BRIEF HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT OF:
"EL SEMBRADOR MINISTRIES"
El Sembrador Ministries is a non-profit organization legally established in Los Angeles, California since November 1994. We operate with the spiritual support of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.
Origins of El Sembrador Ministries - 1984
To introduce El Sembrador Ministries, we should first introduce the founder, Mr. Noel Diaz. He is a married man with 3 children. On March 31, 1984, while attending mass, he felt called to serve the Lord. He began his journey by attending classes in Scriptures and the Doctrine of the Church at our Lady of Loreto in Los Angeles with Fr. Santiago Medina, teacher in Sacred Scripture.
Saint Thomas the Apostle Parish
Provided is a brief narration of El Sembrador’s historical development. After careful study and prayer, Noel Díaz began to preach in a small base community. Soon, the small base community held at home grew to an overwhelming number. The pastor at Saint Thomas the Apostle Church in Los Angeles, Fr Paul Peterson, approached Mr. Díaz to offer their base community a place in the parish hall for their weekly meetings. Six months later, the newly arrived pastor, Fr. Dennis O’Neil, (Whom in his last days of life, served as auxiliary bishop in the dioceses of San Bernardino), witnessed the growth of the community which now overfilled the parish hall. The new pastor, Fr. Dennis O’Neil, offered Mr. Diaz the church to allow the people to listen to the preaching of the Word. Soon the gathered crowd outgrew the church building and occupied the parking lot. As time progressed, a monthly meeting at the local college auditorium enabled the faithful followers to receive the Good News from the voice of this humble preacher. Fr. Dennis O’Neil, current Auxiliary Bishop of San Bernardino, is Noel’s spiritual director to date and has been a spiritual guide of El Sembrador Ministries.
The preaching of the Word rendered abundant fruits for St. Thomas the Apostle Parish since El Sembrador Ministries has several ministries that support parish life, some of these ministries include: 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; Married Couples; Guardianes, a men’s ministry to form better husband and father figures; Youth; and Children.
MASSIVE EVENTS OF EVANGELIZATION
Noel’s leadership and the peoples’ support allowed the first massive event to be a success. The first event Congreso de Católicos Unidos en la Fe (Congress for Catholics United in the Faith) was held at East Los Angeles College Football Stadium on a hot summer day, nonetheless, the attendance ranged from 7 to 9 thousand participants. The summer heat could not keep the people of God from hearing the preaching of the Word. This first congress led the Ministry to focus on specific audiences: Congreso de Parejas (Congress for Couples); Congreso de Mujeres (Congress for Women); Congreso de Hombres (Congress for Men); and Congreso de Jóvenes (Youth Congress). These massive events continue to be held on a yearly basis and currently range between 5,000 to 13,000 participants.
Evangelization through radio - 1990
Noel decided to extend the preaching of the Word on radio airwaves which was well received. The first Dimensión de Fe evangelization program transmits on local FM radio airwaves on January 10, 1990. Again the hand of God was leading Mr. Diaz to take new challenges since the radio program Dimensión de Fe soon expanded to short wave radio in over 40 countries in Latin America. God then led our evangelization ministry back home to transmit on a local radio station.
Currently, Dimensión de Fe airs on Radio KALI 900AM from 11:00am to 12:00pm, Monday thru Friday. Through Radio KALI 900 AM, we reach the community in Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Orange counties. The program is highly popular and allows us to have access to Spanish-speaking southern Californians at home, at work and in their cars.
Late in the year of 2002, Noel Díaz received an offer to buy KHPY 1670AM (Inland Empire) with the possibility of converting it as a forum for Catholic Programs. He prayed, consulted several experts then negotiated with the owner to lease the station for one year with the possibility of buying it at the end of this time. The owner accepted the deal and Ash Wednesday, March 5, 2003 marked beginning of the only Catholic radio station in Southern California. An added blessing is that this frequency can extend the coverage area of Southern California. Today, we transmit Spanish and English evangelization programs through our other affiliated radio stations; 1240 AM San Diego: Monday through Saturday 24 hours, 750 AM Chicago: Monday through Friday, 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm Central time, 700 AM Salinas and the San Joaquin valley 24 hours, 7 Days a week, 105.0 FM ESNE Radio Spain.
First television program airs on local channel - 1994
Again, the Lord led the Ministry to mass media; this time is was to television. Dimensión de Fe television program is a fruit of the resurrection of Christ since it was first aired one Easter Sunday morning in 1994. The program became extremely popular amongst Spanish-speaking Catholic families in the Archdioceses of Los Angeles. Every Sunday morning at 10:00am, the people of God heard a reflection coming from Noel or invited guests composed of lay persons and clergymen.
Today Dimension de Fe airs live Monday thru Friday from 6:30am to 7:00am through a local open channel that reaches a potential audience of more than 6 millions Catholic Hispanics in Southern California. KRCA Channel 62 frequency reaches from South Ventura County to North San Diego County. It is noteworthy, that the popular television program Dimension de Fe has placed our spot on Nielsen ratings.
In the year 2000, El Sembrador Ministries was invited to transmit Dimensión de Fe live on Claravision, a Catholic Mexican channel which reached many countries in Latin America and the United States. The program was highly successful during the approximately six months that it aired on Claravisión. After that experience, the seed was sown in Noel’s heart to spread the Gospel via television. Therefore, after concluding their time on Claravisión, El Sembrador Ministers initiated a period of intense prayer to find ways to continue reaching the people of God in Latin America and the United States. During this time of prayer and discernment, a homebound elderly man who was stricken to bed for the past ten years called Noel from Mexico. Noel personally addressed this call in which the elderly ill man asked why program no longer aired Claravisión. He then pleaded Noel to return the Dimension de Fe since it nourished and comforted him spiritually. This was the sign that Noel interpreted as coming from God that further motivated to find new ways of reaching out to people like this homebound person which epitomized those touched by the Word. This event set the stage for a new challenge and a clearer vision of reaching the United States and Latin America through a Catholic television Channel.
El Sembrador Ministries initiated an investigation regarding the possibility of forming a Catholic Channel to transmit in the United States and Latin America. In 2001, Noel and the technical crew formed a plan to acquire an FCC license and proper equipment for transmitting the signal. At the same time, another team worked on elaborating the television program and schedule for a 24 hour format. Additionally, a campaign was launched to acquire the funds for this new project. The people who walk with and support El Sembrador Ministries responded with enthusiasm to this new proposal for Catholic television. A few months later, by God’s providence and the people’s generous donations, El Sembrador Ministries leased a building to assemble a television and radio studio in Burbank, California.
In May 2002, Mr. Diaz presented the work of El Sembrador Ministries to the Pontificate Council of Social Communications in Rome to receive the Church’s blessing for this evangelization project. Subsequently, Mons. John P. Foley, then President of the Pontificate Council for Social Communications, sent a letter of congratulations to His Eminence Cardinal Roger Mahony for projects accomplished by El Sembrador Ministries in the local Church and for the new Catholic evangelization Channel ESNE (El Sembrador New Evangelization). His Eminence Cardinal Roger Mahony proceeded to bless the television and radio studio.
ESNE officially began transmitting to Latin America via Satellite on July 31, 2003, the day that His Holiness John Paul II presided the canonization ceremony of Saint Juan Diego in Mexico City at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Since then, ESNE has been transmitting programs 24 hours 7 days a week via satellite through cable companies to cities located in: Mexico, Central and South America. To date, the coverage area continues to expand within and to other countries.
Today, ESNE is the only Catholic Channel with a studio inside the basilica of Our Lady Of Guadalupe in Mexico City which is most Visited Religious shrine in the world.
On the first anniversary, July 31, 2003, the Lord opens a new door for ESNE to transmit in the United States. Since access for cable companies in the United States to bring down our signal was not available, the Lord opened a new door through a different means. The door came through a new technology that consists of 2 ½ feet wide antenna (KU band) and a receiver which will allow people to receive our Catholic programming without the need to pay a monthly fee to a cable company.
El Sembrador Ministries on the Internet - 2003
Each Christian era has challenges for the task of proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ, at present, the internet is one of those challenges. El Sembrador Ministries prophetically accepts the challenge of utilizing the internet as a means of transmitting the New Evangelization. El Sembrador Ministries is filled with joy to announce that as of Thursday, May 22, 2003 our Catholic Spanish Channel ESNE viewed in Latin America became available to the world through the internet. The following day, Friday, May 23, 2003 our Catholic radio programming transmitted through KHPY 1670 AM also began transmitting to all the nations via internet. To view and listen to El Sembrador Ministries’ Catholic programs, access is available through our website www.esne.tv. The internet is a major breakthrough not only for the Church in Southern California who continually witnesses the work of the Spirit through this ministry but for a world that yearns to hear the Good News.
El Sembrador Ministries for the English Speaking Catholics - 2003
In an effort to outreach English Speaking Catholics, we began with four hours of English programming on our Radio Católica El Sembrador airtime. This programming allows us to reach English speaking Catholics in Southern California and the world through the internet. Furthermore, Thursday, June 5, 2003 marked the first English-speaking Bible study held by El Sembrador Ministries at Holy Family Catholic Church in Glendale, California. Presently, "The Sower" holds weekly meetings at St. Frances of Rome Parish in Azusa California.