The Catholic Church has a long history of disseminating the gospel through media. Through conciliar documents, papal encyclicals, apostolic exhortations, and other publications. She has always advocated for the use of media in evangelization in recognition of the significance of media evangelization. For instance, in Rerum Novarum, a papal encyclical published in 1891, she emphasized the significance of the press in advancing Catholic social doctrine.
The Church has continued to employ media ever since to spread its message throughout the world in a variety of ways. Pope Francis, who has been a prominent proponent of Catholic media evangelization, has also urged Catholics to convey the Gospel to the world and use social media to reach millions of people. Similarly, in his message for the 92nd World Missionary Day on the theme, “Together with young people, let us bring the Gospel to all, the Holy Father encouraged Christians to evangelize through encounters in the “digital world.”
The Church has continued to advocate the use of media to spread its message throughout the world in a variety of ways. This is also evident in the decree on Social Communications by the Second Vatican Council in 1963. Article 2 of the said document states that “the Church acknowledges that modern media, if correctly exploited, can be of immense service to humanity, as they considerably contribute to men’s entertainment and education as well as the spread and support of the Kingdom of God” (Inter Mirifica, 2).
The same document also emphasizes how important it is for Catholic media to be well-versed in Catholic doctrine and to follow the Church’s teachings. The Church strives to make sure that its own teaching is adequately communicated through the media, which are crucial for influencing public opinion, according to the statement (Inter Mirifica, 14).
The last of such evidential proofs is contained in the publication by the Pontifical Council for Social Communications,” Communio et Progressio” 1971. In this publication the Church advocated for the use of media in evangelization. The publication stated that “the Church would feel guilty before God if she did not avail herself of those tremendous instruments which human talent is continually producing” (Communio et Progressio, 127).
The Catholic Church in Ghana has made some attempts to create an active legacy and online presence. But many have argued that the Church cannot operate only online when it comes to media activities and have called for the Church to invest in traditional radio and Television as well.
Such calls have seen some progress with some work on the Lumen Christi TV project.
Catholic Trends investigations however reveal that there are a number of Catholic-inspired radio stations in Ghana. You may have heard about them but didn’t know they had a Catholic background. Let’s take a walk through four of such radio stations.
Nabiina FM 90.7MHz is located in the Navrongo-Bolgatanga Diocese of Ghana. Tono to be specific. Catholic Trends gathered very little information on the current state and history of the station. We understand that it at a point was the only voice of the people within its catchment area and operates as a Catholic-inspired community radio.
Radio Progress happens to be the first radio and community radio station in the Upper West Region. In December 2022, the station launched its 25th-anniversary celebration with a call on stakeholders to support the services of community radio stations to ensure they work effectively for the development of their respective communities and the nation at large.
The anniversary was on the theme “Radio Progress @25, a star of development of the Upper West Region’’.
Radio Progress was established in 1997. It started as a social community department of the Catholic Church in Wa and later became the first radio station in the region that broadcast its own programs until the establishment of Radio Upper West and other radio stations.
Radio Peace and Development, also known as PAD FM is a community base radio station in Damongo transmitting on the frequency of 95. 1 MHZ with the sole aim of bringing radio to the grass root level for equal opportunity to all in its catchment area.
Pad FM since its inception has changed a lot of things positively through the programs that are running at the station.
The listener-ship of Pad FM has grown strongly and all the programs are doing massively well in educating, informing and entertaining the people as well, programs like Community affairs, My Home, Pad stream, What’s It, Sleep No Catch You, the newest of all is Personality Profile which also caught up with people and a host of other programs.
Pax 96.5 fm, a non-profit radio station operating from Elmina seeks to inspire its listeners to an active practice of faith and promoting prayer providing human and Christian formation programs encouraging voluntarism, stewardship and trust in the divine. Catholic Trends understands that the station is sponsored by a Catholic community outside Ghana.
An article by DEPSOCOM Director of the Sekondi -Takoradi Diocese, Fr. Emmanuel Dolphyne – “Catholic media evangelization in Ghana, all hands on deck” contributed to this writeup.