Rev. Francis Hoffman ‘Fr. Rocky’, Executive Director/CEO of Relevant Radio® and member of Catholic Order of Foresters, took time to answer questions from Editor Connor McEleney about Relevant Radio and the future of the Catholic Church.
Connor McEleney: How can the Church further engage the spirit of Generation Z (those born from 1997-2009) and Generation Alpha (2010-2025)?
Fr. Rocky Hoffman: The Church is there for you from before you are born until after you die, but it all starts at home. Parents introduce their children to the Catholic Faith and nurture that faith throughout their lifetime. That’s why I love the Family Rosary Across America® so much — parents pray with their children and it helps to deepen their faith and connect them to Christ.
Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me.” Our young people crave an authentic Church. They don’t need us to dumb things down for them. Rather, they need us to show them the joy, beauty, and truth that the Catholic Church offers. Teaching them about Jesus Christ — his words, his example, his teachings, and his challenges — is key. But we also need to show them what a personal relationship with Jesus looks like.
Ten-year-old César called me during the Family Rosary Across America® and asked if we would pray for his grandpa who was in the hospital. He said, “I want God to come down from heaven to touch my grandpa on the forehead and heal him so he can come home.” That is the most trusting, faithful, beautiful prayer that I’ve heard in a long time. César knows without a doubt that God is good, he loves us, and wants what’s best for us. His childlike faith is something that I, for one, would like to imitate!
Connor: Is the New Evangelization crucial for the future of the Church?
Fr. Rocky: Evangelization, new and old, is always crucial for the future and present of the Church. It starts with a personal relationship with Christ. We need to experience it for ourselves first, and then we can spread it to others.
If we don’t feed the fire of faith, it goes out. It must be passed on through our families and communities. Relevant Radio provides a community of worldwide believers to learn, grow, and be inspired in their faith. Then they are empowered to go out to spread the Good News.
Connor: What inspires and drives your ministry?
Fr. Rocky: That’s easy — the Holy Eucharist. Jesus gives of himself for us, completely and without reservation, and asks us to do the same for others. It’s why we have Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament in our Relevant Radio chapel every day while our show hosts are on the air. Jesus is at the center of our mission and everything we do.
Connor: What brings listeners to Relevant Radio’s airwaves and why should Catholics listen to Relevant Radio?
Fr. Rocky: Everyone has their own story. Some come looking for us; some find us by accident. Divine Providence connects people to us when they need us — through a friend, a bumper sticker, or a turn of the radio dial. We recently received a letter from Janice in Los Angeles who is a new Catholic and asked the Lord to help her find a Catholic radio station. Well, that very same day, she found Relevant Radio®!
After people find Relevant Radio, they stick around for lots of reasons. Let me tell you why I listen to Relevant Radio. First, I listen because every time I turn on the radio, I am uplifted and inspired. Relevant Radio not only shares the truth, but beauty and goodness, too. I don’t know about you, but I love good news! And second, because I learn things! Whatever I hear leads me closer to Christ, never away from him.