Vatican Radio Interviews CEO of EWTN on #MotherAngelica 's Death ‘a great witness and a missionary apostle,’
Mother Angelica with Saint John Paul II - RV
(Vatican Radio) A Requiem Mass for Mother Mary Angelica of the Annunciation, PCPA – better known as Mother Angelica – will be celebrated Friday at the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Hanceville, Alabama, USA.
The Shrine is located on the grounds of the Monastery of Mother Angelica’s order, the Poor Clare Nuns of the Annunciation, which is also the home of the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN), founded by Mother Angelica.
The principle celebrant for the Mass will be the Archbishop of Philadelphia, Charles Chaput, OFM Cap. Through a spokesperson, Archbishop Chaput described Mother Angelica as “a remarkable figure in the Church.”
Vatican Radio spoke with Michael Warsaw, chairman and CEO at EWTN, about the life and legacy of Mother Angelica. “I think there’s no question that Mother Angelica is the pioneer of Catholic communications here in the United States, and really around the world,” he said. “It was really Mother Angelica who, building on the legacy of Fulton Sheen, perhaps, of thirty years earlier, who really embraced new technologies, the use of then satellite and cable television, and then of course all the emerging platforms that would come in the years later. She used those really most effectively for the spread of the Gospel in a way that really the Church had not done before.”
Listen to Michael Warsaw, chairman and CEO at EWTN interviewed by Chris Wells:
Warsaw described Mother Angelica as “one of the key and transformative figures of the Church” in the latter part of the twentieth century.
Born Rita Antoinette Rizzo in 1923, Mother Angelica entered the Poor Clare monastery in Cleveland in 1944, and made her solemn profession of vows 1953. She founded the EWTN corporation in 1981.
“I think it’s quite interesting, and quite an interesting part of her story, the fact that here is this cloistered, Poor Clare nun in Birmingham Alabama, who had no training, no background in media, was 58 years old, in terrible health, with two hundred dollars in the bank, her twelve nuns, and a garage,” Warsaw said. “And yet she persevered and pushed forward to build EWTN and to create this now global communications for the Church.”
When Mother Angelica began EWTN, Warsaw noted, “she faced a lot of opposition both from outside, but inside the Church, especially of people who said well, you know, this is not something that a nun can, or this is not something that a woman should be doing.” But, he said, “Mother Angelica took all of that in stride, and really pushed forward with her vision, what she believed God was calling her to do.” He quoted Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, who described Mother Angelica as “arguably the most significant, most influential Catholic woman in the Church in America in the last fifty years.”
Vatican spokesman Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi has also commented on her passing away saying: “Mother Angelica was ‘a great witness and a missionary apostle,’ expressing the hope to CNA on the 28th of March ‘that she prays for us more than we for her’.”