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Bishop Olmsted Flips the Switch Initiating Catholic Radio in Arizona
By Ed and Bette Sharpe -  Glendale Daily Planet / KKAT-IPTV 


(GDP 12/17/09) Phoenix-   Immaculate Heart Radio held a 'Radio Station Launching' Event today heralding the arrival of an all catholic radio station serving Phoenix and vicinity.

Many priests, parishioners and media from around the Phoenix diocese joined to partake in the  launch and station blessing at at the Mount Claret Retreat Center in Phoenix, with Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted, Bishop of Phoenix, blessing the endeavor and it's people and ‘flipping the switch’  to initiate  broadcasting from Immaculate Heart Radio's newest station KIHP. 

Immaculate Heart Radio broadcasts Catholic programming from around the country and around the world, but also provides local programming in some of its markets. Preparations are already being made to begin a local “Bishop’s Hour” in Phoenix, which would focus on the people, issues and events in the diocese of Phoenix

Jim Dwyer, Director of Public Information for the Diocese of Phoenix, said about the upcoming Bishop’s Hour, “It will provide us a real solid communications vehicle to get the word out so the bishop can actually talk to his flock directly, and also to hear the great national programming that is available through Immaculate Heart Radio.”


Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted, Bishop of Phoenix with Doug Sherman, Immaculate Heart Radio 
founder and president  and his son  Fr. Branigan Sherman, LC   - Photo By Ed Sharpe - Glendale Daily Planet

Earlier this month the Federal Communications Commission  granted  Immaculate Heart Radio an application to purchase 5,000 watt KXAM  AM 1310 from Embee Broadcasting, Inc. The station is licensed to Mesa and the signal reaches the greater Phoenix metropolitan area from that location. The new call letters are KIHP – for Immaculate Heart (Radio) of Phoenix.

“We are very excited to serve the Church in this way by bringing the best Catholic programming from around the country and around the world to Arizona,” said Immaculate Heart Radio president Doug Sherman.

Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted, Bishop of Phoenix, expressed his appreciation to Immaculate Heart Radio, Mr. Doug Sherman and his associates, for their efforts on behalf of the Catholics of Arizona.  “Bringing Catholic Radio to Arizona is a dream come true for many of us. This project is one that I gladly endorse and prayerfully support.”

Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted, Bishop of Phoenix  - Photo By Ed Sharpe - Glendale Daily Planet


During the blessing, Bishop Olmsted said, “We constantly see the power of God’s Word being discovered and finding fruit and spreading where we never thought it was possible for it to happen.” He continued, “I’m delighted to be gathered with a number of you here today who have been praying for this day for many years and who have made it possible through your prayers and your sacrificial gifts. This is precisely the day for which we have longed and from this day forward the Word of God will not be chained in terms of radio stations here. This radio station will be up and running 24 hours a day.” 



Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted, Bishop of Phoenix blessed the radio station KIHP and the 
attendees at the radio station launching event.  -
Photo By Ed Sharpe - Glendale Daily Planet

Doug Sherman and his son, Fr. Branigan Sherman, shared the story of how Immaculate Heart Radio began with one station in 1997, making it the seventh Catholic radio station in the country at the time. Today, there are 200 Catholic radio stations and translators around the country, 25 of those in the Immaculate Heart Radio network. 

The first station founded in 1997 was KIHM in Reno, Nevada. KSFB AM 1260 in San Francisco is IHR’s largest station in terms of population, followed by KSMH AM 1620 in Sacramento. IHR’s programming is primarily focused on evangelization and catechesis, but devotional hours including the Rosary and Mass, and Catholic news from around the world are also key elements in the broadcast day. Programs that focus on youth and young adults, as well as family and marriage counseling are also very popular.

Sherman stated, “In the past twelve years we have been amazed by hearing from thousands of our listeners who say that Immaculate Heart Radio’s programming has brought them closer to God, deeper into their life of faith, back to the Church and the Sacraments, or into the Church for the first time. We have heard from people who have told us that it has saved or strengthened their marriage, saved their baby, or even saved their life."

"There are several people in seminaries and convents who say that they found their vocation through hearing the Catholic faith broadcast on the air through Immaculate Heart Radio. It is those stories which motivate our staff and supporters to expand into new areas such as Arizona”, Sherman said.

More information is available at, or by calling 866-77 HEART.

Doug Sherman, Immaculate Heart Radio founder and president
Photo By Ed Sharpe - Glendale Daily Planet


Monsignor John McMahon, a retired priest in residence at Mount Claret Retreat Center, expressed his support of the station at the launch, saying, “I have every confidence that the program we begin today will be the ongoing education and continuation of the Catholic Church. This happening today is a powerful blessing to our Church and particularly to our diocese of Phoenix.”



Monsignor John McMahon, a retired priest in residence at Mount Claret Retreat Center, 
expressed his support of the station at the launch  event - Photo By Ed Sharpe - Glendale Daily Planet

Father Fred Adamson, Vicar General of the Diocese of Phoenix, also expressed his excitement during a live on-air interview at the event. He said, “I think it’s exciting to have the Catholic Church present in one additional way in the diocese. What a gift it is for people to be able to listen 24 hours a day 7 days a week and allow the Church to have a great impact in their lives. It’s a great way to reach and out to people and evangelize.”

Mission of Immaculate Heart Radio

Immaculate Heart Radio is a lay apostolate dedicated to spreading the knowledge, love and practice of the Roman Catholic Faith by means of radio. Our programming content is therefore primarily catechetical, devotional, and inspirational.

Immaculate Heart Radio exists in response to the call of the Second Vatican Council to the laity to evangelize, and to its call for all members of the Church to use radio to evangelize. Immaculate Heart Radio offers its work in the worldwide effort to fulfill the call of Pope John Paul II for a New Evangelization and a New Springtime for the Church.

Immaculate Heart Radio declares an absolute faithfulness to the Holy Father and the Bishops in union with him. We are bound to accurately and fully transmit the Faith as proposed by the Teaching Authority of the Church. We are specifically bound by the vehicle in which it is proposed for our time, the Catechism of the Catholic Church. We hold everything we broadcast up to the Catechism as its standard. These qualities shape our service to the faithful in the several dioceses in which we broadcast, our obedience to the bishops of those dioceses, and our assistance to local priests and religious.

Immaculate Heart Radio is committed to Sharing the Heart of the Christian Faith in humility, charity, respect and ecumenism; and to draw upon the vast diversity of riches which is the Catholic heritage in order to broadcast something for every believer."

For more information visit or call 866-77-HEART.

Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted, Bishop of Phoenix accepts a crystal radio tower given by  
Doug Sherman, Immaculate Heart Radio founder and president  in honor of  the days event. 
Left, Fr. Branigan Sherman, LC looks on.   - Photo By Ed Sharpe - Glendale Daily Planet


Immaculate Heart Radio currently operates now 24 stations (including 11 translators). Each Immaculate Heart Radio station broadcasts authentic Catholic programming 24 hours a day. (Map courtesy Immaculate Heart Radio Network)


food.h38.jpg (54690 bytes)
Doug Sherman, Immaculate Heart Radio founder and president, Fr. Branigan Sherman, LC   and Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted, Bishop accept the hearty congratulations offered by Ed Sharpe Glendale Daily Planet (Far right) ,  We also  spoke a little about streaming media and the Glendale Daily Planet's operation.   - Photo By Bette Sharpe - Glendale Daily Planet





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