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A raconteur with strong faith, Loretta Ryan talks faith, media and a candle at St Stephen’s Cathedral

Radio stars: Loretta Ryan and Donna Lynch talk about being Catholic and in the mainstream media.

RADIO personality Donna Lynch sits down with ABC Radio Brisbane’s Loretta Ryan to discuss faith, media and a story about lighting a candle at St Stephen’s Cathedral.

Question: Loretta, welcome, and thank you for having a chat with us.

Answer: Oh thank you Donna it’s lovely to have a chat.

Question: Catholic school girl?

Answer: Catholic school girl of course Donna Lynch you know that. Yes, St Pius at Banyo, is where I did primary school. And St Rita’s at Clayfield is where I did high school.

Question: You often go back to St Rita’s I know to help out with school functions and things, do you notice a big difference besides the buildings and you know cosmetic side of stuff; do you notice a big difference when you go back to St Rita’s compared to how it was when you went there?

Answer: I think the values are the same; you know, actions not words, is what was instilled in us – we had the little badges that said that. And you know the fact that the school cares about the girls and it was a great lead-in to adult life because just teaching you how to act and how to treat each other. And I think more so now I mean the world we have today is a lot different to when I was growing up and there are a lot of a lot more things to worry about for schools like social media… and bullying. But I know for a fact that the school really concentrates on that and makes sure that they teach the girls the right way to act and they protect the girls too if they’re going through anything.

Question: You talk about that greatness within St Rita’s, obviously you learnt respect at home; do you find now that lots of families are relying on school teachers and schools to teach children respect?

Answer: Yes, I think they probably do because you hear that a lot – ‘Why didn’t the school do this? And ‘What’s wrong with the teachers?’ They get a lot of blame. And I know on the radio when we talk about schools, we get teachers ringing up talking about you know how it is tough in the classroom and a lot of pressure is placed on them. So I think it should all you know start at home and I know it did with us.

Question: Do you feel the pressure working in the media that it’s up to you to spread this sort of word too? Because a lot of people say that mainstream media is to blame for what the children are up to in this day and age.

Answer: Yeah, that’s true. I think mainstream media does have a big role to play; a positive role to play by teaching them (children) about, for example, cyberbullying. We do stories on that on the show. But also, I suppose that we’re picking the stories that we run too and how we choose to run those stories and being mindful of who’s listening and the messages that we’re giving across. So, I think mainstream media … should be used as an education. Especially when you’ve got children who are listening but also adults too. I mean we’re educating all listeners about things that are happening in the community.

Question: You’re a person of great faith Loretta, you go to Mass regularly. Do you find that difficult at times knowing you’ve got your faith and working in the media?

Answer: Yes, sometimes it’s difficult because I get very defensive if the Church is being attacked. And if the Catholic religion is being attacked. Sometimes I struggle internally with that because I don’t sort of know the answer … I … sometimes I feel like I can’t defend it properly myself. It can be very upsetting and because people can be very vicious. But I’m proud to say that I’m Catholic and I’ve got my religion. I’ve gone to the Catholic schools, as I’ve said before, and so it’s my life; it’s natural for me to pray, it’s natural for me to go to Church and also to treat people nicely – everything that you learn about in religion. For me that’s what religion is about and I know, for myself, it’s knowing (that) someone’s there if I’m struggling with something or I’m worried about something, upset. I know that I can say a prayer and, I don’t know, I just get some comfort out of that.

Question: First job was at Stereo Ten was it?

Answer: Yeah it was Radio Ten at the time then it changed to Stereo Ten so that was top 40 station in Brisbane. Then it went to I think Brisbane’s 1008 and then Light and Easy 1008 and then it went back to the old 4-OP because it was 4-OP originally. And then it went to 4-TAB; well I thought I don’t want to call racing yet maybe later down the track. So then I went to Triple M and I was there for sixteen years. And then I went to 4BH, 4BC and now ABC. I don’t think I’ve left anything out.

Question: It’s been a big ride hasn’t it?

Answer: It’s been a big ride. But I’ve been very lucky because many others in the industry haven’t had the luck of being in radio for 37 years. And I consider myself really privileged to have been able to do that; to have that career, very lucky. And you know, it’s funny, I put it down to the candle I lit at Saint Stephen’s Cathedral. And I still go back there to light a candle for a particular reason, not just not every well, but a particular thing that I’m worrying about at the time. But I was in town going for my job interview with mum and we were in between the two job interviews, I had to have two there, so we went to St Stephen’s and I lit candle and I got the job. Now I know that you don’t sort of think, “Oh I want to win a house, (so) I’m gonna light a candle.” That’s not how it works, but that was my first job and that was at eighteen (years old). So, but now, yes I do believe in the candle; that’s one thing that I’m really strong about – that lighting that candle is powerful.

Question: Anything else you’d like to do?

Answer: You know I admire people who can write, (who can) sit down to write a book or write articles and stuff. And even though I’ve written a few in my time it’s just finding the time, and the concentration, to sit down and do it. But I love interviewing people you know, I love finding about other people’s stories; I love to tell their stories. I hate talking about myself Donna Lynch. But I love to tell other people’s stories because there are people in the community who are doing wonderful things that we don’t even know about. And we don’t know that person and they’re doing great things every day for people. So I love to get their stories out because it makes them feel better. I like to make people laugh too… but I don’t want to be a comedian. Anything else I want to do? That’s about it. Sing maybe; I wish I could sing I really wish I could sing well. Not just AC/DC on karaoke.

Question: Look it’s been an absolute pleasure you are a true friend of mine you’re surrounded by true friends because of the type of person you are. So thank you for talking with us today and all the best in your future singing career.

Answer: Oh thank you, Donna I’m sure I’ll see you there on the mic as well.

Written by: Guest Contributor
Catholic Church Insurance

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