March 21, 2008. Los Angeles, CA. Hombre Nuevo (New
Man) and Guadalupe Radio are two connected media apostolates
that use radio and television to reach Spanish-speaking audiences with
the Gospel message.
The idea is to preach the fullness
of the Gospel message in an attractive, relevant way so
that it truly changes the lives of those who listen.
Accordingly, the characteristic style is substantial in content and practical
in application, with plenty of real-life stories and a good
dose of humor.
Among the thousands of testimonies that pour
in from listeners across the US and Latin America, there
are stories of Jehovah’s Witness Elders returning to the Catholic
faith, missionary priests using the programs to reach their flocks
in the Andes, people that were in the very act
of committing suicide and happened to tune in, women who
changed their mind about aborting their children…
God has a
lot to say to his children, and he is using
the Catholic media to do so.
Starting from Zero… with Creativity
Founding a radio apostolate is never easy. Hombre Nuevo
has had its fair share of struggles, but somehow Our
Lady of Guadalupe always came through, pulling the project from
paper into reality, and from the red into the black.
|Fr Juan Rivas, LC, founder of Hombre Nuevo|
Juan Rivas, LC originally started a small television program with
a team of lay people in 1983. It ran for
a few years, until economic problems forced them to shut
it down and start again from zero.
After knocking on door
after door looking for sponsorship, Fr Rivas happened to visit
Our Lady of Guadalupe parish in El Monte, where he
found the support he needed to get the apostolate off
the ground again in August of 1987. The new radio
program, dedicated to Our Lady of Guadalupe, had three main
segments: letter-answering on the air, Christian music, and the topic
of the day.
Running a radio program is
expensive, so it wasn’t long before debts forced the team
to start thinking creatively about how to make the radio
program self-financing. Their solution was to hold large events as
a way of expanding their audience and gathering economic support.
A “Radioactive” Audience: Off the Air and on the Ground
a twist of providence, it just so happened that these
successful events, which gather anywhere from 1,000 to 15,000 people,
also turned Hombre Nuevo’s audience into “radioactive” apostles who are
|A child receives toys and food in the latest Hombre Nuevo mission in Baja California.|
committed to the New Evangelization. The media provide the broadest
net for fishing, but the Gospel has to be spread
person to person in our own parishes, homes, and schools.
One of the most courageous person-to-person evangelization efforts made by
Hombre Nuevo’s “radioactive” audience was the 1998 mission door-to-door mission
in Cuba. Listeners from all over the United States and
parts of Mexico gathered bibles, rosaries, and other religious articles
for a group of Hombre Nuevo missionaries, who gave them
out to the Cuban people while teaching them the basics
of the Catholic faith.
A more recent humanitarian mission took place
this past January 6th, when Hombre Nuevo volunteers distributed toys,
food, blankets, new clothing, and food items to 52 poor
neighborhoods, orphanages, and parishes in Tijuana, Mexicali, Rosario, Ensenada, and
Father Mariano de Blas, L.C. celebrated Mass for the missionaries
at dawn in the Hombre Nuevo-Guadalupe Radio facilities and
Father Juan Rivas, LC gave them the missionary blessing as
they set out with a total of 17,300 toys, 5,190
blankets, 4,152 food items, and 1,038 pieces of new clothing—all
of which had been donated by Hombre Nuevo listeners.
event took place this past January 27, as over 10,000
women gathered for a Women of Faith Congress held in
the Los Angeles Sports Arena and organized by Hombre Nuevo
– Guadalupe Radio. Legionary priests Father Antonio Rivero and Father
Juan Rivas were featured speakers, along with several other diocesan
priests and Maruca Serrano, a well-known speaker and family counselor
|An audience of 10,000 at the Women of Faith Congress in the Los Angeles Sports Arena.|
from Mexico. Over 300 Hombre Nuevo volunteers helped organize the
event with its various speakers, musical entertainment, prayer, Mass, and
opportunities for confession and spiritual guidance.
As one volunteer commented, such
support from Hombre Nuevo’s “radioactive” audience allows grace to flow
through the microphones and into peoples’ lives.
Milestones with Mary
of the story” of Hombre Nuevo’s growth is marked by
the quiet but effective presence of Our Lady, sometimes in
a dramatic way.
On May 13, 2000, the feast of Our
Lady of Fatima, Hombre Nuevo’s first television program came out
on channel 62. This step had been entailed two years
of preparation: in 1998, they built their first television studio,
and in 1999, they began creating new programs to be
In 2002, the radio program also expanded to all
of America and Spain, thanks to an arrangement with EWTN.
And in 2005, Guadalupe Radio appeared on the scene.
Hombre Nuevo is the principal lease-payer among a group of
several Hispanic Catholic groups that joined forces to launch a
24-hour-a-day, 7-day-a-week radio program broadcast on 87.7 FM. The station’s
programming can be viewed at this link.
Setting up the
station was a vivid experience of Our Lady of Guadalupe’s
intercession. The Hombre Nuevo team was poised to enter a
rental agreement with the station in December of 2005 when
the negotiations and finances fell through. But suddenly, everything turned
around on the feast of the Immaculate Conception, December 8.
On December 9, the feast of St Juan Diego, they
|Reaching another milestone: Father Juan Rivas, LC celebrated his 25th anniversary of priesthood this past December 24th.|
signed the contract. And on December 12, Our Lady of
Guadalupe’s feast day, they sealed the contract with the first
payment. To read more about Guadalupe Radio and its potential
impact, click here
Since then, Hombre Nuevo has continued
expanding, and Our Lady of Guadalupe has been an integral
part of the radio ministry’s various endeavors. All of their
projects are consecrated to her, and many key dates and
events have taken place on her feast days.
Many steps lie ahead for the Hombre Nuevo team.
One of their next goals is to purchase a radio
station in the Los Angeles area and to launch into
satellite television so as to reach more people with the
message of the Gospel.
As the United States population becomes
increasingly Hispanic, the ministry will become even more important not
only for the future of individuals and families, but also
for American society as a whole. What will the many
new Hispanic families in the US bring to the table
as they become integrated into the American social fabric? What
values will they live and promote in their private, professional,
and political lives?
Hombre Nuevo and Guadalupe Radio are there
to make sure that a coherent, profound, and mature faith
and strong, healthy family values form the bedrock of their