Planting the faith

By ¡OYE! Staff

Every year over 23,000 young Hispanics gather at the Los Angeles Sports Arena for a weekend of music, prayer, and worship at the Catholic Youth Congress. This massive gathering, which is held in Spanish, attracts young people from the United States and Mexico, and is just one of several major events held each year for Catholics of all ages by El Sembrador Ministries.

El Sembrador Ministries was founded by Noel Díaz, who began his journey of faith and ministry by attending classes in Scriptures and the Doctrine of the Church, at Our Lady of Loretto in Los Angeles, with Father Santiago Medina. After lots of study and prayer, in 1984 Díaz, who comes from a humble family in Tijuana, began preaching in a small ecclesial community, which met at home. As it began to grow, Father Paul Peterson, pastor at Saint Thomas the Apostle Church, approached Díaz and offered them a place in the parish hall for their weekly meetings.

This was the beginning of a new evangelization ministry that today packs entire stadiums with Catholics and has ministries such as: Base Communities; Door to Door Evangelization; Barrios para Cristo, a gang outreach program; Intercession Prayer Team; Lay Missionaries of the Word, who preach throughout the country; Guardianes, a men’s ministry to form better husbands and fathers; and diverse ministries for married couples, youth, and children.

It didn’t take long before Díaz began taking the Word to the radio airwaves. The Dimensión de Fe evangelization program was first heard on local FM radio, on January 10, 1990. In 2002, he offered to purchase an AM station with the idea of converting it into a forum for Catholic programs. He leased the station for one year with the option to purchase it at the end of this period. The station owner accepted and on Ash Wednesday, March 5, 2003 the first Catholic radio station in Southern California was born. Radio Católica is currently heard throughout California, Illinois, Arizona, Mexico, Spain, and on the Internet. The radio station was soon followed by the idea of launching a Catholic television station to broadcast in the U.S. and Latin America. Díaz and a technical crew created a plan to acquire a Federal Communications Commission license and the necessary equipment, while a second team worked on creating television programs and schedules for a 24-hour format.

With the blessing of Cardinal Roger Mahony, ESNE TV (El Sembrador New Evangelization) officially went on air via satellite on July 31, 2003. Since then, ESNE has been transmitting programs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, through cable companies to cities in Mexico, Central and South America, and via their website. ESNE is the only Catholic channel with a studio inside the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City, one of the most visited religious shrines in the world.

To view and listen to El Sembrador Ministries’ Catholic programs visit



Celebrating 10 years of service to Hispanic youth!


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