Tune your radio to 96.7 FM at 7 a.m. on a Friday morning, and Adam Wright’s voice will boom through your speakers.
“It’s Roadmap Roundup Friday, where we talk with ordinary, everyday Catholics just like you about ordinary, everyday Catholic things and how to be holy,” Wright greeted his listeners on April 22. Wright hosts Covenant Network’s morning show, “Roadmap to Heaven
,” at 7 a.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, live from the station headquarters on Hampton Avenue in south St. Louis.
On May 1, Covenant Network Catholic radio celebrates the 25th anniversary of its first broadcast. In those 25 years, the network has grown from a single station to 43 stations in five states, broadcasting local and national Catholic programming 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Tony and Teresa Holman purchased WRYT 1080 AM in 1997, operating out of Glen Carbon, Illinois, and partnering with EWTN as one of EWTN’s first three affiliate stations. Although they had no previous radio experience, Tony said he felt a calling during his daily holy hour to help spread the Gospel through media.
“We just started calling people to see if they wanted to sell their radio station,” Tony said.
At that time, the network’s audience listened one way: by turning on the radio, either at home or in the car. That’s still the main way the network reaches listeners, Teresa said, but anyone can also listen live online or to past episodes of local shows at
www.ourcatholicradio.org. Two shows, Roadmap to Heaven and Patty Schneier’s “Daily Dose of Encouragement,” are available as podcasts, too. Keeping up with evolving digital media, like podcasts and social media, allows Covenant Network to reach people in new ways while remaining true to its original purpose of evangelization.
“We have a desire to reach out to people as much as we can, because our whole purpose is to share and evangelize the faith,” Teresa said. “There’s nothing in the world that can replace going to Mass every day or every Sunday, but you can’t rely on that being your only salvation. We’re required to continue learning. I think radio is a great way — you learn so much just by listening.”
Radio’s accessibility is one of the Holmans’ favorite things about running a network, they said. They’ve heard many stories from listeners who happened to see a Catholic Radio bumper sticker, tuned in, and were led to the Catholic faith for the first time or returned after a long time away. You never know what broadcast might touch a certain person, Teresa said.
“We had a correctional center that asked us for a copy of the Stations of the Cross that someone used to hear on our station,” Teresa said. “So we were able to get them a copy of what we aired so they were able to have it on Good Friday to pray.”
‘Let’s go be holy’
Patty Schneier has been part of Covenant Network since 2007, when she hosted a local show called “Ask the Archbishop” with then-Archbishop Raymond Burke. After that show ended with Archbishop Burke’s departure to Rome, she continued to volunteer at the station until her next show idea came in 2017. That year, her son was ordained a priest, and six weeks later, her daughter got married.
“I kept praying, of course, for my daughter’s holy marriage and my son’s holy priesthood. And I just kept saying, ‘Lord, we need holy priests and holy marriages,’” Schneier said. “It was a prompting of the Holy Spirit.”
The prompting turned into the show, “The Pearl of Great Price,” where Schneier interviewed married couples, priests and religious men and women about their vocations. She recorded about 150 episodes in total, which still run on Covenant Network every Saturday.
Schneier’s current show, “Daily Dose of Encouragement,”
is a simple two- to four-minute spot that runs a couple of times a day, every day.
“As missionary disciples, we want to be proclaiming the Good News. I want to empower people to talk about their faith and live their faith abundantly,” Schneier said. “So that’s what we’re talking about (on the show) — ways to live your faith to the full, to see the beauty of our Catholic faith and experience it all throughout your day, in your marriage, at work.”
Other local shows include “American Church History” and “Modern Church History” with Msgr. Michael Witt and “Splendor of You” with Deby Sansone Schlapprizzi.
“You’re getting a lot of people, and a lot of different topics, and a lot of formats,” Teresa said. “Maybe somebody might be a better person to explain something than another person for you.”
On “Roadmap to Heaven,” Wright enjoys being able to feature fellow St. Louisans, drawing on the expertise and experiences of the archdiocese’s own faithful.
“Witness is such a big part of evangelization. It’s easy to hear the witness of a big name Catholic speaker and say, ‘I really identify with that person,’” Wright said. “But then when you hear something on the radio and you say, ‘Wow, I really identify with that person, and he’s saying Mass two miles away, or he’s speaking at a parish event 20 minutes away,’ there’s something really valuable about that — connecting our local listening audience with our local priests, laity and religious. Then they can put a face to a name, and they might have a chance to interact.”
A father of five, Wright keeps it real with his listeners, offering the chance to explore practical ways to live a life of holiness.
“In addition to the guests we have on air, you get Adam Wright and his family and all the foibles and the chaos and the craziness,” Wright said. “That’s my witness that I have to offer. ‘Are your kids driving you nuts? Good, mine are too. And here’s how I’m trying to find the same answers as you on how to be holy.’”
Wright hopes that anyone who tunes in will come away uplifted, knowing they aren’t alone on this road to heaven.
“If we’re really honest, being Catholic is actually very hard. It demands a lot of you, especially sacrifice,” he said. “But it’s so worth it. So my hope is that when listeners turn off our morning show, they are energized and saying to themselves, ‘Bring on the challenges. Let’s do this. Let’s go be holy today.’”
>> Tune in to Covenant Network
St. Louis County area: 96.7 FM
St. Charles and Washington: 102.9 FM or 1460 AM
Full list of stations: ourcatholicradio.org/stations
Program schedule: https://stlreview.com/37Mi0ed