Imagine Jesus telling his disciples that in 2,000 years there would be a little box that wound make it possible to hear people talking from all around the world.
The first-century apostles probably would have scratched their heads in wonder, according to Ray Guarendi, but today radio is a part of everyday life for millions and a powerful tool for communicating.
Mr. Guarendi, a clinical psychologist, author, and national radio host, will be in Toledo Friday to give a boost to Annunciation Radio, a local Catholic station that is seeking to go on the air full-time by the end of 2008. He will be the keynote speaker at a fund-raising banquet Friday at the Holiday Inn French Quarter in Perrysburg.
The psychologist from Alliance, Ohio, was baptized a Catholic and grew up in a loving Italian Catholic family, he said.
He earned bachelor's and master's degrees from Case Western University and a doctorate from Kent State.
It was after college that he began to drift away from the faith of his family and eventually started attending an evangelical Christian church.
"I left the church for 10 years and I ultimately came back about 10 years ago," he said.
After returning to Catholicism, Mr. Guarendi was offered a chance to talk on Catholic radio.
"I was not interested," he said.
He had a successful family psychology practice, a busy speaking schedule, and 10 adopted children at home.
"My career was pretty full and I didn't want to get tied to a microphone," he said. "But then I discovered the incredible power of media to bring people back to the faith."
He now hosts two nationally broadcast programs, On Call with Dr. Ray and Friends and The Doctor Is In.
He said radio provides a sense of intimacy, as if the host were talking to listeners one-on-one, and the medium allows for a depth of discussion that is not found in most television programs.
Mr. Guarendi plans to speak about his journey back to Catholicism at the banquet Friday night.
"I was an engineer and my approach to faith is rather logical," he said. "Show me the reason, show me the logic. There's a certain historical proof to the Catholic Church, whether you want to acknowledge it or not she is historical. And if you want to explore the early church with an open mind, the evidence is overwhelming," he said.
He said his 10 adopted children, ages 8 to 20, are "all blessings through adoption" and "it gives me good material for my books."
Annunciation Radio is now broadcast from noon to 2 p.m. Sundays on WTOD-AM (1560) and seeks to be on the air full-time by the end of the year, according to Deacon Michael Learned, president of the station's board of directors.
Annunciation Radio's Fund-raising Banquet with Ray Guarendi will be from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Friday at the Holiday Inn French Quarter in Perrysburg. Tickets, $40 per person or $75 per couple, are available by calling 419-754-1009 or by e-mailing email@example.com. More information is available online at www.annunciationradio.com.
- David Yonke