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Mother Angelica dead at 92

March 28, 2016

Mother Angelica, the founder of the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN), died on Easter Sunday, April 27, after a long illness, at the age of 92.

A native of Ohio, Rita Rizzo joined the Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration at the age of 21. She established a monastery in Alabama, and after initially supporting the community by producing religious pamphlets, she decided to make a venture in broadcasting. She had no background or expertise in television, and virtually no funding. Yet under her leadership EWTN, founded in 1981, blossomed into an international broadcasting empire, which now reaches 144 countries and more than 200 million homes.

An unlikely television star, Mother Angelica endeared herself to her growing audience with her homespun humor, her feisty and opinionated commentary, and her simple but profound faith. She did not back away from confrontations with powerful prelates, and strongly resisted efforts by the US hierarchy to take control of Catholic television programming. "Mother Angelica succeeded at a task the nation's bishops themselves couldn't achieve," remarked Philadelphia's Archbishop Charles Chaput.

Plagued by ill health for most of her life, Mother Angelica suffered a severe stroke in 2000, shortly after resigning her leadership post at EWTN. During the past year her community had sent out requests for prayers, reporting that the beloved nun's health was failing. 

 
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  • Posted by: AgnesDay - Mar. 28, 2016 4:04 PM ET USA

    Mother A--If I get to heaven, and I am trying to get there--you will be one of the first ones I'll look up so I can say thank you.