People love radio — the music, the sports games, and the talk shows. But for many, that’s it. They are passive participants in the experience. A select few, however, love being on the other side of a radio, actively working to bring entertainment and education to the masses. Alumnus Christopher Wells (’97) is one of those select few, gifted with the ability to speak well on broadcasts. Since 2011, he has worked at Vatican Radio – now a part of the Vatican’s new Secretariat of Communication – speaking about the news, interviewing cardinals, bishops, and other Catholic luminaries, and bringing the Vatican into homes across the globe.
Wells is passionate about theology. A native of Aberdeen, South Dakota, he traveled all the way to Front Royal, Virginia, to study theology at Christendom. After earning his degree, Wells spent the next few years in Catholic seminaries, discerning a vocation to the priesthood. While he would eventually discern a different calling, his love for theology would remain the same, taking him to the heart of the Church: Rome.
He worked as a tour guide initially, specifically at the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel. All summer long, five days a week, he would look at the great works of art in the Chapel, talking to onlookers about their history and their importance. His love for the Vatican, and his skills in speaking, eventually took him to a place he did not expect right after college — radio.
“Finding work at Vatican Radio was truly providential,” Wells said. “It’s a tremendous opportunity to be able to share in the work of bringing the message of the Gospel to people around the world.”
Today, Wells’ main job at Vatican Radio the Secretariat is working on a 15-minute English-language newscast that’s broadcast twice a day. The segment includes news from around the world, along with news from the Catholic Church. Wells also translates Pope Francis’ morning message, with that translation often appearing in other media outlets throughout the world. Wells has traveled with the Pope on some of his papal journeys, and has given live coverage of special Masses in St. Peter’s Basilica. Additionally, Wells interviews Church dignitaries and luminaries for Vatican Radio, including past interviews with Cardinal Pell, and one with Christendom’s president, Dr. O’Donnell as well.
When Wells was at Christendom back in the ‘90s, he had no idea he would be working for Vatican Radio in the future, living in Rome and speaking about Church affairs to households across the globe. And yet, his education in Front Royal, Virginia, has helped him throughout, with his background in theology and his cultivated communication skills contributing to his success.
“Christendom College gave me an excellent intellectual formation that has been a great help both in my academic work and in my career in Radio. But most importantly, it gave me a great love for the Church – a love that has only grown in my time here in Rome and at the Vatican, the very heart of Christendom.”
For those interested in listening to Wells’ segments on Vatican Radio, they can listen online at en.radiovaticana.va.