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Spreading the word of God on the airwaves


Distances in country areas can sometimes be isolating, however the Bordertown Catholic parish is helping to spread the word of God and connect people to the Church through a community radio program.

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For the past 30 years, members of the parish have been involved in putting together the Catholic contribution for a Christian Half Hour program produced by the local FM community radio station, 5TCB.

The program goes to air each Sunday at 8.30am, with six of the local churches involved in preparing and pre-recording the content.

Pastoral Director Sr Elizabeth Morris and parishioner Pat Martlew are currently involved in presenting the program on behalf of the Catholic Church.

Pat said the parish initially became involved with the assistance of Fr John Vildzius who was in Mount Gambier at the time.

“He was involved with a similar community radio station there and came up to Bordertown and gave myself, Cathie Ryan and Catherine McCarthy lots of help in getting started. Catherine was a volunteer at 5TCB and did the actual studio recording for many years,” Pat explained.

The content of the program is wide ranging, from a focus on the Christian feasts and seasons, to topical issues such as the Olympic Games.

“We’ve also presented programs on the annual Social Justice Statement which is published each September and then sometimes we’ve done interview-style programs such as on St Mary MacKillop, the World Day of Prayer, and migrants and refugees,” said Pat. She recalled that one time she interviewed her son who was studying at the Royal Military College in Duntroon and discussed how he reconciled being in the military and learning to kill the enemy with his Christian values of peace.

“Music is also an important part of every program and the selection depends on the theme,” added Sr Liz. “Usually it’s contemporary Christian music but last year Vangelis’ ‘Chariots of Fire’ fitted perfectly with the program on the Olympics.

“Typically there is three or four minutes of music after every three or four minutes of dialogue, so timing is one of the biggest challenges of the presentation.”

Sr Liz said Christian Half Hour was a “wonderful opportunity” to reach out to the wider community as 5TCB broadcasts to Bordertown, Keith, Padthaway and Naracoorte.

“There are many people in our community who are not directly connected to our Christian churches, but 5TCB links them to life here in the Tatiara.

“Pat and I both enjoy being able to communicate a meaningful and worthwhile message that touches people’s lives, and we appreciate the work of the volunteers who help us put the program to air,” she said.

Although they don’t often get feedback from people, when they do it is always affirming and positive, such as ‘I heard your program on Sunday morning and I really liked your message’.



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