Mother Mary Angelica, who founded a global Catholic Church television network, died from the aftereffects from a stroke Sunday. She was 92.
She founded Eternal Word Television Network, EWTN, in 1981. The network shows 24-hour programming in more than 144 countries.
“Mother Angelica succeeded at a task the nation’s bishops themselves couldn’t achieve,” Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia, who has served on EWTN’s board of governors since 1995, said in a release. “She founded and grew a network that appealed to everyday Catholics, understood their needs and fed their spirits. She had a lot of help, obviously, but that was part of her genius.”
She was born Rita Rizzo April 20, 1923 in Canton, Ohio. She moved around a lot as a child. She entered Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration in Cleveland in 1944, taking the name Sister Mary Angelica.
She suffered a stroke in 2001, shortly after she retired her leadership position at the network.
“While she was unable to speak at length and sound off on the controversies and confusions of the day, what she did through prayer in her suffering was remarkable,” Raymond Arroyo, who hosts “The World Over,” said in a release. “It’s certainly not our efforts that have kept EWTN on the air and allowed it to reach people in amazing ways. I attribute it all to the suffering of that one woman in Hanceville.”
She left a large impact in Alabama.
"On this Easter Sunday, it is only fitting that the Lord chose today to call home one of his humble servants, Mother Angelica," Gov. Robert Bently said in a release. "She devoted her life to ministry, converting untold numbers of people to the church. She left an indelible mark on Alabama, the Catholic Church and the world as a whole."