Please support Ave Maria Radio's online only drive!

Ave Maria Radio's Online Only Membership Drive

Ave Maria Radio is conducting an online only membership drive this month aimed at raising much-needed funds and increasing its membership numbers. The goal is to get at least 250 new people to pledge their support and join a growing army of members who are making Ave Maria Radio a national powerhouse for the proclamation of the Gospel and the teachings of the Catholic Church. By becoming a new member, you can be a part of this spirited movement of faith that broadcasts the salvation of Christ to people around the globe each and every day.

If everyone visiting this website made a tax-deductible donation right now – and there are hundreds of thousands of you – Ave Maria Radio would certainly meet its financial goals for the year in just 29 days! Think about it – the more you’re able to give, the nearer Ave Maria Radio gets to achieving its goals.

So do it now. Let’s put more people on the pathway to heaven. Become a new member today! Just click the donate button and make a difference! Stay tuned to this page to see our progress as the Ave Maria Radio online-only membership drive continues.

Please use the form below to contribute to Ave Maria Radio’s February Online Membership Drive.

NOTE: The form on this page is located on a secure site. If you wish to make a monthly recurring donation below, please insert only the monthly payment amount and not the total annual pledge amount into the Donation Amount field below. Also, please indicate if your pledge is for one year only in the Additional Information field. Your donations to Ave Maria Radio are fully tax deductible. You will receive an annual statement in January of each year for your donations.

If you have any problems with or questions about this form, or if you need to make a change to your existing recurring credit card donation, please contact Tony Gerring, Director of Advancement Services, at 734-930-4528 or email him at: [email protected].


The Michigan Catholic

September 8, 2011

By Robert Delaney

DETROIT — From a modest start in 1996, Ave Maria Radio has grown into the largest producer of Catholic radio programming in the United States.

As it celebrates its 15th anniversary, the Ann Arbor Township-based organization’s programs can not only be heard on the two radio stations it operates — WDEO (990 AM) Ypsilanti and WMAX (1440 AM) Saginaw – but nearly 160 other stations across the country carry at least some its shows.

With all of that, plus also EWTN Global Catholic Radio and Sirius Satellite Radio, Ave Maria Radio personalities such as Al Kresta, Teresa Tomeo and Dr. Ray Guarendi now have national, even international, recognition among listeners to Catholic radio.

Guiding that growth almost since the beginning has been Kresta, who besides being host of the popular “Kresta in the Afternoon” program (weekdays, 4-6 p.m.) is the organization’s president and CEO.

“It’s amazing,” Kresta says of Ave Maria Radio’s growth over the past decade-and-a-half. “When we started, there were only two or three other Catholic radio stations in the country.”

Domino’s Pizza founder Tom Monaghan founded Ave Maria Radio in 1996, when he bought a low-power radio station at 1290 on the AM dial. When Kresta joined the organization in January 1997, he quickly realized the station would have to have a better and more powerful signal if it was to have much impact, and engineered the acquisition of the former WCM Radio, an evangelical Protestant station broadcasting on 990 AM.

Kresta already had a solid decade of talk radio experience behind him, mostly on WMUZ-FM in Detroit, where he started doing his program as a Protestant pastor, and kept it up after returning to the Catholic Church in 1992.

But when Monaghan decided to put all his resources behind the development of Ave Maria University, he gave Kresta two years to build up sufficient financial support from listeners and corporate donors to make it self-sustaining, after which he would no longer subsidize it.

Kresta describes the question of whether listeners would come through with enough donations as “a real cliffhanger.”

“In the fall of 2002, we went to the listeners, and they responded beautifully,” he says.

And then, the following year, Kresta was stricken with necrotizing fasciitis, better known as “flesh-eating bacteria,” which caused him to lose his left leg.

With him out of the picture for a while, the organization had a weak pledge drive that again put its future in doubt, but Kresta was able to return and subsequent pledge drives have been successful.

Kresta sees Ave Maria Radio as part of the New Evangelization called for by Pope John Paul II – the reawakening and deepening of the faith of people already at least nominally Catholic.

Counting all the radio outlets that carry Ave Maria Radio programming, he says a conservative estimate is that about 800,000 people a week listen to at least some of the shows. And since Ave Maria Radio doesn’t charge other stations that carry its shows, Kresta says, “The whole Catholic radio world is being blessed by southeast Michigan listeners who donate.”

In addition, an average of 1,500 people download recordings of the show from,each day.


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