Archbishop debuts new radio show

by Joe Bollig
joe.bollig@theleaven.org

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — There are stories about saints who had the ability to bilocate — appearing or seeming to appear in two places at once.

But Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann’s got them beat. He can be nearly everywhere and with every person in the archdiocese three times a week.

And the only thing needed to make it happen is a radio.

On Feb. 14, Archbishop Naumann began appearing on “The Shepherd’s Voice,” a half-hour radio program that is aired three times a week on KEXS AM 1090. The station is providing the time to the archbishop for free.

The archbishop explained to The Leaven why he decided to join the “air force” on the Feb. 14 and 21 programs.

“I think this is an opportunity for me as the archbishop who ultimately has the responsibility for the pastoral care of all the people in the archdiocese to communicate with many of those members of my flock,” he said.

“So I’m grateful for Catholic radio and so delighted to have Catholic radio in the [Greater Kansas City] metropolitan area,” he continued. “I have this opportunity to speak and hopefully exercise my part of my responsibility as a teacher of the faith and also as a pastor, a spiritual guide.”

The archbishop is the host of the program, but he has support from the tag team of Carroll Macke, director of communications and planning, and Bill Scholl, consultant for the office of social justice.

He also hosts guests. His first two were Michael Podrebarac, consultant for the archdiocesan liturgy office, and vocation director Father Mitchel Zimmerman. Ron Kelsey, consultant for the archdiocesan pro-life office, will appear on Feb. 28.

The prerecorded program is divided into three segments. In the first, the archbishop speaks directly on a topic. In the second, a guest discusses a current issue or topic. And in the third, the archbishop answers questions. The questions have to be submitted in writing and in advance by e-mail to: ASKAB@archkck.org.

The program is first aired on a Sunday, and repeated on Tuesdays and Thursdays (See sidebar).

“This gives the people a chance to have access to their shepherd,” said Scholl.

The first tapings have gone very well, he said.

“The archbishop is a natural talent,” said Scholl. “He has been interviewed on all types of national television and radio shows. Usually it takes a while for people to get used to it, but he took to it like a duck to water.”

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