A path of hope for the first Cuban Catholic broadcaster

Por: Jorge Luis Nodal Cordero

Primera emisora católica cubana

Last Monday, June 22, RCJ Radio, the Sound of Hope, began its online broadcasts. With the emergence of this first Cuban Catholic broadcaster, the Church on the island manages to broadcast radio content continuously from a digital platform. What was long a dream cherished, a group of young people has made it a concrete proposal that bets on evangelization through the media.

In October 2019, the new broadcaster was preceded by a six-minute radio newsletter that reflected the Church’s national and foreign events daily. The small program was distributed by the different WhatsApp groups of the Cuban Catholic Youth Network (RCJ), considered the most extensive virtual community among the young Catholics of the island. Gradually, communication initiatives increased and occupied other digital platforms such as Instagram, Telegram and YouTube.

The 1st. February 2020 in greeting the first anniversary of the RCJ, the newsletter’s executing team made a sound redesign and changed the program’s data sheet, making it a longer-lasting supplement and incorporating fixed spaces on designated days of the week. Among other sections, they began to air

Jorge Luis Nodal Cordero miembro de SIGNIS CUBA y director de RCJ Radio, el Sonido de la Esperanza
Jorge Luis Nodal Cordero, member of SIGNIS CUBA and director of RCJ Radio, the Sound of Hope

A light in the dark, a segment dedicated to reflections of topicality and a fiery heart, an approach to the history of salvation from a youthful gaze. All these changes led to the emergence of In Details, a more complete information.

Soon the news space consolidated its presence in all the dioceses of the country and created a network of correspondents who today are responsible for reflecting what happened in their territories, in collaboration with some religious congregations. At the same time, the realization team decided to create an IDENTIFICATION that summarized all the work and somehow showed where they wanted to walk. It was then that they began to make sense of radio and live it as such under the spot: “This is RCJ Radio, the Sound of Hope”.

Several friends who run Catholic broadcaster projects in Latin America were interested in incorporating this space into their programming grids. The first collaborative relations were established with Radio Fe Latina in Argentina, Radio Misericordia Juvenil in Panama and Radio La Voz del Señor in El Salvador. Today, twenty-one stations across the continent broadcast the Cuban program.

When the pandemic arrived on the island and social isolation was established as an immediate measure, the RCJ, and especially the performers of the information supplement, felt the need to be closer to people. In this way, the idea arises to transmit Holy Mass every Sunday and create a well-active schedule during Holy Week. Proposals immediately emerged that expanded and enriched existing ones, including the space led by a marriage of the diocese of Bayamo-Manzanillo, aimed at everyone at home and which, under the title Conversing with You, addresses themes of reality illuminated from faith.

Another initiative was to create alliances with the young people of the parish of Nuestra Señora del Carmen, in Meneses, diocese of Santa Clara, who have been making radio productions in Cuba since 2002. From them they incorporated into the programming the space A voice for the family, which comes out every Thursday. This fulfilled the purpose of the Cuban Catholic Youth Network to create bridges between all.

Since June 22nd, this group of young radio players managed to assemble on an online platform the programming grid and inaugurate RCJ Radio, the Sound of Hope, like any other station that broadcasts from the network. The information supplement In details, the Prayer for Cuba, Talking to you, A voice for the family, as well as the Sunday programs of the Cuban dioceses and the homily of Pope Francis make up his billboard, to which they also add music segments.

The managers claim that the first Cuban Catholic broadcaster can be heard from anywhere in the country and the world. During these early days they need to be making some technical adjustments and will soon publicize the programming so listeners can plan and know what time to listen to the program of their choice. Convinced that, because of the cost of the Internet in Cuba, many people will not be able to access this proposal, they fail to recognize, albeit humbly, that this is a great step for our Church. Ω

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