This YouCaring Appeal seeks gifts of $25 to help with this new outreach initiative to newcomers and immigrants to Framingham.
Father Paco Anzoategui is pastor of St. Stephen’s parish in Framingham, MA which has one of the largest Spanish-speaking communities in Eastern Massachusetts. Many of his parishioners are recent immigrants from Central and Latin America.
Father Volmar Scaravelli is pastor of St. Tarcisius parish also in Framingham, which is one of the largest parishes for recent Brazilian immigrants in the Eastern United States.
These 2 parishes, one-half mile apart from each other in Framingham center, are busy with many ministries and services to the community. Despite everything they are currently doing, these pastors realize that many newcomers to Framingham and to the United States are not being reached, are "falling through the cracks", and are feeling isolated and alone. They left their family, friends and a supportive community thousands of miles away and Father Paco and Father Volmar want to help them become part of a new caring community in Framingham.
Together they are seeking to reach all those newcomers with the launch of a new Catholic radio station. This station in Framingham will offer 24x7 programs in Spanish or Portuguese, that welcome and outreach to newcomers with messages of hope and help. Radio will provide important information for newcomers in a familiar language and voice and connect them with people in their community who care for them and seek to help them when they might need it. Many newcomers work multiple jobs and long hours - but they can listen to radio. Radio is a very effective (and cost-effective) way to reach people.
Father Paco and Father Volmar hope to connect listeners to WBNU 96.5 FM with others in the community. Those hope is to involve newcomers in building up the community, serving others and developing stronger roots and a “local family.”
This project has the strong support of Cardinal Seán O’Malley, who has provided the first financial gift toward this station and has written a letter of support to WBNU. Please see the links at the bottom to view Cardinal Seán's support letter.
There have also been two recent news articles about this effort in The Pilot and on the front page of the Metrowest Daily News. Please click here to see those articles.
Would you be willing to support Father Paco and Father Volmar with a gift of $25 toward purchasing the equipment and building the studio to allow WBNU to get on the air by the end of the summer?
[Father Paco and Father Volmar would be grateful for gifts of any amount]
Background / FAQs
How did Father Paco and Father Volmar earn the radio license?
In 2013, the FCC created opportunities across the country for low-power FM stations (LPFMs). These were stations that would be “squeezed into” a geography with a broadcast range of about 10 miles (perfect for cities). Because of the low-powered broadcast range, these new LPFMs wouldn't conflict with stations of the same/similar frequency nearby. There was a frequency, 96.5FM, that was made available in the Framingham area. With the encouragement of Cardinal Seán, Fr. Paco led the formation of a Framingham radio apostolate to apply for the license. In 2014, they learned that the FCC had awarded them the construction permit to build the station.
What is the significance of the name WBNU?
The 2 pastors believe its their work (and the work of the entire Catholic community) to proclaim the Good News in both actions and words - the Good News of Christ's and the Church's merciful and caring love for others. In Spanish, Good News is translated “Buena Nueva.” Father Paco considers it providential that the call letters WBNU were available to be used for this station.
When does the station hope to begin broadcasting?
Father Paco and Father Volmar hope to begin broadcasting this summer. starting with national and international programs in Spanish and Portuguese. This Fall, there will be a full-launch event to kick-off the first local broadcasts. Father Paco and Father Volmar will host shows on WBNU. Other leaders at St. Stephen’s and St. Tarcisius parishes will host shows to help connect newcomers with all the services and resources they might need.
What will the proceeds from this YouCaring campaign cover?
This YouCaring campaign is entirely for the purchase of equipment for the studio and the transmission tower. If we raise more than our goal, it will go for studio furniture and ongoing expenses such as transmission lease payments, power, internet, etc. Please see the "updates" tab for the particular equipment we need.
Can contributors earmark their gifts for a particular construction or equipment expense?
Certainly. Father Paco and Father Volmar are grateful for all gifts. If you would like to earmark/dedicate a particular aspect, that would be great. Please just indicate that on your contribution or send an email to [email protected]
Please see the "updates" tab for the particular equipment we need.
Could I contribute funds by check instead of on this YouCaring site?
Yes. If you would like to contribute by check, please send it to WBNU - Catholic Radio Ministry, c/o St. Stephen Parish, 221 Concord Street, Framingham, MA 01712. Most of those visiting this page will likely find it easier to give now by credit or debit card here on YouCaring.
Where will the studio be for WBNU?
The new studio will be within the St. Stephen Parish Center. An existing office is being wired, sound-proofed and air-conditioned to be an effective studio. Father Paco and Father Volmar will dedicate the studio this Fall before the first live broadcasts. Are my contributions tax deductible?
Yes. Gifts made on the YouCaring site are tax deductible. They will go to Good Catholic Ministries, a 501(c)3 organization that promotes Catholic radio, which will pay for the equipment (TIN: 47-2744826). Checks mailed to St. Stephen’s Parish will also be tax deductive based on the parish’s tax deductible status.
What types of programs will be offered on WBNU?
WBNU will broadcast 24 hours every day. There will be a split of Spanish-language and Portuguese-language local shows and international shows. The international shows in Spanish will be provided by EWTN Radio Mundial. The international shows in Portuguese will be sourced primarily from Brazil. Fr. Paco will host a show in Spanish and Fr. Volmar will be present also in the Portuguese-language local shows as will other leaders from St. Stephen’s, St. Tarcisius and many other parishes that help newcomers in our area.
How can I learn more about this initiative of St. Stephen’s and St. Tarcisius parishes?