Veritas Radio Celebrates Five Years on Air

STAMFORD—Celebrating five years on-the-air, Veritas Radio gave supporters a front row seat to a live-taping of the popular show, “The Tangent,” with featured guest Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of the Archdiocese of New York.

It was an evening filled with laughs, faith and fellowship at the 2024 Veritas On-Air Gala hosted in May at Serafresca Italian Center in Stamford.

“I believe Veritas is essential to the mission of the Diocese of Bridgeport,” said Bishop Frank J. Caggiano.

The bishop noted that throughout time, Christians have found different ways to communicate including oral traditions, the printing press and art and sculpture to create sacred spaces of beauty that speak without words.

“Discipleship is our path to proclaim the kerygma (the apostolic proclamation of salvation through Jesus Christ),” said Bishop Caggiano, adding that Veritas Radio is one of many effective ways to bring the message of Christ to all.

“Veritas Radio gives access to Christ in every car, in every home,” Bishop Caggiano said. “We need Veritas,” he added, in part to pursue “The One,” the bishop’s initiative for a true and lasting renewal of the Catholic Church which he said is the single greatest priority to embrace as a diocesan family in the years ahead.

Veritas began broadcasting EWTN Catholic programming 24 hours a day on August 21, 2019 throughout Fairfield County, almost half of Long Island and parts of Westchester. The WNLK-AM 1350 radio station was expanded and can also be heard at 103.9 FM.

“The Tangent,” hosted by Father Sam Kachuba and Matt Sperrazza, focuses on highlighting the connection between Catholicism to everyday life including sports, art and music. The conversation between the hosts and Cardinal Dolan was filled with laughter and real talk about religion and religious life.

“I have immense regard for this apostolate, communication,” said Cardinal Dolan. “We have to be everywhere.”

The hosts had some fun asking Cardinal Dolan to read a Veritas Radio station promo touting their podcast, “The Tangent,” as his favorite despite Cardinal Dolan having a syndicated podcast of his own, “Conversation with Cardinal Dolan.” Quick with a joke, he quipped, “I’m going to say an Act of Contrition,” to which the audience erupted in laughter.

Cardinal Dolan shared he knew at an early age he wanted to be a priest.

“There’s never been a time in my life that I was not fascinated by the priesthood. I was blessed to grow up in a family that supported that,” he said, explaining that he grew up in a Catholic neighborhood where faith was at the center of family life, and he enjoyed it.

Cardinal Dolan said in fourth grade he told a religious sister at his school he wanted to be a priest just like the pastor of his school. He did acknowledge there were times of doubt and struggle during his journey but ultimately his love for the Lord overwhelmingly prevailed.

Cardinal Dolan said he treasures a chalice given to him by his parents when he was ordained a priest. At the base of the center of the cross of the chalice is his mother’s engagement ring.

He was asked about changes in seminary formation and he said the focus should always be on how to educate and inform priests.

“The priest, like Jesus, is to be a bridge from God to man,” Cardinal Dolan said. “We priests should never give a Catholic a reason to leave the Church by something we do or don’t do. When I see busy committed Catholics who sacrifice, who show up, who are passionate about things like our Catholic schools, pro-life and the communication ministries of the Church, like this excellent one, that perks me up.”

The evening festivities included a silent auction and an auction to enjoy dinner with Biship Caggiano in the Bronx and an opportunity to meet with Cardinal Dolan at St. Patick’s Cathedral and have dinner in New York City. Veritas Radio plans to expand its reach through video, a larger broadcast radius and more shows, to bring a meaningful encounter with Jesus Christ to as many people as possible.

“Veritas Radio helps me feel connected to the diocese,” said Paula SanFilippo, who was an attendee at the fundraiser. “It complements my faith worship at church,” she said, adding listening to the various programs has increased her awareness of her faith.

Fran Schanney agreed.

“I really enjoy the educational part of it,” he said of the shows on Veritas Radio. Schanney said he mostly listens to Veritas in the car and said it offers him new insights and perspectives to defend his faith to others.

SanFilippo said she enjoyed being a part of the live taping of the show and appreciated the humor of the hosts and Cardinal Dolan.

“Being a Christian is not an easy task, it’s challenging,” she said. “You need that humor.”

Charles Paksi said the challenges Steve Lee, president and CEO of the Veritas Catholic Network, surmounted to establish Veritas, is impressive.

“Tip of the hat for his courage, vision and fortitude to make it happen,” Paksi said.

“Veritas” translates to “truth” in Latin. The mission of Veritas Catholic Network is to proclaim the truth of the Gospel and empower apostles within the faith, through informative and entertaining shows such as “Let Me Be Frank,” “The Tangent,” “Restless” and “Joe & Joe.”

Bishop Caggiano said he hopes, “generations to come will have said of us we rose to the challenge of our time. May the mission of Veritas continue to grow.”

To listen to “The Tangent” podcast with Cardinal Dolan or other Veritas programming, visit programs.

By Kathy-Ann Gobin