A new radio talk-back program - titled The Layman's Hour - was launched on 4 February 2001 in Western Australia. Its host, Raymond de Souza, is the founder and director of St Gabriel Communications, which is an educational initiative specialising in promoting Catholic apologetics.
In 1997-98, the Archdiocese of Perth sponsored an experimental broadcast, Sounds Catholic, with Mr de Souza commissioned by Archbishop Hickey to be its producer and to run its "Radio Replies" section.
The Layman's Hour will present reports, interviews and discussions on issues affecting the Catholic community, providing airtime for Catholics to share their news and views on national and international issues. It will also report on the teachings of the Pope and the Archbishop as they are issued, without distortion or misrepresentation.
The program will not avoid controversy, since it aims to address situations giving rise to dissent, confusion and division in the Church, while defending the Catholic position clearly and without compromise.
On the first Sunday of the month, the Cathedral Youth Forum will be broadcast live. Here, young people are able to ask any questions they wish about matters of faith, morals and authority in the Catholic Church.
The Layman's Hour is being aired on Sunday evenings between 8.00pm and 9.00pm by Radio Fremantle (100.1 FM). Raymond de Souza can be contacted on (08) 9202 1300 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org