TACOMA – Local Catholics now have a clearer option for listening to Mass and other Catholic programming on Sacred Heart Radio — 107.3 FM in the Tacoma area.
The station is the 10th for the Kirkland-based broadcaster, which took to the airways in 2001. It now airs Catholic programming not just in the Archdiocese of Seattle, but also in the dioceses of Spokane and Yakima, and on Alaska’s Kodiak Island.
The improved coverage comes as public Masses have been suspended across the state to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.
“We find a ton of people are tuning in for the Mass,” said Ron Belter, Sacred Heart Radio’s president and general manager. “For a lot of people, this is their church.”
Sacred Heart Radio broadcasts Mass twice a day and the rosary three times a day.
Despite the changes in daily life brought by the spread of the coronavirus, programming continues as usual at Sacred Heart Radio, Belter said. The station broadcasts 24 hours a day, with 10 hours of live programming each day — a combination of locally produced shows and programs from EWTN Global Catholic Network.
During ordinary times, Sacred Heart Radio covers ordinations and bishop installations, as well as events like the annual March for Life in Olympia.
“People can’t get to these things,” Belter said. “Radio brings the church to the people.”
For listeners in the Tacoma area, the new station will provide better clarity, higher fidelity and less static, which should provide a more enjoyable experience, Belter said.
Since Sacred Heart Radio began broadcasting nearly 20 years ago, Catholic radio has greatly expanded, Belter said: At its founding, Sacred Heart was the 50th Catholic radio station in the U.S.; now there are more than 500 Catholic radio stations in the country.
Catholic radio, Belter said, provides comfort and consolation for people who are lonely.
“Just come back to the faith and listen to a little Catholic programming,” he said.