Prince Robert-Joseph Soji Olagunju, of Nigeria, has announced Tuesday the launch of a Catholic television station, ‘Lumen Christi TV,’ on Africa’s DStv platform.
In a statement made available to Vatican Radio, Olagunju, the founder and Chairperson of Lumen Christi TV said the television station first started its broadcasts to a mostly Nigerian audience in 2014. This week, Lumen Christi TV was allocated channel 350 on the DStv platform.
DStv (Digital Satellite Television) is owned by the South African company, MultiChoice. Among other media interests, MultiChoice provides a relatively modern and popular digital Satellite TV service in Africa. It has various television bouquets available to customers. DStv is said to have 8 million subscribers in Africa.
The Lagos-based Lumen Christi TV was officially launched in 2014 by the Archbishop of Lagos, Alfred Martins in the presence of other Bishops and the Catholic faithful.
In his statement this week, Olagunju said, “Lumen Christi TV was established by an African for African Catholics, broadcasting the practice of Catholicism by Africans from the perspectives of their age-long, rich socio-cultural heritage.” He added, “We started in Lekki, Lagos on 13 May 2014. We broadcast pure Catholic content 24 hours daily.”
Catholic viewers in Africa can expect the Daily Mass, Angelus, Holy Rosary recitation, homilies, reflections and Catholic teachings meant to deepen the knowledge of the Catholic faithful. Other programmes will be on the Catechism of the Church, documentaries and the coverage of major Church events.
Presenting Lumen Christi TV to the Bishops of Nigeria in 2014, Olagunju told Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama, the President of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Nigeria, that he felt inspired to present to the Catholic Church of Africa, a channel that would compliment the work of the Church. He also said he wanted to give hope to those who had lost their Catholic faith.
“Lumen Christi (TV) is a Satellite television station I conceived as a direct answer to that soul inspiring Catholic hymn that says – ‘How can I repay the Lord for his goodness to me?’... I am humbled beyond doubt, that one cannot really repay God in totality for his numerous blessings over the years, simply because these blessings and favours are immeasurable and of course unquantifiable,” Olagunju said.
Olagunju said he was concerned that the Church in Africa, with millions of the lay faithful across the continent, did not have direct means, such as a television station, for her work of evangelization.
Nigerian media this week quoted the Managing Director of MultiChoice Nigeria, John Ugbe saying that the introduction of Lumen Christi TV on the DStv platform was in line with the company’s strategy to provide a diversified range of content that would appeal to its different subscribers.
“We are making great content more accessible with the launch of Lumen Christi, and we believe it will enrich the lives of our subscribers especially those of the Catholic faith,” he said.
(Fr. Paul Samasumo, Vatican Radio)