Makati City, the Philippines 3 December 2019 -- “Bisperas sa Veritas” has now been fifteen years on air. It had its initial broadcast on the eve of the First Sunday of Advent (Year A) in November, 2004. Divine Providence has never been wanting. So also the spontaneous response of members of the Word Media Ministry, inspired by the dream of their dedicated and indefatigable spiritual director, Fr. Salvatore Putzu, SDB.
The title, “Bisperas sa Veritas,” contains its key purpose. It is aired on the eve (or bisperas) of the Sunday Eucharist over the Catholic Radio station Radyo Veritas, 846kHz. So, the name of the program literally means: the eve of the Sunday liturgy at Radio Veritas. The main objective of this weekly program that is aired every Saturday from 5:00 to 6:00pm is to foster a better appreciation of God’s Word in the liturgy and a more meaningful participation in the celebration of the Sunday Eucharist.
Format and Features
With the Filipino family as its main target audience, the broadcast team behind “Bisperas” simulates a family, engaged in an interactive catechesis on the Sunday readings. Fr. Salvatore Putzu, SDB, the main resource person, imagines that the interactive format of their weekly catechesis on the Sunday readings would encourage an even more animated and participative discussion through text messages and questions, landline phone calls, and e-mail messages from the listeners.
Unique to “Bisperas” is its focus not only on the Gospel reading, but also on the two other Sunday readings. Often these are downplayed, if not altogether put aside. A particular theme identified at the start of the program serves to stitch together the reflections on the three readings.
The program carries an innovative “character” of inquiry and questioning, resulting in candid, sometimes naïve, questions articulated by the listeners. The broadcast team handles these with care, calmly and unobtrusively providing answers. Hence, a more enriched catechesis unfolds through these pertinent questions brought to the fore and the resulting clarification of Biblical passages that are often misunderstood.
The live broadcast attempts to attract more listeners by adding variety to the program. Fr. Salvatore always composes a special prayer to bring together the theme, the readings, and the round-table discussion on contemporary issues. Halfway through the program, there are prayer requests or intentions, as well as greetings and suggestions, from the listeners.
“Bisperas” depends solely on Divine Providence and the goodwill and generosity of friends who believe in its cause and of benefactors who cannot be actively involved. There are no commercial sponsors. Through the years, Fr. Salvatore has always managed to pay the bills. He remains ever optimistic and inspired by the saying, “Where God guides, He provides.”
People behind the Program
The mainstays of the broadcast team are the Salesians, Fr. Salvatore Putzu and Fr. Bernard Nolasco, SDB who alternately anchor the program. Members of Word Media Ministry also take turns to complete the “family” broadcast team. Among them are Lholet Balboa, Citas Sugue, Mila Macam, Vi Hernandez, and Bennette Consolacion.
In these fifteen years of bringing the Word of God on the air, “Bisperas” has steadily widened its audience, as reflected in the messages reaching Radio Veritas from various parts of the country. Many priests candidly acknowledge how the interactive catechesis help them in their homilies on the following Sunday.
“Bisperas sa Veritas” also maximizes the power of the Internet and can be accessed anywhere in the world. It goes live in the Facebook page of Radio Veritas, Veritas846.ph. Moreover, Bisperas sa Veritas on Facebook has all the recent past programs posted, as well as relevant and timely Church teachings and information. With the mobile app of Veritas 846 (App Store and/or Play Store), the livestream of “Bisperas sa Veritas” can also be accessed.
As the people of Bisperas Sa Veritas thank the Lord Jesus for all the blessings in these past fifteen years, they look forward with hope in being heralds of the Good News through the radio ministry.
(Attached photo: clockwise from upper left corner: Citas Sugue, Vi Hernadez, Bennette Consolacion, Mila Macam, Lholet Balboa, Fr. Salvatore Putzu, SDB, Fr. Bernard Nolasco, SDB)