GREEN BAY — When Patrick Alog moved to northeast Wisconsin in May of 2016 to start his new position as a producer at Relevant Radio, he began searching for a Catholic faith community. Alog attended Mass at different churches, looking for the right fit. About a month after he arrived, he walked into St. Francis Xavier Cathedral.
“I thought, ‘This feels like home,’” he said. “Later that year, I joined the cathedral. It was the first time I really made a choice of where to become a parishioner.”
Alog spent the first 28 years of his life in southern California. He grew up in Lakewood, a city of 80,000 people in Los Angeles County. His family belonged to St. Peter Chanel Parish in Hawaiian Gardens, Calif., which was operated by the Oblates of the Virgin Mary.
“I really didn’t know my faith until confirmation in high school,” he said. “I was getting older and I remember that it just clicked. There was a time in high school when I thought about the priesthood. I even did a ‘come and see.’ It was common for young men from that parish to think about the priesthood.”
Alog recalls the vibrancy of his home parish. Confessions were offered throughout the day, Monday through Saturday, and he said it was common for lines to grow 15 to 20 deep. Daily Mass attendance was also strong.
“One lady who would go to daily Mass lived 30 miles away,” he said. “She told me, ‘I make a 60-mile round trip for Mass.’
“Whenever I go back there, it’s like I never left,” added Alog. “If I had gone to another parish, I don’t know if I would be (working Catholic radio) today.”
Following high school, Alog studied broadcast journalism at California State University, Fullerton. While looking for a full-time radio job, he worked at a sports statistics company, as a substitute teacher and did sports broadcasting for his alma mater. His first Catholic radio experience began in 2005 while he was still a college student.
“I met a guy at a party. It’s funny where things land. I told him I wanted to be in radio,” explained Alog. “Two weeks later, I was helping out with this national show based in Orange County, ‘St. Joseph Radio Presents.’ It was broadcast on the EWTN (Catholic Radio) network. I helped out with phone calls, phone screening. I did that until 2012. It was all volunteer, although I think I got a nice $100 check at the end of the year.”
In 2013, Alog moved to Mobile, Ala., for a position with Archangel Radio. He joined the parish located across the street, so he didn’t feel that he had a choice of faith communities. The next closest Catholic church was six miles away. Alog said that his three years in Alabama were valuable in preparing him for Relevant Radio, where he now serves as producer of Morning Air, hosted by John Harper and Glen Lewerenz.
In addition to finding a faith community when he arrived, Alog also set out to connect with Catholic young adults in the diocese.
“I like going around to different groups,” he said. “I go to Titletown Catholic events. I’ve gone to Fox Valley. I’ve gone to an Oshkosh event. It was a Monday Night Football event in Oshkosh. Living in California, 50 miles is a difficult drive to attend an event when you have to work the next day, but here the drive is not too bad at all.
“I think it’s very important if you are a young adult, single or married, to find that community to prop you up, especially in today’s world. I have friends outside the faith, as we all do, but when you find friends who have the same faith as you, it encourages you. It rejuvenates you, especially if you are going through a down time.”
Alog appreciates the variety of the Catholic young adult offerings in the diocese, ranging from adoration to meeting at a bar to talk. He has also found service opportunities.
“We get involved in community events,” he said. “For Fox Valley, we helped out at Feeding America.”
Alog serves as a lector and is a member of the Adult Schola Choir at St. Francis Xavier Cathedral. He recently became a mentor for the high school faith formation program at St. John the Baptist Parish in Howard.
Attending daily Mass is a way Alog lives out his faith. He feels fortunate that Mass is celebrated each day at Relevant Radio. He prays the rosary while working out in the gym, which he continued after starting the practice during Lent.
“I also listen to a good amount of podcasts, some religious, some not,” he said. “I decided that, on Fridays, I’m going to keep it to religious programming.
“After Mass, I would usually leave,” he added. “I recently started to stay after Mass for a little bit. I say a couple prayers, special intentions. A goal is waking up and doing formal morning prayer, but I have to keep working on that.”
Alog’s day begins early for the morning show. The one drawback of his schedule is that he often cannot stay up late to watch his favorite sports teams on the West Coast, including the Dodgers and Lakers. Overall, the transition to the Green Bay area has been great, he said, even the weather.
“I would rather be in zero-degree weather than 100-degree weather any day,” he said. “I don’t complain about the cold.”