By Christie L. Chicoine
CS&T Staff Writer
PHILADELPHIA – The Archdiocese’s Hispanic radio program, “La Voz de Dios en Las Voces de Nuestros Pueblos” (“The Voice of God in the Voices of the People”) is celebrating a decade of delivering the Good News.
“During the last 10 years, La Voz has taken, Sunday through Sunday, the voice of God to the people, proclaiming the Holy Gospel, holy words that strengthen the faith … and teach us to love,” Cardinal Justin Rigali said in a message recorded for the occasion.
La Voz first aired Sunday, Nov. 28, 1999.
The 10th anniversary celebration will be broadcast Nov. 29, the first Sunday of Advent, at 10:30 a.m. on WEMG Mega 1310 AM and at 4 p.m. on Holy Spirit Radio – WISP 1570 AM and WCOJ 1420 AM.
Jhoselyn Martinez, 33, a member St. William Parish in Northeast Philadelphia, is the producer and host of the half-hour Spanish-language radio program.
La Voz is pre-recorded in the studio of the Office for Communications at the Archdiocesan Office Center, 222 N. 17th St.
“It’s been a great 10 years of promoting the Church teaching and the Gospel and creating a relationship with the Church in the Hispanic community,” Martinez said. “It’s been amazing.”
The co-host is José Márquez, 61, a member of Visitation B.V.M. Parish in North Philadelphia. “It’s a great gift our Lord gave to the Spanish people,” Márquez said of La Voz.
He appreciates the opportunity to speak about Jesus via the airwaves. “Don’t be afraid to open your heart to Jesus Christ” is the message Márquez regularly relays.
A prisoner from the Philadelphia Industrial Correction Center is one of many who have acknowledged receiving that message. To show his appreciation for the program, the prisoner sent Márquez a wooden cross.
The program includes Sunday’s Gospel reading and a reflection by a guest priest of the Archdiocese, happenings in the Hispanic community as well as the Catholic perspective on current events and issues such as immigration reform and health care reform. Listeners are also provided an opportunity to pray for one another. Cardinal Rigali closes each program with a special message.
Msgr. Nelson J. Pérez, pastor of St. Agnes Parish in West Chester, Chester County, is the show’s spiritual adviser. He praised the program for also reaching a segment of the Church that might not otherwise hear the Word of God.
“The fact that the radio program is even there is a powerful statement from the Archdiocese, saying we know that you’re there, we love you, we want to reach out to you, we want you to hear the message of Christ in your language, in your culture,” he said. “It’s the Church going to the homes.”
In 2001, La Voz received a Gabriel award for Catholic communications for coverage of the canonization of St. Katharine Drexel in 2000.
The show’s original co-hosts were Wilma Reyes-Berrios, who is now a Spanish teacher at Roman Catholic High School for Boys in Philadelphia, and Deacon Victor González, a permanent deacon at St. Agnes Parish in West Chester.
Of the Archdiocese’s 267 parishes, 37 have a Spanish apostolate.
For more information, contact the Office for Communications at 215-587-3747.
CS&T Staff Writer Christie L. Chicoine may be reached at 215-587-2468 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Broadcast schedule of “La Voz de Dios en Las Voces de Nuestros Pueblos”
(“The Voice of God in the Voices of the People”):
WEMG Mega 1310 AM
Sunday, 10:30 a.m.
WISP 1570 AM Holy Spirit Radio
Sunday, 4 p.m.
WCOJ 1420 AM Holy Spirit Radio
Sunday, 4 p.m.