The vision to bring Catholic radio to the Raleigh area was conceived in 2007 and the first meeting was held in November at the home of Keith and Cecelia Flanary. By 2008, and under the spiritual direction of Msgr. John Williams, another group from St. Joseph’s began striving towards the same goal. These two groups merged under the name of Divine Mercy Radio (DMR). DMR became an EWTN Global Catholic Radio Affiliate and a member of the Catholic Radio Association.
With guidance from Jim Wright, president of Holy Family Communications in Buffalo, NY, DMR negotiated the 5pm hour of air time M – F with Curtis Media Group and began broadcasting on December 8, 2008, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.
Over the next nine months, DMR carried the best of Catholic Answers Live every Monday through Thursday, with the Friday broadcast, known as Local Fridays, providing an opportunity to air content recorded at Ignited By Truth Conferences, the Bishops Series on Bioethics, and NFP programs. DMR left the airwaves on August 29, 2009.
Soon the DMR board turned its attention towards purchasing a full-power station and began raising money in earnest for this venture. In August of 2011, an AM station in Durham became available. However, in support of the new Cathedral, and in obedience to the Bishop’s general request to abstain from soliciting funds, DMR declined the option to purchase.
In 2013, the FCC opened a window for local non-profits to apply for Low-Power FM stations. DMR applied for a station of its own and simultaneously approached other non-profit Catholic organizations in the Raleigh area to follow suit. When the FCC window closed, eight Catholic apostolates had submitted their applications.
From these eight applications the FCC awarded the following five frequencies for Catholic programming:
- 90.1 FM in NW Raleigh, owned by Birthchoice
- 103.3 FM in Cary, owned by the Raleigh Diocese/St. Michael’s
- 103.5 FM in Wake Forest, owned by All Saints Catholic Media
- 106.5 FM in Central Raleigh, owned jointly by Columbus Club of Raleigh and Thomas International Center
- 106.7 FM in Holly Springs, owned by Cary/Apex Knights of Columbus
On October 13, 2015 DMR brought up Raleigh’s first full time Catholic radio station – WFNE on 103.5 FM in Wake Forest. On November 1, 2017, DMR’s 2nd full time FM station WSHP in Cary on 103.3 FM went on the air.
Divine Mercy Radio’s present effort is the purchase of the full power station WETC broadcasting on 540AM. This station covers one-fourth of North Carolina and reaches 4 million people.
The primary source of our programming is EWTN and Ave Maria Radio.
Divine Mercy Radio offers the following LOCAL programming:
- The Divine Mercy Chaplet every day at 3pm led by Catholic grade school students.
- Local Fridays is aired every week on Thursdays at 8pm, Fridays and Saturdays at noon. Contributors to Local Fridays program include:
- Faith Works with Ellen White
- Two Wings to God with Rob Agnelli
- Raleigh to Rome from the Diocese of Raleigh
- EPIC (Every Person in Christ) with STMA high school students
- Keeping Watch Over Bioethics with Dr. Patrick O’Connell
- Jaws of Life with Tim Hahn and Rob Agnelli
- Calendar of Local Events with Patti Shanley
Divine Mercy Radio’s Current Board of Directors:
Betty Rogosich, Chair
Tim Stickney, Treasurer
Cecelia Flanary serves as Executive Director