Posts Tagged ‘Spirit FM’


Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

Typing this 500th blog entry.

This is the 500th “anniversary” of the beginning of this blog, FOR HIS FRIENDS. “Anniversary” is in quotation marks because obviously the blog is not 500 years old but the server which handles this blog informed me that this would be the 500th entry since my first offering in October of 2008. I have been reflecting on this in recent days and thought I would dedicate the “anniversary’ post to what has been, is now, and is to come.

Three things drove me to consider beginning to write a blog. First was the decision to leave the family of the Florida Catholic. As Bishop of St. Petersburg I had at my disposal two ways of communicating with the people of the diocese: my occasional column in the Florida Catholic entitled “Out of the Ordinary” and a five minute spot daily on SPIRIT-FM, the diocesan radio station which we called “On the Air with Bishop Lynch.” In the early days, when I was a lot younger and far more energetic, meeting the weekly deadlines for the paper and recording two weeks of five minute radio programs with Mary Jo Murphy were relatively easy. In the latter case she would pick the topics and I would talk non-stop for five minutes whether I knew much about the subject or not. As time wore on, I sort of wore out. The deadlines for the paper and the recording sessions for the radio program became burdensome. By way of parenthesis, I am an avid listener on SIRIUS/XM radio to Archbishop Dolan’s weekly one hour program entitled “A Conversation with the Archbishop.” Though he probably would not admit it I can tell that there is already some stress in scheduling the time for recording his show and there are now many more “Best of Archbishop Dolan” than originally. I feel his pain.

While I was growing weary I became acquainted for the first time with two places in the “blogosphere”, a place where I had never dared to venture. The first was the “mother of all ecclesial blogs” called Whispers in the Loggia. Every day would conclude with a visit to Whispers where I learned not only things which were about to happen but a very reasonable interpretation of things that had happened. Rocco Palmo, the author of “Whispers” wrote only when he had something to say and did not have to meet deadlines or expectations (I sense life has gotten worse for him as well as he sometimes apologizes for not posting anything for several days). I like to write and I thought to myself, I could do that and only when I want and when I have something I want to share. The second blog to which I was hooked and still am is radically different from the first. Albert VanSchoonderbeek is the Master or Captain of a Holland America Cruise Line ship and for the three months in which he is on duty, he writes an entry in Captain Albert’s Blog each day about life in charge of a vessel. It has lots of nautical information in it which always intrigues me and through his eyes, I feel I have visited almost all of the great ports, oceans, and seas of the world. I don’t know how he does it every day he is on board but he does and I love it. I thought to myself, lots of people might like to know what it is like to be a bishop in today’s Church. Both fountains gave birth to this child. It also helped to have in our employ an incredibly gifted young man, Walter Pruchnik, who worked with the server and was forever at the end of a phone call from me which began with “help.” Walter left diocesan employment and is now in the formation program for the Congregation of  Holy Cross. His place has been taken by Maria Mertens who is also a gift in this endeavor.

I know I will never be a saint recognized by the Church and do not deserve such. But when a bishop writes as much as I have written, there is a lifetime of “fodder” for a devil’s advocate. Initially I received a lot of comments but when it became clear that this blog was to be a positive place and not another source within the Church for disputatiousness, calumny, slander, internecine warfare within the Church, the comment opportunity is now utilized mainly by people who express their gratitude, support, and occasionally a proper correction. It was a good decision to keep the comments private. Today’s Church does not need another outlet for complaints and criticism.

Most of what I write about pertains to our situation in this diocese and does not have national interest. One blog entry on the late Cardinal Joseph Bernardin made it into Origins and other Catholic publications and a number have been used by other authors in the blogosphere, including the “mother of all ecclesial blogs.” I write for the people I love and serve and not for a larger constituency.

There has been a lot of affirmation along the way and I know that many people of different ages read the blog. We have a limited access to information on the number of hits, how often and how long they stay on, and where they are from. All encourage me to keep at it. I find writing cathartic but only when I am in the mood. Thus, a blog which has no deadlines and sets no demands is perfect for me. There have been 1138 days since my first blog entry in 2008 and today marks the 500th entry so the well is not running dry, yet. Tomorrow there will be a posting about my Mass with judges and attorneys in Tampa this noon but today I am merely waltzing through 500 posts. Thank you to the readers, thanks to the inspirers, thanks also to my colleagues in IT over the last three years. But the greatest thanks are reserved today to you wonderful people of the diocese wh0 are often the inspiration for these random thoughts about life in our Church today. It is a great Church. It is a great diocese. It is great to be your bishop. Now it is on to 1000.



Thursday, August 25th, 2011

I began my day this morning by celebrating Mass in the studios of our excellent radio station, Spirit FM-90.5 (WBVM). They are the midst of their annual fundraising effort, for years referred to as SHARE-A-THON. Their goal is to raise at least $500,000 to support their ministry for another year and it ends by 7 o’clock on Tuesday evening. Like the several times a year fund-raising weeks for WUSF and other listener supported stations in the area, this is their principal source of funding and our station only does it once a calendar year.

In a period when the Church is thinking creatively about the “new evangelization”, our radio station is already at work spreading the message of Jesus through music, some talk, and a lot of spiritual “energy.” Every year, several people being received into the Church cite Spirit FM-90.5 as the portal of faith which led them to joining the Church. And, about half of the money raised will come from non-Catholic listeners. The on-air and behind the scenes staff are quite dedicated and committed to the ministry.

The staff of our radio station, SPIRIT FM

The first reading for Mass today was from Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians, confirming them in their faith and calling on them for courage in the face of adversity and care for each other. I could not help but think as I drove across to Tampa that St. Paul would have given an arm and a leg to have the methods of communicating with the faithful that are open to us today. How many people of his time in Thessalonica heard his words? How many could one letter reach? Through Spirit FM, we have the ability to share, spread and confirm the faith with many through the medium of radio. Now we can take the station with us if we have the money to do it since I listen to the RAYS games when away from home on the local radio station brought to me through my iPhone. In fifteen and a half years, the technology jump has been just short of extraordinary and the reach far beyond our signal strength. Donations and pledges have already been received from many people outside of the state who listen through their computers.

I hope our friends at Spirit FM meet their goal these days and I was happy to be a part of the team asking our listeners to share a ton of money with them (just joking – whatever you can reasonably afford to donate.) Thanks to all at the radio station. One of our early alumni who still lives and broadcasts from his  home in north Tampa is Gus Lloyd, host of the morning drive time show for many years and now on “The Catholic Channel” at SiriusXM. My hope would be to some day have something similar to his format. And, finally, who knows, if you share a ton, maybe, just maybe “On the Air with Bishop Lynch” might return. I should not brag, but during the time I was at the station and for the next hour, in a time of day normally dead during the drive, something slightly in excess of $10,000 was recorded. That’s a ton of money.

ps.   The picture of the staff  (above right) was meant to be larger than the one of yours truly (directly above) but I can not figure out how to reverse them. Sorry staff – you are much more important to the organization than I!



Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

As they often say on Sunday afternoon between 350pm and 415pm, but slightly paraphrased from the NFL games, “We would like to welcome those people who have been watching the Church in the US and the world through Whispers in the Loggia to our humble little commentary on a great local Church, the Diocese of St. Petersburg.” If this is the first time you have taken a peep at this blog, maybe a small introduction would help. For the first nine or ten years I was here as bishop, I communicated on a regular basis with the people of the diocese in two ways: with a daily radio program of five minutes of something less than pearls of great wisdom entitled “On the Air with Bishop Lynch” on our powerful and gifted 100,000 watt SPIRIT FM. Then I also wrote a fairly regular column for the diocesan edition of the FLORIDA CATHOLIC entitled “Out of the Ordinary.” The paper is no longer a part of our diocesan communications opportunities. After ten years of deadlines for submission to the paper and recording sessions, I was fairly worn out and found myself writing and talking about what I and others considered minutiae of Catholic Church life.

The electronic media began to catch my attention and this blog, soon to celebrate its first anniversary, is the result. I write only when I have something to share or teach. The average time it takes me to prepare a 500 word blog entry is between 20 and 30 minutes (sometimes they read like “haste makes waste”) and there is only the moment when the muse suggests I write, not a deadline. Do I reach as many people as the former column and radio show – not even close, but “hits” on this blog were rising until my five week confinement in late July and August. Now in recuperation, I am beginning to get my energy back and have time, lots of time every day, to share reflections on our lives as Catholics.

I read your comments personally but do  not answer them because in some instances I wish to avoid useless polemics and in other instances some are very personal to the person who comments. Many have offered me new perspectives in challenging pastoral problems.

Now some news. Bishop-elect Etienne has asked me to deliver the homily at his episcopal ordination on December 9th in Cheyenne. I am grateful to Archbishop Charles Chaput, OFM Cap, of Denver who as the principal consecrator  has allowed me this privilege. Most of my diocesan family remember that in the year of his death, 1996, Cardinal Joseph Bernardin preached at my episcopal ordination. I am not much more agile at this moment than the Cardinal was that January 26th but it will be a labor of love.

I promised myself and my doctors that I would not make trips outside of the diocese until after my ileostomy is reversed soon after the first of the year, but I will make an exception in this instance. I will be unable to attend the November Bishops’ meeting in Baltimore but should be back to full form to welcome the USCCB to St. Petersburg in June for their special assembly.

Finally, John Barry of the ST. PETERSBURG TIMES does a second wonderful job in four days in today’s paper’s coverage of the Holy See’s announcement about the offer to the Anglican Communion. I could take no exception to his conclusions. I will return to this topic myself in a few days when by mind is better capable of dealing with what was for myself a total surprise.



Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Lent is almost history for this year and in a few hours we will begin to celebrate the sacred Triduum, the three most important days of the Catholic Christian calender. Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday comprise the Triduum and each has a special meaning for Catholics. Holy Thursday is the night we celebrate the institution of the Eucharist. Good Friday is the day we celebrate the reality that he died for us. And at the Easter Vigil in the final hours of Holy Saturday we relive again the reality that He rose from the dead. Many people express their concern for myself and the other priests at how busy we are during these days. Well, we are, but there is only one liturgy allowed each of these days, most confessions should have been heard, and Easter does not hold a candle to Christmas when it comes to bequeathing fatigue. Christmas is a killer, not liturgically necessarily, but because of all that leads to Christmas eve and Christmas day. Holy Week is much easier on us. Our Churches will be packed for Easter for sure but sadly there will be lots of room during the liturgies of the Triduum. If you have not attended these in the past, give it some serious thought. It is your Church at prayer at its very best. “Serious Radio 90.5 FM” will be broadcasting the entire liturgies of Holy Week live from the cathedral. My homilies will be posted throughout the coming days here and I will share with you some of my thoughts each day of why these days are so important. Stay tuned! Then expect a week of nothing following Easter Sunday.



Thursday, December 4th, 2008

Think about the various women of the Gospels. One must begin with Mary, the mother of the Lord. She was always humble, faith-filled and faithful. She accepted the message of an angel and waited with expectation and hope. There were Martha and Mary who along with their brother Lazarus were special friends of Jesus. There was Mary Magdalene, risking everything to care for the Lord. Although not an exhaustive list these were among the named women. There are also others, perhaps the most famous being the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well whose names we shall never know. What did they all have in common? They almost from the beginning understood who Jesus was, they embraced his message, and they shared their faith in Him with others.


Una Mujer del Evangelio

Thursday, December 4th, 2008

Ahora, piensen en las muchas mujeres que son nombradas en las Escrituras. Debemos empezar con María, la madre del Señor. Fue humilde, llena de fe y fiel. Aceptó el mensaje de un ángel y esperó después con mucha ansiedad y expectación. También Marta, y María quienes junto con Lázaro eran amigos de Jesús. María Magdalena, la cual arriesgó todo para proteger al Señor. Pero aunque esta no es una lista completa estas mujeres se encontraban allí mencionadas. También hay otras, quizás las más famosa de ellas, la Samaritana de la fuente de Jacobo, de la cual nunca conoceremos su nombre. ¿Que tenían todas en común?  Entendieron quien era Jesús, casi desde un principio, abrazaron su mensaje, y compartieron su fe con Él y los demás. (more…)