One of the best parts of working at The Coming Home Network International is having the opportunity to meet terrific people when they appear as guests on The Journey Home program. Last year, one of those people was the producer of the Sonrise Morning Show heard on EWTN radio, Matt Swaim.
I remember being impressed immediately. Matt is young, articulate, and extremely bright. He’s written a couple great books. His interview on the show was tremendous.
Since that time, I have gotten to know Matt a bit better, and have been honored to appear on the Sonrise Morning Show several times. So when the call went out for people to support the annual fundraising drive for Sacred Heart Radio in Cincinnati, I was happy to respond (the Sonrise Morning Show is a production of Sacred Heart Radio).
My son David and I drove down to Cincinnati, a short hop from Columbus. David is our seventh child, and the one who experienced many profound medical problems during his infancy. The fact he’s alive at all is a testament to the power of prayer. With a resilient spirit, he’s a budding Mr. Personality at eight years of age. The kid’s a pistol. “Whatever you do, keep him away from the microphone,” I told Matt. “You never know what he’s going to say next.”
Looking back, that was probably the wrong setup.
When we got to the studio, we met Matt, host Brian Patrick, and Anna Mitchell, the diminutive and powerful news director. As a child of the 80’s, I like to think of her as the Pat Benetar of Catholic Radio – she’s so talented, and has a fabulous voice. David also spent some time with Bob, another staff member, learning a couple magic tricks.
When it was time to go on, Brian quickly slapped some headphones on David and put a microphone in front of him. “Just do what I tell you,” he said. Wide-eyed, David nodded.
What ensued couldn’t have been scripted any better. Brian had David repeat the number for the pledge drive several times over the course of the interview. After giving the phone number, he told David to say, “Give it up for Sacred Heart Radio!”
The first time or two, David was a little hesitant. But that didn’t last long. Towards the end, he was practically yelling.
As it turned out, the pledges were generous during our little segment. David couldn’t have been more impressed by the fact that thousands of people had heard him, and that he had helped the station raise lots of money. “I’m famous!” he said.
David spent weeks afterwards spontaneously yelling (including at inopportune times) “Give it up for Sacred Heart Radio!” He thinks Brian Patrick is the coolest guy ever. And he’s pretty sure his future consists of a career in radio. Fame, fortune, and there were plenty of cookies on hand that day – can it get any better?
On the way out of our little interview in Cincinnati, we stopped by the perpetual adoration chapel. As you might imagine, prayers of gratitude emanated from my heart. I’m a big believer in Catholic radio, and its ability to transform hearts. But I never expected any of this. Thank you Matt, Brian, Annie, and Bob – you made our trip to Sacred Heart Radio one we’ll remember for a lifetime!
Not to draw too many conclusions from this little field trip, but I’m always amazed at the power of taking a personal interest in others, the way Brian and the rest of the staff did with David that day. To me, this is a real-life example of Christian charity at its best. It’s also encouraging to see the generosity of so many people having an impact. Donating to these wonderful Catholic organizations – Sacred Heart Radio, EWTN, The Coming Home Network, and others (I can’t neglect to mention St. Gabriel Catholic Radio AM820 in Columbus!) – is really a source of grace.
Finally, just in case you missed it, here’s Matt Swaim’s Journey Home appearance. It’s well worth watching – enjoy!