Irondale, AL (EWTN) - Friday, December 19, 2003 - As the Nuns at Our Lady of the Angels Monastery in Hanceville, Alabama prepare to celebrate the Birth of Jesus Christ, they can’t help but be reminded it was on Christmas Eve two years ago that Mother Angelica suffered her second major stroke, leaving her with partial paralysis and a speech impediment. As she nears the second anniversary of that incident, the Foundress of EWTN Global Catholic Network has improved greatly while quietly living a cloistered life, according to Sister Mary Catherine, Vicar of Our Lady of the Angels Monastery.
"She has shown tremendous improvement since her stroke, although her verbal communication is still difficult. Mother is able to lead prayers and gently encourages her sisters in their daily lives,” she said.
“While she is not as mobile as she once was, using a wheel chair and walker to get around, Mother Angelica herself decided several months ago to stop her rehabilitation and speech therapy sessions," Sister Mary Catherine continued. “Mother is content living her life in whatever physical condition Our Lord wills for her.”
Sister Mary Catherine said that Mother still receives letters, cards and emails from her friends around the world who offer her prayers and good wishes. “Many thousands of people have offered prayers for her in the past two years and she is so grateful for them all,” She said.
Sister Mary Catherine said Mother Angelica takes a very active part in her religious community. “Mother is with us at daily Mass, prayers and devotions. She is with us for meals and community time. And, her sense of humor continues to show itself in unexpected ways,” Sister Mary Catherine exclaimed.
“Recently, when Mother was leading a ceremony for one of the new brothers in the lay community that serves the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Hanceville, who was eagerly waiting to hear his new religious name, Mother Angelica playfully withheld the information from him for a few minutes. Then, with a gleam in her eye, she gave him his new name, much to his delight.”
According to Sister Mary Catherine, in addition to prayer time, Mother spends much of each day reading. “She is currently reading a book about the life of St. Benedict,” she said.
Mother Angelica celebrated her 80th birthday on April 20th and that evening made a surprise appearance on "EWTN Live." Her classic programs are aired several times each week on the Network, so her EWTN family around the world continues to enjoy her timeless wisdom, wit, humor and prayers.
Michael Warsaw, EWTN’s President said, “Even though Mother Angelica no longer is seen and heard ‘live’ on EWTN, she will always be part of the Network’s programming.”
EWTN Global Catholic Network, in its 22nd year, is available in English and Spanish in more than 85 million households in 110 countries. And with its worldwide short-wave radio station, direct broadcast satellite service, satellite delivered radio network, Internet site (www.ewtn.com) and publishing arm, EWTN is the largest religious media network in the world.