.- Immaculate Heart Radio network listeners who responded to a survey say they are more active in their parishes as a direct result of listening to Catholic radio.
The California-based radio network has 24 stations in northern and central California and New Mexico as well as in the cities of Reno, Salt Lake City and Phoenix. The network carries 18 hours of programming from EWTN every day.
The survey was commissioned by the radio network to measure the impact of its programming. Over 1,900 people responded to the internet survey.
About 94 percent said they were more spiritually engaged and inspired as a result of listening to Immaculate Heart Radio. Almost half said the radio network has helped them learn more about their faith and has influenced them to attend religious services more frequently. Close to 40 percent said they were more likely to tithe to their parish and other charities and 51 percent said they are more involved with and generous to their parish because of their radio listening.
According to the survey, 581 respondents said the radio channel helped them teach their children the truths of the faith. Additionally, 265 said Immaculate Heart Radio helped them return to the Catholic faith while 58 said the radio network helped them convert from another religion and 28 said they were helped to convert from agnosticism or atheism. Just over 100 respondents said the radio network helped them save their marriage, 23 said they were helped when contemplating suicide, and seven were helped to “choose life for my baby.”
More than 70 percent of respondents said they attended Mass weekly while 25 percent attended daily.
Doug Sherman, founder and president of Immaculate Heart Radio, said the survey results were “overwhelming.”
“We knew we were having an impact on people. We get calls and emails all the time thanking us for being on the air. Over the years, we've heard from literally thousands of people who tell us that our programming has brought them back to the Church, or closer to God, or strengthened their marriage. But we had no idea what a profound difference our stations were having on local parishes. It's truly humbling!"
Archbishop George H. Niederaurer of San Francisco has said the radio network is a “very important” tool to reach others and help them deepen, broaden and share their faith.
CNA contacted Karen Walker of Walker & Associates Strategic Communications to learn more about the poll. She reported that MBA students at the San Diego-based John Paul the Great Catholic University conducted the survey.
The survey was e-mailed to listeners of the network and the radio network promoted the survey over a period of three to four weeks.
Walker reiterated how surprising it was for the network to find that its impact was much greater than individual.
“It affected parishes as well,” she said.
For more information about Immaculate Heart Radio, you can go to www.ihradio.org.