Born and raised in Eugene Oregon, Chris Lyford is the eighth of nine children. His Parents, Bob and Ellen Lyford, sent all nine children through Catholic grade school and high school. After attending the University of Oregon and becoming involved in campus ministry, Chris decided to go full time into lay ministry retreat work with high school students in St. Helena CA. Chris then moved from the Napa Valley to Sonoma County into full time parish ministry working with youth and young adults, music ministry, and confirmation preparation. After getting his degree in Theology, Chris has spent many years in the high school classroom teaching about the wealth of our Catholic Faith: Church History; Sacraments; Morality; Scripture. Chris and his wife Vickie have never stopped their ministry to families, and have founded the New Life Family Mission in 2011 which serves under the 501c3 umbrella of Divine Mercy Inc. Pope Francis has just announced a “Jubilee Year of Mercy” which began December 8th 2015 and will concludes on the Solemnity of Christ the King, Nov. 20, 2016.
Chris has had a significant role in the recent Catholic radio movement since founding the Lay Catholic Broadcasting Network, an apostolate dedicated to fostering the growth and development of Catholic radio throughout the country. He has co-hosted, and produced national radio programs, and helped with the establishment of Catholic radio stations, and programs since 1995.
Chris is the Director of Communications for the Diocese of Santa Rosa, and was recently the Chief Digital Officer at the Archdiocese of San Francisco. Before that, her served as the Director of Community Relations for Immaculate Heart Radio in the San Francisco area, having been involved in developing Catholic Radio for over 15 years. Chris has worked in the San Francisco Archdiocese teaching religious studies at Marin Catholic High School, as the Family Life Director for the Archdiocese under Archbishop Levada, and finally as the Assistant Superintendent for Faith Formation in the Department of Catholic Schools for the Archdiocese before working with Immaculate Heart Radio. Chris and his wife Vickie have never stopped their ministry to families, and have founded the New Life Family Mission in 2011 which serves under the 501c3 umbrella of Divine Mercy Inc.
During his time with Immaculate Heart radio Chris launched a new radio show on Immaculate Heart Radio’s AM 1260 KSFB called the “Bay Area Catholic”. This Monday through Thursday “one hour radio magazine” featured segments that highlight the various aspects of the Catholic community in the San Francisco area: ‘Faithwalk’; a view into the personal journey of faith that led deeper into the Catholic Church; ‘Reclaiming the Culture’; interviews with people who are fighting to build the culture of life in what they do and teach, with a special focus on the philosophical foundations which animate common thought; ‘The Heart of the Mission’; interviews with people who are actively involved in corporeal or spiritual works of mercy as an apostolate; ‘The Heart of the Family’ interviews with people who have solutions for the challenge of modern family life and all the attacks against it; ‘Music Spotlight’; interviews with Bay Area music ministers. The show was a success in building up the local church; guests who were on the show publicizing an upcoming conference noted a 50% increase in attendance directly attributable to having been on the show.
Chris has been married to Vickie for 26 years, and their commitment to raising their 4 children has overflowed into youth and young adult ministry as well as marriage enrichment ministry. Chris and Vickie have led countless youth retreats as well as pilgrimages to Catholic youth conferences both near and far. They work together in a marriage education ministry as part of the New Life Family Mission, which offers couples and parishes marriage communication workshops. Chris and Vickie have been trained and Certified in three ‘Marriage Education’ curricula which they offer as workshops.
Chris has been a music minister for over 30 years and has appeared at countless parishes and churches to offer marriage enrichment and communication workshops, nights of music, worship, healing, and prayers for peace.
Chris and his wife Vickie have 4 children Selah (25) , Luke (21), James (20), and Shaina (16). Selah is married to Josh, an Afghan Veteran with the 86th Airborne, and now IT specialist, and have a little boy named Carson, and a little girl named Maybeline. All the kids are involved in the music industry in one way or the other; writing, performing, and producing.
My goal is to work with others to envision and implement a significant and lasting contribution to building up the Culture of Life and the message of Divine Mercy by employing entrepreneurial creativity through all means of modern technology.
As the producer and host of a unique Catholic radio show covering one of the largest markets in the United States, I have seen the power of the ‘multiple media model’ to create or support powerful, life changing events for a distinct region. With the convergence of the power of radio, social media, and geographically accessible venues, the potential outcome in objective numbers served has proven to be 50% higher when I interview the organizers weeks prior to an event. There are many heroic, yet unsung laborers in our society who do not have the means to ‘broadcast’ their charism’s active ministry of presence in the world. As Church, we need to avail ourselves of the modern means of communication to bring the timeless truths of our faith to a world in ever more need of the Gospel message of faith, hope and love.
As the Director of the Office of Marriage and Family Life for the Archdiocese of San Francisco, I worked with families on every level, and from every ethnic background, trained dozens of new “Lead Couples” for marriage prep ministry, worked with pastors in tailoring programs for individual parishes having met with the Bishops frequently in efforts to serve the catechetical, and pastoral needs of families. I have planned, coordinated, and facilitated family life conferences and parenting workshops bringing nationally known speakers to the Bay Area.
(1996 – 2001) Founder: Lay Catholic Broadcasting Network; A lay Catholic association, which provided information and inspiration for Catholics getting involved in the various aspects of broadcasting, especially radio. LCBN is the model and vision from which the Catholic Radio Association was conceived. LCBN consulted for Immaculate Heart Radio’s founder Doug Sherman, and the Catholic Answers Live launch committee. We Designed, facilitated, and hosted 3 Catholic Radio Institutes: an annual gathering to foster the growth of Catholic Radio throughout the country. In 1997 we hosted 100 attendees who came to hear Scott Hahn, Fr. Mitch Pacwa, Mark Brumley, Fr. Fessio, Doug Sherman . A Rosary Rally (Evangelization) event with over 1400 attendees was held in St. Mary’s Cathedral. The vision and structure of the Catholic Radio Association, as well as most of its early membership, are the result of the work of LCBN from 1995-1998.