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The Deacon's Bench

In all the excitement about Milwaukee’s new archbishop — installed yesterday — a little known detail of his early life has gone largely overlooked.

He’s an old radio guy.

Read on:

Chicago radio airwaves have carried great voices such as Harry Carray, Wally Phillips, Paul Harvey and Bob Collins. But there’s a duo that deserves some recognition for being among the pioneers in Chicago talk radio: “the great team of Furlan and Listecki,” described Fr. Mike Furlan headlining “Catholic Conversations,” Sunday evenings on WIND in the late 1970s.

Classmates at Niles College of Loyola University, seminarians Furlan and Listecki were in the same dorm sophomore year and shared similar interests in music and priesthood.

“It was really hard not to be friends with him,” said now-Fr. Furlan, pastor of St. Germaine Parish, Oak Lawn, in the Chicago Archdiocese, of the classmate he remembers as being “outgoing, sociable, and easy-to-get along with.”

It’s no surprise, when a couple years after ordination in 1975, Fr. Furlan was offered a chance to host a radio show, that he had one priest in mind as a potential co-host: Fr. Listecki.

Looking back at the early days of Archbishop Listecki’s radio career, Fr. Furlan, in a telephone interview with your Catholic Herald, tongue-in-cheek explained, “The radio show – he gets a lot of credit for something he fell into.”

While in college, seminarian Furlan studied ways to use the media to spread the church’s message. About two and a half years after he was ordained, he was contacted by the Chicago archdiocesan director of communications who offered him an hour segment on local radio.

While Fr. Furlan said he thought it strange that a local radio station would give away an hour of time, he agreed to host the program, provided he could have a co-host.

Fr. Furlan was told to find a co-host himself, and he immediately sought out his classmate, Fr. Listecki.

“WIND wants to give the archdiocese an hour of time on the radio,” explained Fr. Furlan to Fr. Listecki.

“Oh, wow, that’s great,” replied his friend.

“And the archdiocese wants me to do it,” Fr. Furlan told him.

“Yeah, you’d be great,” he replied.

Fr. Furlan asked Fr. Listecki to join him behind the microphone.

“He paused for a moment, and then said, ‘Yeah, OK,’ … and the great team of Furlan and Listecki was born,” recalled Fr. Furlan.

Check out the rest at the link.

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