How one priest supports EWTN through gifts and talents
By Ryan T. Flood, CAP©, FCEP
This past winter, I had the honor to speak with Fr. George Foley, priest of the Diocese of Fort Worth and longtime proponent of EWTN's media apostolate. Over the years, Fr. Foley has been inspired by the efforts of EWTN across all forms of media, especially the radio, to evangelize a world in desperate need for the truths of the Catholic Faith.
Last year, Fr. Foley's love for the work we do as an EWTN family led him to sit down with his financial advisor, Sam, to structure a gift that will benefit our work of spreading the Gospel through media. But this gift is only one of many ways that Fr. Foley has supported EWTN throughout the yearsincluding his founding of an EWTN affiliate radio station in south Texas. He shares that story with all his EWTN family here:
"Many years ago, I was reading Reader's Digest and came across the story of a priest in Central America who had started a radio station in the mountains to educate the people in the Catholic faith.
"With only a few priests serving the small missions in the area, it was difficult to bring the faith to the people. For some communities, the Mass was only available once a year! The priest thought that his station could provide some connection to these communities.
"He was right. His radio relay station became such a valuable means of communicating that the government asked to use his radio connections to teach other important lessons, such as how to farm, what to farm, and when to farm one's crops. With the success of this station, the mountain people prospered not only with knowledge of crop rotation and soil utilization, but through the message of Jesus Christ.
"I thought of this story when I was assigned to a parish in Breckenridge, Texas. Many people from Mexico worked on the nearby farms, and as I could not speak Spanish, I felt inadequate in my ministry to them. I thought that perhaps I could start a bilingual radio station out of my parish, with English programming during the day and Spanish programming in the evening when the workers returned to their homes and families.
"I approached my bishop and he approved my plan. I set about my preparations, approaching the Federal Communications Commission and registering as an FM station. Within three months, I received my license!
"I then met with the vicar general to discuss a possible call sign and we decided on an abbreviation of the Kyrie EleisonKYRE. With the help of a diocesan employee with experience in shortwave radio, we built a 100-foot radio tower in the back of the rectory and started our 24-hour-a-day programming in English and Spanish.
"The FM radio waves were only supposed to travel 10 miles, but, due to the flat landscape and our good reception, our Catholic programming could travel up to 50 miles. Shortly after we started broadcasting, the owner of a local restaurant called me and asked me what was going on. When I asked her to clarify her question, she said that the kitchen staff were all praying the rosary while they washed the dishes and cleaned up after hours. I was so happy that Our Blessed Mother was using the radio station to teach people the value of the Rosary!
"The station broadcast from that location for two more years until I was transferred to another parish. Following my relocation and a tornado that damaged the radio tower, I transferred KYRE to my new parish of St. Jude, where it broadcasts under KYRE 104.1.
"I have since retired from active ministry but continue to be grateful to EWTN as a source of inspiration to spread the Catholic faith. Because God has been very good to me financially, I was able to provide a donationin gratitude to Mary, the Mother of Godso that the Network can continue sharing the teaching of Holy Mother Church throughout the world."
In collaboration with his financial advisor, and through discussions with me to determine what worked best for his charitable giving goals, Fr. Foley decided to make a charitable gift to EWTN using a Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD) from his traditional IRA. Since the QCD transfers directly from Father's IRA to EWTN, he paid no federal taxes on the transfer and his entire gift goes to support the Network.
If you would like to learn more about how you can structure a charitable gift and support the evangelization efforts of EWTN, please contact our Legacy Giving Department at (205) 492-1856 or visit us at www.ewtnlegacy.org.