2023 Summer Messenger
When Claudio Pasian, an Argentine, fell in love with the California girl who would become his wife,he wrote an unexpected introduction to his future in-laws, “God put your daughter in my way.” He laughs today about his poor English, explaining that he wanted to say, “God joined your daughter and me on the road of life.”
In fact, Claudio’s life took more than one unexpected turn. He was educated in Argentina, received a Ph.D.in the U.S., and is now a Professor Emeritus at The Ohio State University. He is a die-hard radio fan and stumbled across St. Gabriel Radio back in the day when it was still AM 1580.
ANSWER THIS ONE!
“ I didn’t know how to answer most of the questions, even those not requiring theological knowledge! I gave myself an F!”
“I was fascinated by the call-in shows like Catholic Answers Live (6:00 p.m. weekdays) and usually listened as I was washing the dishes after dinner. One day, I challenged myself to a test: to answer the questions posed by callers before the show host answered them. As an educator, I was accustomed to giving and taking tests. As a lifelong Catholic, I felt confident that I would be on top of the answers. To my surprise and dismay, it became clear that I didn’t know how to answer most of the questions, even those not requiring theological knowledge! I gave myself an F!
“I had prided myself on being strong in the Catholic Faith. My ignorance answering the call-in questions troubled me because I had spent six years studying the Faith in minor seminary in Argentina and should have known some answers!” Claudio explained.
“It was in minor seminary that I realized that God had something other than the priesthood in store for me. I discovered that marriage was in my future, so I began a journey in the secular world. I also discovered that it was not easy for me to find a Catholic girl who actually lived the Faith.”
His pilgrimage led him to accepting a visiting scholarship at San Diego State University; marriage with an American girl who actually practiced the Faith; a Ph.D. from the University of California; and finally, 25 years at The Ohio State University.
A NEW DIMENSION IN FAITH
In Columbus, Claudio’s faith took on a new dimension, especially as he took to heart the early lesson from St. Gabriel Radio call-in shows. “The lesson was that, although I had never missed Sunday Mass in my life, I realized how little I knew about something so important. I knew that I needed to deepen my own faith and my knowledge of the Catholic Faith.”
Fascinated by the idea of Catholic radio, he wanted to find out more about St. Gabriel Radio, by this time designated AM 820. He learned about the Radio’s open-house gatherings and decided to attend. Soon, St. Gabriel Radio became an important part of his life. “St. Gabriel Radio opened my eyes, though late in life, to deepen my understanding of the Catholic Faith. I wanted reason to accompany me in my beliefs because faith and reason go hand in hand. The Radio programs helped me to move the practice of the Catholic Faith from lukewarm Catholic to the center of my life.”
On every car that I have owned, I put an AM 820 bumper magnet. Even on rental cars.”
He decided that he needed to support the Radio and became a Sustaining Member, a commitment that he has continued ever since. “On every car that I have owned, I put an AM 820 bumper magnet. Even on rental cars, I put a magnet on the bumper and leave the radio tuned to St. Gabriel so that those who clean the car have a chance to hear about the Faith.
“Thanks to this awakening, I began spending more time listening to Catholic programs, reading about the Faith, and following Church issues. In my parish, St. John the Baptist in Italian Village, with Bob Contino, Dan Pilliteri, and others, I collaborated in organizing a men’s faith group. For example, one year our faith group took a deep dive into the Book of Revelation and the Fathers of the Church. Who were these Church leaders and what were they saying then and to us today? During the Jubilee Year, we studied the idea of God’s Mercy and how it’s inseparable from God’s Justice. Then, as a group, we went to St. Joseph Cathedral and went through the Door of Mercy together with our wives.”
Mother Angelica is another highlight of Catholic radio. “St. Gabriel Radio organized a pilgrimage by bus to EWTN in Alabama a few years ago and gave each pilgrim a copy of Mother Angelica: The Remarkable Story of a Nun, Her Nerve, and a Network of Miracles by Raymond Arroyo. On the way down to Alabama, I devoured this engrossing book about an ordinary woman who did extraordinary things through the Holy Spirit. Mother Angelica’s life is amazing, taking into account that she had poor health, only finished secondary school, was an average student at an average school, and her family was full of the same problems that plague many families today.”
IT’S ALL ABOUT RELATIONSHIP
Claudio continues to relate, “Over the years I have modestly collaborated in events as a St. Gabriel Radio volunteer where needed like the Catholic Men’s Conferences, the 2022 program with Fr. Riccardo, and promoting the Radio in a booth at the St. John the Baptist Italian Festival. Through the St. Gabriel Radio community, I was able to develop relationships with priests and other faithful Catholics in our diocese.”
Many programs continue to draw Claudio in, especially weekday airings like Catholic Answers Live (6:00 p.m.), Fr. Riccardo (weekdays 7:00 a.m. and 4:20 p.m.), Called to Communion (2:00 p.m.), and in general every Q&A program. “The programming is varied and even on those programs that deal with a single theme, say abortion or the Real Presence, the callers’ questions help me see a new angle of understanding regarding what we believe. Catholic radio helps me stay focused.”
A PROMISE OF PEACE
“ Through the St. Gabriel Radio community, I was able to develop relationships with priests and other faithful Catholics in our diocese.”
“It’s easy to get distracted by what I call the Gospel of Nice and the happy faces plastered over advertising. The Apostles Matthew, Mark, and Luke all report that Jesus taught us, ‘If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.’ The programs on St. Gabriel Radio show how joy and sacrifice transcend the popular ideas of happiness. It’s important to me to remember that Jesus doesn’t promise me happiness. He promises me far more — a peace that surpasses understanding even in the face of difficulties — if I cling to Him and strive to enter the narrow gate.”
Claudio is convinced that Catholic radio has a tremendous impact on culture today. He notes, “Twenty-minute Sunday homilies can teach only so much, and priests are stretched to the max managing their parishes. The presence of religious has shrunk in education as well with the decline in vocations. Fortunately, Catholic radio helps cover the resulting gap and even provides priests and catechists with a new tool for reaching souls and pointing the way to what’s really important: eternal salvation.”