Earlier this year, Terry Barber and Jesse Romero received the news that their call-in Catholic apologetics radio program, The Terry & Jesse Show, had been dropped from the Relevant Radio network line-up broadcast on AM-FM stations nationwide. The show, which had aired on the Immaculate Heart Radio network for more than five years, was one of several shows dropped when Immaculate Heart merged with Relevant Radio last year; others included Heart to Heart with Mother Miriam and Catholic Answers Live.
More recently, Barber and Romero have joined with other prominent Catholic apologists to launch a new online radio network, Virgin Most Powerful. The network features online streaming of The Terry and Jesse Show, as well as other apologetics-based programming, at www.terryandjesse.com or on the new station’s iPhone app.
“Jesse and I are two ‘on fire’ Catholic men providing a high-energy Catholic radio show, and this new network is a way to broadcast our show by other means,” said Barber.
Barber is a Southern California resident and retired realtor who founded the Catholic apologetics organizations Saint Joseph Communications, Lighthouse Catholic Media, and the Catholic Resource Center. He played a key role in bringing Immaculate Heart Radio to the Los Angeles market on AM 930, and provided Catholic content to Immaculate Heart Radio—now Relevant Radio—for 11 years.
While Barber said he was “disappointed” at his show’s cancellation on Relevant Radio, it did prompt him to launch Virgin Most Powerful.
New programs will be added to Virgin Most Powerful in the upcoming weeks, Barber says. Among them is Happy Hour with Catholic apologist Matthew Arnold, which will include guests and callers. Arnold said, “My show will be about communicating the joy of being Catholic as expressed through the truth, beauty, and goodness found in the Church’s teaching, Catholic art, music and culture, the wisdom and example of the saints.”
Another new show slated to go live soon is Chatting at the Bar of History with Dr. Ed Mazza, a professor in the Department of History and Political Science at Azusa Pacific University. The program will “powerfully present the truth about the Church’s glorious past,” Mazza said, with “compelling stories of the saints, sinners, great events, and quiet moments of Catholic history, and what they mean for you today.”
Hopes for expansion
Barber hopes the new network will be broadcasting 24-7 this summer. In addition to live programs, Barber has amassed a large library of Catholic audio programs from his years of apologetics work, which will be aired throughout the day. His archives include Catholic speakers such as Scott Hahn, Father Benedict Groeschel, Father Don Calloway, and Bishop Fulton Sheen.
“Our programming is hard-hitting,” said Barber, “and has built up a loyal following and favorably impacted many lives.”
Imitating the model Mother Angelica and EWTN developed decades before, Virgin Most Powerful will create content and make it available free for broadcast to any outlet open to airing it. Barber hopes AM-FM stations nationwide that air religious content will pick up the programming and broadcast it to their communities.
While AM-FM is still the best way for new listeners to “stumble across” the network, Arnold said, increasingly listeners are turning to the Internet for programming.
Barber welcomes monthly donations to fund the new network. He said, “We hope that people will remember us in their prayers, and if they have benefited from Catholic radio themselves, will contribute financially so that others may benefit as they have.”
Arnold added, “We’re stepping out in faith, putting ourselves in the hands of Providence and the Blessed Virgin, and hoping many supporters will like what they hear communicated.”
Arnold noted that in his many years of Catholic apologetics, he’s observed that Catholic radio has played an important role in the conversion and growth of many in the Catholic faith.
“Catholic radio is a catalyst, a signpost that points to Jesus Christ and his Church,” he said. “I have met many people who have entered into or returned to the practice of the faith, learned to defend their faith, begun actively studying the Bible, and attending Mass regularly through the influence of Catholic radio.”