Brothers share faith on WAOB airwaves
BY ELISABETH SMITH
Growing up in a family of 11 siblings with a rich Catholic faith, brothers Jim and Joe Parrish knew they should look to God when they felt lost.
So, when both hit a professional crossroads as young men, the Bolivar natives and parishioners of Holy Family Parish, Seward, turned to prayer and discovered a surprising opportunity.
“In 2010, I was studying at Franciscan University and figuring out what to do with my life,” Jim said. “I was thinking of changing my major and looking for a summer job when I approached the General Manager of We Are One Body® Radio (WAOB), to see if they had any summer jobs.”
Joe was in a similar situation. At 18 and fresh out of high school, he wasn’t sure what was next. Thankfully, WAOB® staff told his brother they were interested in interviewing both of them, and Joe followed in Jim’s footsteps to check out the opportunities there.
“I was really praying and discerning about the electrical union. I met a wonderful woman who is now my wife and we heard of this new radio station where my brother was trying to get his foot in the door,” Joe said. “They told him they pray about everyone they hire, and they really envisioned brothers working together.”
Following their interviews, both attended a Catholic retreat as they prayed about their futures — and both returned home to a phone call that would set them on a clear path that was true to their faith.
“The day I got back, I got a call not just offering me a summer job, but a full-time job,” Jim recalled of WAOB, or We Are One Body® Radio, which broadcasts at 106.7 FM, 860 AM and 1510 AM across the greater Pittsburgh area.
Joe also received a job offer, and the two have been helping offer the WAOB® listeners a “little window into the life of the Church” for more than a decade.
Joe is an audio technician who wears many hats, including maintaining the broadcast towers, fitting cathedrals with sound equipment and even coordinating all the remote recordings for the studio.
Jim started out in a dual role of an On-Air Host and Production Engineer and is now in a dual role of the Manager of Production and an On-Air Host. As the Manager of Production, Jim oversees the WAOB® Staff that is responsible for recording, editing, and producing the programming that you hear on We Are One Body® Radio.
Jim and Joe take pride in the mission of WAOB®, of which, one of the main goals is to broadcast the magisterial teaching of the Catholic Church – including the on-going teaching of the Pope and bishops. Priests, in a supportive role to the Holy Father and the bishops, offer clarification and meditations on those teachings for the WAOB® listeners. The programming includes daily broadcasts of the Holy Mass, the Liturgy of the Hours, broadcasts from the Vatican, devotional prayers, and sacred music. Understanding that God, through the Holy Spirit, is the real teacher, We Are One Body® Radio does its best to offer a meditative, prayerful environment
for its listeners.
“Many of us want to have a closer relationship with Jesus and desire a deeper understanding of the Catholic Faith”, Jim stated. “However, in our culture today, it’s a bit taboo to talk about our Faith. WAOB® Radio offers a publicly available venue where the teachings of the Church, the mysteries of the Church, and the beautiful life of the Catholic Church can be shared with all.”
“I think that we all need to step out of our comfort zone by being a model of Christ and a witness of love in our daily actions.”
The brothers say their call to WAOB® has been a blessing in both faith and family.
“My brother and I used to talk about working together and how cool that would be,” Joe said. “Never did we think we’d be working together within our faith. I’m extremely blessed to work in my faith, I know that.”
Jim echoes his brother’s feelings and adds that the WAOB® staff is like a tight-knit family. His work allows him and Joe to collaborate while also utilizing their talents differently in service to God, through the station.
“It’s great to have him here as part of this journey,” Jim said. “I think for most people it would be a dream to work with a brother, sister or best friend.”