Last week, Relevant Radio supporters, executives, show hosts, and associates gathered in the JW Marriott in Bloomington, Minnesota to commence the 2022 Christ Brings Hope Banquet. This year, guests came together to celebrate Our Lady and the impact that she has had on Relevant Radio and its growth since day one.
And from the guest list, you could tell people recognized just how much Our Lady has interceded for our network: 700 people were in attendance, including Father Francis “Rocky” Hoffman, Archbishop Bernard Hebda of St. Paul and Minneapolis, Monsignor James Shea of the University of Mary, Father Johnathan Kelly of Saint John Vianney College Seminary, and Father John Ubel of the Cathedral of Saint Paul.
As if that wasn’t enough, much of the Relevant Radio talent came too! Father Richard Simon, Drew Mariani, Timmerie Geagea, Glen Lewerenz, Paul Sadek, and Patrick Conley all made the trip out to the banquet.
Those that are intimately familiar with Relevant Radio history can tell you that Our Lady’s intercession has been interwoven into our progress as a network from the very beginning. We received our first FCC license on December 12th, 2000, the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, and the organization has been dedicated to her and placed under her protection as one of our three guiding principles.
As a fitting commencement to the event, Margaret Harmon was invited to the podium to sing the Ave Maria. Margaret is a 26-year-old parishioner of St. John the Baptist in New Brighton, Minnesota, and she has been listening to Relevant Radio since she was in grade school. Specifically, Margaret tuned in to hear Glen’s Story Corner in the morning and the Divine Mercy Chaplet with Drew in the afternoon.
Following Margaret’s exquisite rendition, Timmerie came to the podium to speak on the Fiat of Our lady; Let it be done. As the host of Trending with Timmerie, Timmerie regularly talks about the issues and crises facing the family and kids in the culture. And as a mother of two (one on the way), Timmerie is very familiar with the dynamic of protecting her children from the world and the challenges that it brings. Our Lady is the immaculate, perfected version of what all mothers aspire to be.
But as the mother of Christ, Mary was charged with enduring much suffering. Her life, though free of original sin, was not easy. That’s why she also bears the title of Our Lady of Sorrows. Father Richard Simon gave a personal testimony of an experience with his own mother when he was growing up that brought those in attendance to tears. It was a testament to the fact that though Our Lady was preserved from sin, her experiences were undeniably human.
We are capable of relating to the mother of God, as perfect as she is, because she comes to us in exactly the form that we need. Drew spoke about the only Church-approved Marian apparition in the United States, Our Lady of Good Help. Mary appeared to Adele Brise in the 19th century, instructing her to educate the rural children in the faith. And when a massive fire threatened to swallow Adele’s chapel and shrine, she and the farmland families processed around the grounds praying to Our Lady of Good Help. Everything around them was burnt to ash, but the shrine grounds were untouched. The shrine still stands today in Champion, Wisconsin.
After these brief meditations on Our Lady, Father Rocky gave our guests an update on Relevant Radio, what’s ahead of us, and how Relevant Radio has brought so many back to the faith and the sacraments with on-air testimonies.
Father shared a video to illustrate the impact that Relevant Radio was having on its listeners. Give it a watch:
The evening concluded with all 25 priests in attendance gathering on the stage to sing the Salve Regina to Our Lady out of gratitude, veneration, and joy.
We’d like to thank everybody who had a hand in putting together yet another great Christ Brings Hope Banquet, especially the event committee: Mary Jo Feltl, Judy Schierman, Susan Contino, Ann Fleming, and Anita Whims. We’d also like to thank our very own development team that’s directed by Karin Freihammer who works so tirelessly every year in conjunction with our supporters to organize this event.
Here’s to many more wonderful years of the Christ Brings Hope Banquet!