New radio show will promote faith, sports and how they relate to God

Notre Dame High School chaplain Father Jason Parzynski, left, and Irish strength and conditioning coach John McKenna will host a new show, “Just Be You,” which will premiere Jan. 7 on Domestic Church Media’s Catholic Radio Network. In the background is DCM co-founder Jim Manfredonia. Courtesy photo

FROM THE MONITOR

By Rich Fisher | Contributing Editor

It could very well be the perfect storm for inspiring youth athletes to practice faith – sports, religion and the mass media.

Combine the three and you get a new radio show titled “Just Be You” on Domestic Church Media’s Catholic Radio Network. The program, which premieres at 3:30 p.m. Jan. 7, is the idea of Notre Dame High School chaplain Father Jason Parzynski and the Lawrenceville school’s strength and conditioning coach John McKenna of the Diocese’s Catholic Athletes for Christ.

The show will air Tuesdays at 3:30 p.m. and be rebroadcast on Saturdays at 9 a.m. before being posted on domestichurchmedia.org. The purpose is to teach how athletics and faith help youth players to become who God created them to be. 

“This is an opportunity to continue to develop and build upon the mission of Catholic Athletes for Christ, not only those under our guidance, but the whole audience area of the radio station,” Father Parzynski said, noting that the station has a signal that ranges from Philadelphia to New York. “It’s an opportunity for the greater community to recognize the successes of our student athletes in our Catholic schools, and also to help people recognize that sports is certainly a viable way to help illustrate the value of faith in a relationship with God.”

Father Parzynski, CAC chaplain and diocesan vocations director, said Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M. has challenged him and McKenna, diocesan CAC moderator, to get chapters in all the Catholic high schools in the Diocese and, hopefully, beyond. Six of the Diocese’s 11 high schools currently have CAC chapters.  

The results of CAC have been encouraging, to say the least.

“We use the method of their sport to help illustrate the value of what leadership looks like, how it’s put into practice, and how it’s the same thing with life. When we stumble and fall and don’t give our best, these are things they can immediately relate to because of their experience with athletics,” Father Parzynski said. “And just as they can overcome those challenges in their sport, they can overcome them, too, in their relationship with God.”

Having the power of radio provides a strong platform to deliver the message.

“Our motto is about ‘just being you.’ Kids are trying to be something that they’re not. They’re always trying to be that superstar that they see on TV, or that movie star. Just be comfortable with who you are,” McKenna said.

The first scheduled guest is Rob Buecker, a graduate of Notre Dame High School who is now playing baseball at West Point. Buecker was the catalyst for bringing Bible study sessions to Notre Dame athletic teams, and McKenna thinks he is the perfect role model to kick off the guest list. “As much as our kids may look up to an NFL guy, we have youth kids who look up to our high school kids.”

“Just Be You” can be found on Domestic Church Media Catholic Radio at WFJS Trenton (1260 AM); WGYM Hammonton (1580 AM); WSMJ North Wildwood (91.9 FM) and WFJS Freehold (89.3 FM), or on domesticchurchmedia.org, on the DCM Mobile App, and on the Amazon Alexa and Google Home devices.

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