and the Diocese of Honolulu.

“It’s been a wonderful experience to bring Immaculate Heart Radio to Maui,” he said.

According to an announcement of the event, surveys have shown that inspirational programming has helped thousands of listeners find their way back to church, achieve a greater understanding of their faith and experience a closer relationship with God.

While the station’s signal initially is expected to reach only Maui County, further testing will be done after the station is on air to determine if the signal reaches parts of Oahu and the Big Island.

Immaculate Heart Radio is a nonprofit organization of listener-supported, noncommercial radio stations broadcasting throughout the western United States. The original broadcast signal was launched in 1997 from a warehouse in Reno, Nev. Now, the station has 30 outlets that air Catholic content to 35 million people in five western states.

Funding for the Maui station was provided by Maui parishioners and a grant from the Hawaii Catholic Community Foundation.