K-YES Radio turns up the dial to support Catholic education

AM 1180 K-YES Radio is gearing up for its seventh annual banquet Oct. 16 at River’s Edge Convention Center in St. Cloud.

Headlining the event is national personality Patrick Coffin, host of “The Patrick Coffin Show” and former voice of “Catholic Answers Live” (see story, below). Registration starts at 5 p.m. and the dinner starts at 6:30 p.m.

New this year, KYES is launching an initiative to support the 31 Catholic schools in the Diocese of St. Cloud. Catholic schools are invited to sponsor a table, have a booth at the event and, in turn, be possible recipients of matching education funds.

The concept was inspired by Relevant Radio’s banquet in the Twin Cities. About four years ago, Deb Huschle, K-YES Radio’s general manager, attended the Relevant Radio banquet. She noticed there were booths featuring students and staff from area Catholic high schools.
“There were a couple kids from each school mingling with the guests at the banquet,” Huschle said. “It was really great to hear them talk about their schools.

“For every dollar given to Relevant Radio that night, the donor could choose one of those Catholic high schools who were present to have the matching dollars go to,” Huschle explained. “Fast forward to last year, and their Catholic Education Match Dollars had grown to $300,000, the number of participating schools was around 24 and the number of people at the Relevant Radio banquet had grown to 1,000 people. All those people celebrating their Catholic Faith was inspiring. All I could think of was how I wanted to bring that to the St. Cloud Diocese.”

Kevin Powers, superintendent of Catholic Community Schools in the St. Cloud area, said CCS will have representation from each of its nine school campuses at the banquet.

“What we are doing here in the St. Cloud area with Catholic Community Schools is to pool all of the funds received and use it toward school safety in all our campuses,” he said. “It is also a great chance to spread some news about our schools.”

Currently, 11 Catholic schools have signed up to participate. Huschle said this model “just makes sense.”

“The mission of the Catholic schools is to inspire students to be faith-filled, moral, engaged church members and citizens who contribute to the well-being of their neighborhood,” she said. “What is the mission of Catholic talk radio but to inspire and inform listeners so they desire to have a closer relationship with God and to relate that to everyday life?”

Tickets for the banquet are $25 and are available by calling Sheri at 320-257-9700. Visit www.kyesradio.com for more information about the banquet and the Catholic schools initiative.

Meet the K-YES keynoter: Patrick Coffin

Patrick Coffin

Patrick Coffin, host of “The Patrick Coffin Show” and former voice of “Catholic Answers Live,” will be the keynote speaker for K-YES Radio’s seventh annual banquet Oct. 16 at River’s Edge Convention Center in St. Cloud.

The Visitor interviewed Coffin via email in anticipation of his keynote address. His responses are below.

Q: As a Catholic communicator, how are you reaching out to different demographics, varying generations and cultures through your programming?

Coffin: Most people find me because either they recognize a guest I’m interviewing and they connect that way, or I appear as a guest on someone else’s show and they learn about me there.

My main demographic is orthodox or at least literate Christians (mainly Catholic) who have turned from traditional avenues to consume content.

It’s important to know your limits as a communicator, one really can’t “target” a massive swath of humanity because each audience demographic has different presuppositions, assorted lingo and, at times, hugely different life experience.

Q: What is the importance of communicating the truth in today’s society?

Coffin: It is, or should be, the No. 1 priority. That’s a good way to summarize the current crisis: a severe truth deficit.

Q: How can people discern the difference between the truth and “fake” news?

Coffin: The whole fake news meme has almost become meaningless. Every journalist has some bias — I certainly do.

What President Trump means by fake news is not necessarily what the editorial staff of The New York Times means by it. I would say, though, that Catholics, like everyone else, have to be critical news consumers, asking questions like, “Which corporation owns this news outlet?

What has this reporter said in the past about the Catholic Church (religion reporters are notoriously ignorant of how Catholicism works)? How many errors of fact are found in the first two paragraphs?

Q: In “The Patrick Coffin Show,” you tackle some pretty difficult topics. What practices in your own life help you prepare for dealing with controversy?

Coffin: Very good question! It’s important to not see yourself as some kind of white knight galloping across a landscape of fools, swinging the sword of truth. I’m a sinner. I don’t always get it right. But I am also committed to instilling in my audience a spirit of courage and perseverance.

It used to be that Catholics dealt with secular news spreading lies about the Church and about “worldly” elements corrupting the deposit of faith. Nowadays, our own leaders in the church have shown massive levels of corruption, bad leadership and deeply disturbing patterns of anti-Gospel teaching and example.

On our membership site, Coffin Nation, we discuss things together that are going on, in an environment of trust and openness. Our tagline is “We Go There!” And frankly, we have a ton of fun doing it! Since Jesus is Lord, we know how the story ends and so we have reasons for hope and humor along the way.

Q: How does the work you do proclaim the Gospel either directly or indirectly?

Coffin: Well, while it’s true that I’m no longer doing “Catholic media,” but media that’s Catholic in outlook. My commentary, news opinions, interview subject choices and genre of topics is certainly governed to a certain degree by my desire to evangelize — the reason why the church exists, after all. But there is no one way to evangelize. Some is explicit, and that is badly needed to today. But some is implicit in the form of repeated seed-planting. I believe we need both.

“The Patrick Coffin Show” is posted to iTunes and YouTube every week; it is free. It is also available at www.patrickcoffin.media. Coffin Nation opens twice a year, but guests can get on the waiting list. To learn more, visit www.coffinnation.com.

About The Visitor

The Visitor is the official newpaper for the Diocese of Saint Cloud.

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