Rita Antoinette Rizzo, the future Mother Angelica, is born in southeast Canton, Ohio, a ghetto ruled by the Sicilian-based Black Hand. Her parents are John Rizzo, an abusive husband and unemployed tailor who wanted to remain childless, and the mentally fragile Mae Gianfrancesco Rizzo.
John Rizzo leaves his family, forcing little Rita and her mother to live with her grandparents, Anthony and Mary Gianfrancesco. Because there are only two bedrooms and her four brothers also live in the house, mother and daughter occupy a renovated attic. Anthony runs a family-oriented saloon, a center of immigrant activity from which Rita learns about prostitutes, the mob, holy Italian women and ethnic diversity.
Although her parents aren't religious, Mae joins St. Anthony's church, where she organizes Italian festivals. In 1927, Rita gets on stage for the first time, doing an impersonation of Al Jolson singing "Danny Boy."
Father Joseph Riccardi, pastor of St. Anthony's church, is gunned down for moving St. Anthony's church away from the dealers (who buried drugs on school grounds) to a better part of southeast Canton. This is a big blow to Rita and Mae.
After Rita's experience of the Great Depression, she will never deposit her money in a bank.
John Rizzo returns to his family, but Mae files for divorce citing "extreme cruelty." One of Rita's cousins later says that Rita "never had a childhood."
Mae is awarded custody of Rita. John rarely makes child-support payments, leaving mother and daughter to suffer from poverty and the stigma of divorce.
Mae opens a dry-cleaning business, and disagreements with her brothers force mother and daughter to move to a series of rat-infested one-bedroom apartments, from which they both work and live. When Rita has disagreements with her mother, she sometimes lives with family friends or Victoria Addams, a woman her father is dating.
Her home life and the cruelty of the nuns at St. Anthony's compel Mae to send Rita to public school. Although a priest later persuades Mae to re-enroll her child, another incident of cruelty and Mae's treatment by a missionary during confession – because of the stigma of the divorce – result in Mother and child leaving the Church for a decade.
Poverty and depression push Mae over the edge. Because her mother is always crying and threatening suicide, 11-year-old Rita becomes the parent, delivering dry cleaning to customers in a car and collecting payments.
Rita's first miraculous experience: In running to catch a bus, Rita misses a car speeding toward her. When she sees it, she freezes. Rita feels two hands pick her up and put her on the median in the center of the street. The bus driver says he has never seen anyone jump so high before.
Rita, 14, returns, with her mother, to live with her grandparents. She attends McKinley High School, where teachers conspire to help the unhappy teen.
Rita becomes a majorette. But Rita's childhood leaves her distrustful of outsiders. She never makes friends and never dates. Her mother, in the midst of her first nervous breakdown, goes to live with her sister Rose in Philadelphia. Rita goes to classes and makes money teaching baton-twirling and working at a factory making liturgical candles, but she is miserable and in deep pain.
Rita's physical troubles, which will eventually be diagnosed as ptosis of the stomach (or "dropped stomach"), begin. The illness makes her hands shake, her left arm go numb and her stomach spasm, which make it hard to sleep or eat.
The Japanese attack Pearl Harbor in December 1941, and Rita soon lands a job as secretary to the vice president of advertising at Timken Roller Bearing Company. She writes and edits copy, organizes layouts for ad campaigns, and learns how to operate machinery.
After a visit with Mystic Rhoda Wise, Rita receives a miraculous healing from her recurring stomach ailment. The experience changes her life. She realizes that God loves her personally – and she begins to love Him back.
After completing the Way of the Cross at St. Anthony's, facing a statue of Our Lady of Sorrows, Rita suddenly realizes she has a vocation, which she needs to keep a secret from her mentally unstable mother. Rita seeks out Rhoda Wise's spiritual director, Msgr. Habig, and begins to visit Wise more frequently. Wise gives her a list of communities to contact, but Rita's grades are so poor, she has a hard time finding a community that will accept her.
Rita Rizzo enters the convent in Cleveland, Ohio and becomes Sister Mary Angelica of the Annunciation, a Franciscan Nun of the Most Blessed Sacrament. The order later changes its name to Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration.
Sister Mary Angelica's brash personality and poor health make convent life difficult. In addition to pneumonia and a tonsillectomy, Sister begins to suffer with water on both knees, which makes kneeling, a requirement at the time, extremely painful. Fortunately, a retired business owner donates his home and estate to the contemplative order. Although nuns normally cannot transfer to their hometowns and must be fully professed to become a member of a new foundation, the abbess tells Sister Mary Angelica she feels the five stories of steps are causing her knee problems so she has decided to send her to the Sancta Clara Monastery in Canton, Ohio.
Sister Mary Angelica awakens to find that both knees are normal. This convinces the order that the young postulant has a vocation. In two months, she makes her first profession of vows.
The new convent and Eucharistic shrine are barely standing. Sister Angelica begins to distinguish herself by getting the boys from her old neighborhood to donate labor, acting as a general contractor, and doing construction work herself.
Sister Angelica takes her final solemn vows.
The Canton abbess, Mother Veronica, departs to found a new monastery in Washington, D.C. This gives Mother Angelica the idea to form a new monastery down south that would recruit black sisters to the contemplative life.
Mother is cleaning the floors with an electric scrubber when she falls, the beginning of three years of back pain. Failed remedies will include a body cast, leg and neck traction, and a back brace.
Sister Angelica stands in for the novice mistress, who is going on an eight-day retreat. Sister alters the novice mistress' harsh routine, stressing God's love and teaching that the saints "didn't break the rules; they simply rose above them." When the novice mistress returns, the abbess allows Sister Angelica to provide discreet spiritual guidance to some of the nuns.
In the face of a risky operation to repair her back injury, Sister Angelica promises God she will start a monastery in the South if He permits her to walk again after surgery. Although the spinal surgery is a medical failure, Sister Angelica can move both legs when she wakes.
Even as the U.S. Supreme Court affirms a ban on segregation in public schools, Sister Angelica has a desire is to build a cloistered community of black nuns who will "ceaselessly make reparation for all the insults and persecution the Negro race suffers and implore God's blessings and graces upon a people dear to the Heart of God." She enlists the support of the new abbess of Sancta Clara, Mother Veronica.
After several false starts, Sister decides to write the bishop of Mobile-Birmingham. Unfortunately, a senior nun at the monastery announces her desire to start a new monastery in St. Cloud, Minn. Because the community only has the resources for one monastery, the abbess decides that each nun will write a letter of introduction to the bishop of their choice. She mails the letters on Jan. 8, 1957. Whichever nun receives a positive response first will proceed with her foundation.
Archbishop Toolen of Mobile-Birmingham responds first, but Sister's joy is short-lived.
Bishop Emmet Walsh of Youngstown tells the abbess of the Canton community that he doesn't feel her monastery is not strong enough to withstand the departure of the six nuns required by Church law to establish a new foundation.
The abbess writes to Bishop Walsh pleading Sister Angelica's cause. Sister Angelica follows up on March 25, 1957. The bishop's response is sympathetic enough to allow preparations to continue, but he does not grant Angelica definite approval. Angelica continues acting as a general contractor at the convent.
After the cold winter of 1958 sends spasms through Angelica's back and left leg, Sister is sent to the Cleveland Clinic for observation and physical therapy.
Sister Angelica writes Bishop Walsh sharing her plans, income and expense sheets, and makes a plea to go to the hot climate of Birmingham to prevent complete disability of her left limb.
Bishop Walsh approves the concept and begins studying the waivers from Church law that will be needed. At 37, Sister Angelica isn't old enough to become the abbess of a new monastery without an official dispensation.
In 1960, Sister Angelica officially becomes known as Mother Angelica.
Rome grants Mother permission for an Alabama Foundation. To honor her promise to God, and with all the right approvals in place, Mother Angelica leaves her Ohio convent to found Our Lady of the Angels Monastery in Irondale, Alabama, which has a Catholic population of 2 percent. On their way down to Birmingham, the nuns spend the night at a motel where, for the first time, Mother Angelica sees a television set. The nuns are housed by the Sisters of the Holy Trinity in Birmingham as they search for land.
The former mayor of Birmingham takes Mother to see 10 acres of mountainside in Irondale. Mother sees a small two-bedroom house in foreclosure adjoining the property. She places a contract on 15 acres, the house next door and another three-and-a-half acres "so no one [could] build too close to us."
Archbishop Toolen breaks ground on Our Lady of the Angels Monastery.
The monastery site is vandalized every Saturday.
Concerned about cost overruns, Archbishop Toolen orders Mother to stop building until she can get the necessary funds. Mother informs the crew, but the electrician says: "Sister, for you to owe me money is like having money in the bank. I'm going to finish the job." The rest of the crew agrees. Mother gets a $25,000 loan from Sancta Clara to pay them. To contain costs, Mother Angelica and another nun pitch in and Mother scales back the size of the monastery – a move she realizes, in later years, is providential.
Mother Angelica answers a pounding at the monastery door during a driving rainstorm and five shots ring out. Two weeks later, the incident is repeated. Media attention makes the monastery well-known.
Mother officially leaves Sancta Clara with the nuns who will populate the new monastery. Two days later, they arrive in Birmingham. For the next 10 days, they host an open house.
The monastery is dedicated. The tours end, and the convent is closed to the public. The sisters sell St. Peter's Fishing Lures, rosaries and charcoal sketches to support themselves, but financial problems endure.
Mother Angelica records her first talk, entitled "God's Love for You."
Mother feels "pushed" to record her second talk, "The Presence of God." Mother also seeks to change the name of her community from Franciscan Nuns of the Most Blessed Sacrament to the Poor Clares of the Holy Eucharist.
Mother undergoes surgery for a diseased gallbladder with 50 stones.
The Second Vatican Council Decree on the Adaptation and Renewal of Religious Life is promulgated and calls for religious to modify the way they live, work and pray. "Obsolete practices" are suppressed and habits modified.
Mother resumes her speaking activities, although they are initially restricted to her parlor.
Mother has her first television interview with a local affiliate to explain the changes underway in her monastery.
The sisters discontinue the sale of fishing lures so they can roast and sell peanuts. They ask God to help them find work that could be part of the mission of the Church.
The Pope's diplomatic delegate to the U.S., Archbishop Luigi Raimondi, visits the monastery. He promises to secure formal permission for Mother to continue her parlor talks as a "missionary activity," an exceptional waiver for a cloistered nun.
With the encouragement of Bishop Joseph Vath of Birmingham, Mother accepts invitations to speak outside the cloister to select Catholic groups. By mid-1971, the talks are being taped and sold.
Mother begins recording a 10-minute radio program for WBRC.
The nuns purchase secondhand tape-recording equipment and a dubbing machine to mass-produce Mother's talks.
Mother sees the need for a book on prayer. Her first book, "Journey into Prayer," is published.
Mother authors three more books: "In the Shadow of His Light," "In His Sandals," and "The Father's Splendor."
When Mother's publisher refuses to publish her latest book, "To Leave and Yet to Stay," the nuns suspect the problem is its content. They face a choice: abandon the book ministry or do the printing themselves. Mother purchases a printing press, a cutter, and a stapler and the nuns begin producing mini-books.
The Catholic Family Missionary Alliance is born. Its mission is to teach and recruit missionaries who will distribute Mother Angelica's books, tapes and a five-step plan of renewal to every interested parish in the U.S.
Mother visits a Baptist-run television station atop a Chicago skyscraper and famously declares: "Lord, I gotta have one of these."
Out of money, Mother spends six nights begging on the air. Seven employees and six nuns man the phones. A crisis is averted.
The Grace Foundation calls in a $650,000 loan with interest.
A retired lawyer and his wife agree to advance Mother $700,000 to pay off the loan. Says Mother: "These are the kinds of things, honey, that prove God's Providence. We never know where the next penny's coming from. That's what I'm trying to get through people's heads: This is an act of God."
In the midst of all this, Mother's reputation and popularity are growing. "Mother Angelica Live" is the only religious program nominated for an Award for Cable Excellence from the cable industry. In December, she wins a Gabriel Personal Achievement Award from Catholic broadcasters and communicators and Dick Clark and Ed McMahon give her a Golden Blooper Award.
EWTN is carried on more than 220 cable systems and can be seen in nearly 2 million homes making it the fastest-growing cable network in the country.
The Network dedicates a brand new 6,500 square-foot studio. The new studio means that EWTN can now generate up to 50 percent of its own programming.
Cardinal Silvio Oddi tells Mother that Pope John Paul II told him that "EWTN is the key to restoring the Roman Catholic Church in America." True or not, it influences Mother's thinking, inspiring her to use the network to buttress "the Catholicism of the simple, the poor, and the elderly."
Morley Safer of CBS' "60 Minutes" airs a profile of Mother Angelica and EWTN.
Viewer donations in 1985 exceed expenditures by more than $1.5 million. Although EWTN carries a debt of $3.2 million, growth is not hampered. In less than one year, EWTN expands programming from four to six hours.
EWTN loses its satellite and transponder lease for 1987. Competitors are only interested in 24-hour cable networks. EWTN either has to pursue a six-hour deal on a secondary satellite or expand programming to 24 hours a day on Galaxy III, a new satellite, which few cable systems would consider. Whatever choice she makes, the network will lose all its affiliates and have to start from zero. Employees tell Mother to go for it. Mother takes the leap to 24-hour programming. Mother signs with Galaxy III. Shortly thereafter, a lineup of cable networks buys out the satellite providing reception dishes to the nation's 7,000 cable systems. Overnight, it becomes the most popular satellite in cable television. During the preparations for the 24-hour launch, the Vatican announces a 10-day papal visit to America in the fall of 1987. "[T]he best marketing tool a Catholic network could have comes to town," says an executive.
Mother births a pair of active religious orders to protect EWTN's mission in perpetuity and to continue her fervent devotion to the Eucharist. They are the Order of the Eternal Word, a community of priests and brothers, and the Sister Servants of the Eternal Word, an active extension of Mother's contemplative order, headed by Sister Gabriel Long.
EWTN airs complete and unedited live coverage of a papal visit to the U.S., a feat no other U.S. broadcaster has attempted to do.
As EWTN programming expands to 24-hours-a-day, the Network reaches 10 million subscribers.
The network creates new series and airs documentaries and specials to fill this quantum increase in transmission time. This leads to a new emphasis on live programming, including Pope John Paul II's visit to the United States, after which EWTN picks up 12 new cable affiliates. EWTN now reaches more than 20 million homes. As the Network begins to cover papal visits and Church events, EWTN develops an on-going commitment to cover the Vatican. EWTN begins to cover the installation of bishops and their national meetings, the Pope's extensive global travels, beatifications and canonizations, funerals of princes of the Church and saints in the making such as Mother Teresa, as well as other holy day events from major shrines.
Mother's religious orders are thriving with nine members of the Order of the Eternal Word, six Sister Servants, and 15 contemplative Poor Clares.
EWTN takes delivery of its first traveling production vehicle, Gabriel I. With $600,000 worth of equipment aboard, EWTN can broadcast live events from anywhere in the country.
EWTN begins providing live Masses of Holy Days from the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. This programming is made possible by a grant from the Knights of Columbus.
EWTN acquires uplink truck to beam on-location programs back to Birmingham via satellite, sending the signal to the satellite for live coverage.
In prayer, Mother hears the call to begin a shortwave radio network.
Mother Angelica, Bill Steltemeier and two nuns arrive in Rome armed with only Mother's inspiration for a shortwave radio network.
Seeking a blessing on the new shortwave radio venture, Mother Angelica, Deacon Bill and Sisters Michael and Regina attend the Pope's private Mass. He sees her at the end of the receiving line and says, "Mother Angelica, you are a strong woman." She tells His Holiness of her plans to beam radio broadcasts into Russia and the Eastern Bloc countries. He is ecstatic. A little over a month later, Mother attends the Pope's Wednesday General Audience. When the Holy Father passes near where she is standing with her Sisters, he stops, holds her face in his hands and says, twice: "Mother Angelica, La Grande Chief!"
Mother meets with Dutch Catholic millionaire and philanthropist Piet Derksen who wires $2 million to EWTN for the establishment of WEWN, the world's largest privately-owned international short wave radio station. To minister to the growing Hispanic Catholic community, EWTN allocates three significant blocks of time to Hispanic programming.
EWTN purchases a villa an hour north of Rome to house the radio equipment, visiting clergy, members of the Order of the Eternal Word studying for the priesthood, and a cloister for the Sisters. Derksen commits more money and Aid to the Church in Need donates $600,000 of equipment and $400,000 in funds, but Mother has no license or permission to build.
Mother begins work on a parallel shortwave project based in the U.S. She calls New Orleans Real Estate Developer Joseph Canizaro and asks him what she can pray for to get him to give her $1 million. He tells her if he sells the Crown Plaza Hotel for enough money, he'll give her a million dollars.
Canizaro's hotel does not sell, but he tells her that thanks to her he received a court settlement with an oil company over a plot of polluted land which netted him $35 million versus the expected $15 million.
Canizaro and Archbishop Phillip Hannan of New Orleans hand-deliver a million-dollar check to Mother. It is the financial beginning of the U.S. shortwave network.
Mother leaves a mall and an unknown assailant thrusts her to the sidewalk shattering her wrist. She never gains full mobility of that wrist.
In scouting for a parcel of land, Mother has a vision of St. Michael and decides to buy a rocky parcel of land which others felt was completely unsuitable for her U.S. shortwave radio station. Only one year earlier, Mother had felt St. Michael's sword touch her shoulder and she heard the words, "I will ever be at your side, and we will fight together." Mother purchases the land in mid-June. EWTN provides live coverage of the Papal visit to Mexico, an event of special interest to the Network's Hispanic viewers.
EWTN, with the help of the Military Archdiocese, produces the American bishops' messages of encouragement to the U.S. troops and their families during the Gulf War, which air on EWTN and in Saudi Arabia.
EWTN begins broadcasting live daily Masses during Lent from Our Lady of the Angels Monastery, initially as encouragement for the families of soldiers serving in the Gulf War. With the conclusion of Lent, viewers let EWTN know that they would like the Daily Mass to continue. EWTN purchases unobtrusive, state-of-the-art robotic cameras for the Monastery to preserve the sense of the sacred.
EWTN celebrates its 10th Anniversary and now reaches 22 million homes.
Mother Angelica and Sister Gabriel decide that the Sister Servants should build their own retreat house in Birmingham and establish a separate community there. Today, the order offers retreats led by EWTN personalities and provides lodging to visitors, but has no formal tie with Mother or her cloistered order.
Mother launches WEWN (Eternal Word Network), the world's largest privately owned shortwave radio facility to a potential worldwide listening audience of 600 million.
More than 6 million new homes are added during the year; increasing EWTN's reach to 31 million homes.
Severe asthma, coughing and congestion lead Mother to begin a two-week hospital stay on May 5. During the hospital stay, the severity of Mother's cough shatters a vertebra in her spine, damaging a nerve to her right leg and causing her excruciating pain. She now wears a new back and leg brace and can only walk with crutches.
With the anticipation of the new "Catechism of the Catholic Church," a production crew travels to Vienna for interviews with the Editor, Cardinal Christoph Schönborn. EWTN then launches "Pillars of Faith," a live, call-in program explaining the new Catechism.
EWTN provides live coverage of World Youth Day '93 from Denver, Colorado to 32 million homes. WYD coverage marks the debut of a new producer, Michael Warsaw, who will one day become EWTN's President and CEO. Coverage marks a turning point for EWTN, which picks up more than 200 new cable affiliates, reaching 2 million new households in the U.S. and 2 million more abroad.
Mother and her nuns return to their traditional habits. In her next television show, Mother tells her audience that the nuns are wearing the old habit as a witness to the Lord, to each other and to obedience to the Church. She hopes to influence other sisters to do the same.
In addition to adopting the traditional habit, Mother institutes previously abandoned cloister practices such as the stating of faults, strict silence, prostration during the Consecration at Mass, and more. Mother herself begins to spend three hours a day in adoration before the Blessed Sacrament.
EWTN announces that the Intelsat satellite will carry EWTN to 42 countries in Europe, Africa, and Central and South America.
EWTN launches its first international satellite service for Latin America. EWTN now reaches 40 million homes. Mother begins search for land to build a new monastery to protect the sisters from what she believes is the coming chastisement and to keep the sisters from the "noise" surrounding EWTN.
EWTN provides unprecedented live coverage of Papal Visit '95 in both English and Spanish, on television, radio and the Internet as the Holy Father visits the United Nations, New York, New Jersey, and Baltimore. Television coverage of this event can be seen in more than 20 countries and territories representing over 100 million homes.
Mother sees a 200-acre piece of property in Hanceville, Alabama, one hour north of Birmingham. Three days later, she makes an offer. To keep hotels and restaurants away from the property, she will eventually acquire 403 acres. Mother wants a 13th Century monastery which can grow its own food, and raise its own livestock. She privately refers to this project as a "farm" with a "small farm chapel."
At the request of the Vatican, EWTN airs coverage of the "Celebration of the Family" from St. Peter's Square.
Mother Angelica expands the Network's commitment to a large Hispanic audience with the addition of SAP – second audio programming – to EWTN's programming.
EWTN acquires the Catholic Resource Network (CRNET), a Catholic online service with the largest collection of Catholic documents on the web, to expand EWTN's media apostolate. EWTN's site will include news, Church documents, apologetics, program schedules, and more.
EWTN launches a worldwide AM/FM radio service
Mother and two others visit the Vatican, where the Pope's personal secretary places them at the end of the Papal receiving line. Pope John Paul II says for all to hear: "Mother Angelica, strong woman, courageous woman, charismatic woman." She hands him a portfolio, which shows the Network's current and future plans for international expansion. He playfully keeps asking where else EWTN will broadcast until Mother runs out of geography. He goes to leave, but returns, placing one hand on her head. Tracing the cross on her forehead with the other hand, he says: "Mother Angelica, weak in body, strong in spirit. Charismatic woman, charismatic woman." EWTN is added to the Dish Network.
EWTN launches a 24-hour Spanish language network on the most popular satellite in Latin America (PanAmSat) and now reaches Latin America and Spain.
Mother receives a miraculous message while in Bogotá, Colombia from the Divine Child Jesus, Who tells her: "Build Me a Temple, and I will help those who help you." Mother later reads an inscription on St. Peter's in Rome that refers to the Church as "this temple." She realizes the Christ Child wants an elaborate temple built. This command radically changes Mother's plans, made six months earlier, to build a small farm chapel for Our Lady of the Angels Monastery in Hanceville.
"The World Over" debuts with Raymond Arroyo. The host and his guests examine current news from a Catholic perspective and take viewers' calls, emails, and faxes.
"EWTN Religious Catalogue" program debuts.
EWTN launches in the Pacific Rim, reaching Australia, New Zealand, China, Japan and the Philippines. Reception by viewers and television operators is overwhelming
EWTN completes a Technical Operations Center, which consists of broadcast video servers, digital tape archive and broadcast automation.
"Life on the Rock" debuts with host Jeff Cavins. The host and his guests discuss being a young Christian today and take viewers' calls, emails, and faxes.
EWTN launches its compressed digital satellite services on the Galaxy VI satellite.
EWTN announces the Internet broadcast of an AM/FM radio signal.
EWTN announces preparations for the Great Jubilee 2000.
EWTN also becomes the world's first broadcaster to use the Hewlett-Packard video file server. This makes it possible to simultaneously transmit seven independent feeds of distinct programming to clients around the globe.
"The Journey Home" debuts with Marcus Grodi. The host and his guests discuss their personal conversion stories and how a specific Church teaching or experience influenced their decision to return to or be in communion with the Catholic Church. Grodi and his guests answer viewers' calls, emails, and faxes.
EWTN provides a live 35-hour salute to Mother Teresa and establishes an "In Memoriam" site on the Internet.
EWTN provides live coverage of the Second World Meeting of the Holy Father with Families Oct. 4-5, 1997 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
EWTN provides live coverage of Pope John Paul II's visit to Cuba in both English and Spanish.
While praying the rosary with Paola Albertini, an Italian mystic, Mother Angelica removes the braces from her legs and begins to walk. Three physicians independently examine her and find the healing is real.
With only 14 Catholic frequencies in the U.S., Mother Angelica uses her live show to inspire the laity to establish even more Catholic AM/FM stations in their own communities. A businessman responds, and his station goes on the air in 1999. Today, EWTN boasts more than 138 independent AM/FM Catholic radio affiliates. Most remain viable due to the free programming EWTN offers.
EWTN is granted a satellite radio service license by the Radio Authority of the United Kingdom, allowing EWTN to transmit its radio programming via satellite to the British Isles.
"Nuestra Fe en Vivo," EWTN's first live show in Spanish, debuts with Host Pepe Alonso.
EWTN announces the launch of radio service on ASTRA in Europe.
EWTN launches satellite television service to Africa and its direct-to-home satellite radio service for Europe on the Astra 1C satellite.
EWTN launches "EWTN Live" over the Internet.
EWTN airs live carriage and special programming in honor of the Beatification of Padre Pio.
EWTN expands the availability of EWTN's Spanish television and radio services into the U.S. market. EWTN; La Red Global Católica, the 24-hour Spanish cable network; and Radio Católica Mundial, EWTN's Spanish radio network, are made available for carriage via cable systems and AM/FM radio stations. The Network feeds are also made available over the Internet.
EWTN moves its domestic playout from the tape-based Master Control facility to the digital file servers in the Technical Operations Center.
EWTN is granted a satellite television license by the Independent Television Commission of Great Britain allowing EWTN to deliver its programming directly to homes in Europe.
The Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament of Our Lady of the Angels Monastery in Hanceville, Alabama, is consecrated during a live broadcast.
EWTN provides live coverage of Pope John Paul II opening the door to the Jubilee of the Year 2000. EWTN begins a 13-month tribute of special programming in honor of the Great Jubilee Year 2000.
EWTN announces programming dedicated to the Jubilee Year.
Mother receives a large white satin box with the Papal insignia and no note. She later receives a phone call telling her that it contains a gift from the Holy Father, "In appreciation for the work being done by EWTN around the world" and for the sisters' dedication to the Eucharist. Mother opens the box on live television the next night and discovers a monstrance that had been given to the Pope by people of Nowa Huta during his 1999 pilgrimage to Poland. Says Mother: "Somebody, somewhere has to say, 'You're doing a good job. Just keep on.' And that's what I think this says to all of us." A high-ranking Vatican official tells Raymond Arroyo, the gift was a "sign of the Pope's solidarity with Mother Angelica."
EWTN airs special live coverage in both English and Spanish of the Pope's historic trip to the Holy Land.
EWTN acquires new DVCPro field cameras and equipment for expanded field production.
EWTN launches its direct-to-home satellite service on the HotBird 4 European satellite.
EWTN airs live coverage of the canonization of Blessed Sister Faustina from Rome, Italy.
EWTN airs live coverage of the Solemn Funeral Mass of John Cardinal O'Connor from St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City. EWTN airs live coverage from Fátima, Portugal of the beatification of Jacinta & Francisco Marta.
Mother has a near-death experience, which she shares with her audience on July 11. "In my heart, I really feel I died and came back," she said. "I have no more fear of death… Nothing matters but God, and how we are to express that love to the world."
EWTN covers Pope John Paul II as he entrusts the Third Millennium to Mary, Mother of God.
EWTN covers the Pope's visit to Greece
EWTN covers the Pope's visit to Ukraine.
Mother has a stroke which results in the paralysis of half her face. Said Mother: "I've never had in all my life such an awareness that God was choosing me to help people. This is to bring people to a new reality that suffering is brought by God to make us holy."
EWTN responds to the Sept. 11 bombing of the World Trade Center in New York and other terrorist attacks that day on U.S. soil with 24-hours of special programming.
Mother recruits Father Mitch Pacwa as the permanent guest host for her show. He filled in whenever her health precluded her from appearing.
With one eye patched as a result of her stroke, Mother Angelica misses a raised platform blocking her path at a Books-A-Million store and falls, slamming her face into the ground and cracking her left arm above the elbow. The next day, she is given the wrong plasma to thicken her blood, which contributes to her perilous condition. Mother has a vision of the souls in hell, but she is comforted by St. Michael the Archangel. She says: "We must suffer…to keep souls form going to hell. People don't understand what it means to go to hell."
Mother has a lethal stroke and collapses. Her only chance of survival is immediate brain surgery. Medical personnel say if Mother does not die within the week, she will be a complete vegetable. A week later, she can not only move her legs, but feeling returns to the left side of her face even as her comprehension improves.
Mother Angelica returns home although she will experience seizures of varying intensities over the next two years. They sap her energy and confine her to bed for long periods of time. Her language skills deteriorate.
Mother tells Raymond Arroyo that the reason for her stroke is "purification." She also says that just before the stroke "…Jesus came and testified to me…that I would suffer much…Suffer anguish for Jesus' sake…"
EWTN airs live coverage of the canonization of Padre Pio in Rome.
EWTN airs live coverage of the canonization of Juan Diego in Mexico.
EWTN airs World Youth Day in Canada, July 18-28.
EWTN works with Father Benedict Groeschel, C.F.R. to create the video, "September 11th: A Spiritual Response" on "Catholic Compass." In this show, Father Groeschel gives viewers an in-depth look at how to cope with the prior year's terrorist attacks on the United States.
Mother Angelica tapes new rosary video with her nuns for EWTN, which begins airing in March 2003.
EWTN airs live coverage of the canonization of Josemaría Escrivá
Mother appears in a pretaped segment on a live program saying "Merry Christmas and Happy New Year." She's supposed to add the tag line, "Keep us between your gas and electric bill," but she can't say. EWTN airs the botched attempt to acquaint the audience with her condition.
EWTN covers 30th annual March for Life in Washington, D.C.
EWTN launches new website for young people called EWTNKids EWTN covers 18th annual World Youth Day in Rome
EWTN airs live coverage of the canonizations of Pedro Poveda Castroverde, José María Rubio y Peralta, Genoveva Torres Morales, Angela de la Cruz and María Maravillas de Jesús in Spain.
EWTN airs live coverage of the canonizations of Maria de Mattias, Jozef Sebastian Pelczar, Urszula Ledochowska, and Virginia Centurione Bracelli from St. Peter's Square, Rome.
Mother Angelica is inducted into the Cable TV Pioneers Class of 2003.
EWTN launches in New York City and other major markets.
Cardinal Ratzinger grants "The World Over" with Raymond Arroyo an exclusive interview. Less than two years later, he becomes Pope Benedict XVI.
EWTN airs live coverage of the beatification of Mother Teresa.
Mother Angelica goes to Lourdes for a secret six-day pilgrimage. She hopes for another miracle of physical healing, but this time the Lord says no.
EWTN airs second exclusive interview with Actor Mel Gibson.
EWTN airs Town Hall Meeting with the National Review Board on Clerical Sexual Abuse as the board discusses the results of their report.
Jim Caviezel, who portrayed Jesus in "The Passion of the Christ," appears on "The World Over" with Raymond Arroyo
Mother Angelica celebrates her 81st birthday at the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament and EWTN airs a day of special programming in her honor.
Alabama Broadcaster's Association names Mother Angelica as "Citizen of the Year."
EWTN adds more than 12 million homes on DIRECTV.
EWTN Global Catholic Network hits the "100 Million Television Homes" mark.
Mel Gibson Talks About the DVD and Video Release of "The Passion of the Christ" in another exclusive interview with EWTN's Raymond Arroyo
EWTN launches a new live show, "Sunday Night: Live with Father Benedict Groeschel."
EWTN's "Life On The Rock" covers the first "West Coast March for Life" from Oakland, Calif.
EWTN provides extensive coverage of the events surrounding the death of Pope John Paul II.
EWTN Launches on SKY. EWTN reaches 110 million homes in 110 countries worldwide.
EWTN covers Pope Benedict XVI's first apostolic trip: the 20th annual World Youth Day in Germany.
EWTN offers live Masses and prayers for victims of Hurricane Katrina and other storms.
EWTN begins celebrating 25 years with its first 25th Anniversary Family Celebration in Denver. EWTN makes its live programs and classic broadcasts available for podcast on the Internet.
EWTN covers Pope Benedict XVI's first Christmas Mass.
EWTN continues celebrating 25 years with its second 25th Anniversary Family Celebration in San Francisco, California. EWTN.com celebrates 10 years on Internet.
25th anniversary celebrations continue at the Municipal Auditorium in San Antonio, Texas
The St. Charles Family Arena in St. Louis, Missouri is host to that city's 25th anniversary celebration of EWTN. EWTN provides live coverage of Pope Benedict XVI's trip to Poland.
25th anniversary celebration is held in Philadelphia, Pa.
EWTN launches on the Astra Satellite in Western Europe.
EWTN provides complete live coverage of Pope Benedict XVI's first visit to the United States.
EWTN hits the "150 million television homes" mark.
EWTN becomes available to all U.S. affiliates in HD.
Mother Angelica and Raymond Arroyo, her biographer and editor, land on the New York Times’ bestseller list for the fourth time.
EWTN enters into a partnership with the Catholic News Agency (CNA), a Denver-based independent Catholic news media outlet with bureaus in North and South America and Europe. Under the agreement, EWTN and CNA begin sharing news resources and a joint news service is created at www.ewtnnews.com.
EWTN Radio Network programming debuts in Washington, D.C. thanks to long-time EWTN affiliate Guadalupe Radio.
EWTN hosts a Family Celebration in Mother Angelica’s hometown of Canton, Ohio where City officials name a section of Market Avenue, in front of Sancta Clara Monastery, “Mother Angelica Memorial Corridor.” Mother made her first vows and lived her first years as a nun at the Monastery.
EWTN’s Facebook fans top 50,000
EWTN television becomes available to all U.S. affiliates in High Definition (HD).
EWTN expands its agreement with Catholic News Agency to include a new original Spanish-language news service, EWTN Noticias, which is available at www.ewtnnoticias.com.
EWTN Acquires the National Catholic Register, the nation’s leading Catholic newspaper.
EWTN files suit in Federal District Court of Birmingham, Alabama against the Department of Health & Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius as its secretary, and other related government agencies seeking an injunction against the HHS’ contraception mandate as well as a declaratory judgement that it is unconstitutional.
EWTN adds its newest radio affiliate: Pax Catholic Communications’ Radio Paz in Miami. Almost 85% of Catholic radio stations in the U.S. are now EWTN affiliates.
EWTN launches on MultiChoice Africa’s DStv, which makes EWTN programming available to customers in East, West, and Central Africa.
EWTN airs coverage of Pope John Paul II’s beatification.
EWTN Chief Executive Officer Michael P. Warsaw and Birmingham Bishop Robert J. Baker join volunteers to serve breakfast and to distribute $70,000 worth of men’s clothing to victims of a series of tornadoes that ripped through Alabama. Warsaw puts EWTN’s resources at Bishop Baker’s disposal, giving employees up to three days of paid time to volunteer at disaster sites, and lending EWTN’s managers to the diocese to help coordinate disaster relief efforts.
‘Mi Familia Católica,’ EWTN’s Spanish-language children’s series, wins Gabriel Award.
EWTN airs “World Youth Day” with Pope Benedict XVI, live from Madrid, Spain.
EWTN launches on Roku with programming in English and Spanish.
Representatives of EWTN’s Radio assist the bishops of Mexico in their efforts to develop and grow Catholic radio in Mexico by participating in the Episcopal Conference Communications Commission’s (CEPCOM) Second National Meeting of Internet Catholic Radio, held at the Mexican Episcopal Conference at Lago de Guadalupe.
EWTN launches new television network in Germany. EWTN Katholisches TV airs Catholic religious programming 24-hours-a-day on Astra 1H, one of the world’s largest providers of direct-to-home satellite services.
EWTN’s Facebook page tops 100,000 fans.
EWTN launches Catholic television programming in Kyiv, the capital and largest city in Ukraine.
EWTN files a lawsuit Feb. 9 in U.S. District Court in Birmingham, Alabama against the Department of Health & Human Services, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, and other government agencies seeking to stop the imposition of the contraception mandate as well as asking the court for a declaratory judgment that the mandate is unconstitutional. EWTN is the first Catholic organization to file suit since the final HHS rules were published by the Obama administration on January 20, 2012.
EWTN announces that it will convert to an all-digital signal by Nov. 1, 2012.
EWTN Global Catholic Radio Network celebrates 20 years by launching its 180th affiliate.
State of Alabama joins EWTN lawsuit against the HHS Contraceptive Services Mandate. Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange notes that the state does not mandate that insurers must provide contraception or sterilization coverage or that any employer or citizen purchase such services. He also asserts that the law would force conscientious objectors to opt-out of private health plans, which would increase the number of people requiring healthcare from Medicaid and other state-supported programs. Finally, he notes that he has statutory responsibilities to ensure that Alabama charitable institutions adhere to their purposes and bylaws.
Pope Benedict visited Mexico and Cuba March 23-28 and only EWTN had crews on the ground to provide complete and authoritative coverage. EWTN was also there when Pope John Paul II visited and broadcasts into Cuba and Mexico daily so its coverage is much appreciated by the people.
EWTN Global Catholic Radio Network becomes the first Catholic radio network to be available on Roku.
EWTN wins three Gabriel awards, including Religious Television Station of the Year.
EWTN airs complete coverage of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ “Fortnight for Freedom,” a call for a 14-day period of prayer, education and action in support of religious freedom.
EWTN Global Catholic Network, which filed suit against the U.S. Government in February to halt the implementation of the so-called HHS contraception mandate, says the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act in its entirety ensures that the Network and many other entities must continue the battle for religious liberty in this country. EWTN’s lawsuit continues.
EWTN collaborates with one of the pre-eminent Marian theologians in the U.S. on the creation of a new “Novena to the Mother of God for the Nation.” The novena, composed by Fr. Frederick Miller, Chair of the Department of Systematic Theology at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, Md., is prayed publicly from the Feast of the Archangels on Sept. 29 through Oct. 7, the Feast of the Most Holy Rosary.
EWTN announces that EWTN Español, the largest Spanish Catholic Network in the world, will become available to all U.S. affiliates in HD beginning Jan. 1, 2013.
EWTN completes the transition to an all-digital signal
EWTN Global Catholic Radio Network announces that it has become the first Catholic broadcaster to be added to iHeartRadio, Clear Channel’s industry-leading digital radio service.
EWTN Español, the largest Spanish Catholic Television Network in the world, becomes available in HD.
EWTN hires its first Vice President for Mission Advancement. The position has responsibility for the planning, coordination and implementation of all fundraising activities and programs for EWTN and reports directly to EWTN’s Chairman and COO.
EWTN mourns the passing of Deacon Bill Steltemeier, founding President and long-time Chairman of the Board, who died peacefully the morning of Feb. 15 following a lengthy illness. He was 83.
EWTN Español HD is made available to more than 1.9 million Bright House Networks customers in five markets.
EWTN’s lawsuit challenging the government mandate that employee healthcare plans must provide coverage for contraception, voluntary sterilization procedures and abortion-inducing drugs is dismissed by a judge in Birmingham’s U.S. District Court. The judge finds that the Network has the “read prospect of harm,” but says the case is not yet “ripe’ for review because of the government’s promise to further amend the mandate’s rules.
The Department of Health and Human Services issues a final rule for the contraception mandate portion of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. EWTN’s CEO finds it “inadequate.”
EWTN states that the one-year delay in enforcement of the Contraception Mandate Service portion of the Affordable Care Act changes nothing.
EWTN’s then President and CEO Michael P. Warsaw (now CEO and Chairman of the Board) receives the “Defender of the Faith” award from Fullness of Truth Catholic Evangelization Ministries because of his “uncompromising stance in protecting religious freedom. The organization specifically cites Warsaw’s leadership of EWTN as one of the first organizations to file a lawsuit against the Contraception Services Mandate as well as his efforts to promote the beauty of the Catholic faith in the New Evangelization.
The Board of Governors of EWTN Global Catholic Network names then Network President and CEO Michael P. Warsaw to the post of Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer. The Board also names then Executive Vice President and COO Doug Keck to the position of President and Chief Operating Officer.
EWTN files a new lawsuit to stop the government from imposing the HHS contraception mandate and asks the court to find that it is unconstitutional. The State of Alabama, through its Attorney General Luther Strange, joins EWTN as a co-plaintiff.
EWTN wins two Gabriel awards, including Religious Television Station of the Year
The Denver-based Catholic News Agency (CNA) and its sister organization, ACI Prensa, the world’s largest Spanish-language Catholic news organization with headquarters in Lima, Peru, become part of the EWTN Global Catholic Network. CNA reports news of interest to Catholics in the English-speaking world while ACI Prensa is a perfect fit with EWTN’s other services including our Spanish-language television, radio and web-based services.
EWTN announces that it has begun construction of a West Coast television production facility to be located on the campus of Christ Cathedral in the Diocese of Orange, California. EWTN says it hopes to begin using the studio to transmit news, televised Masses, and inspiring stories of faith to its global audience by the end of the year.
EWTN launches on Bell Fibe TV in Canada. The IP-based television service in Ontario and Quebec is offered by Bell Canada, the nation’s largest communications company.
EWTN airs Pope Francis’ one-day trip to Albania, a country of almost 2.9 million people in southeastern Europe.
EWTN airs the beatification of Bishop Álvaro Del Portillo, Successor to Opus Dei Founder St. Josemaria Escrivá
EWTN airs the beatification of Sister of Charity Miriam Teresa Demjanovic, the fourth native-born American woman to be beatified.
A three-judge panel of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals hears oral arguments in EWTN’s ongoing legal challenge against the government’s contraceptive services mandate.
EWTN is the first Catholic television network to be made available on Amazon Fire TV. Programming on this platform is available in the U.S., the United Kingdom and Germany.
EWTN participates in Habitat for Humanity Greater Birmingham’s “2015 Pope Francis Home Build.” As part of its support of the home build for a local family, the Network provides Habitat with a team of 50 volunteers for “EWTN Service Day.”
EWTN Global Catholic Radio Network welcomes “AM 1260 The Rock” in Cleveland, Ohio, to its family of 410 radio affiliates currently broadcasting “the Good News of Jesus Christ” around the world. The Cleveland station becomes EWTN Radio’s 300th affiliate in the United States.
EWTN Opens a West Coast studio on the campus of Christ Cathedral in Garden Grove, California. Orange County Bishop Kevin Vann joins EWTN Chairman & CEO Michael P. Warsaw and EWTN President & COO Dough Keck in recording the first-ever show from the new facility.
EWTN forms a new book publishing group as a joint venture with New Hampshire-based Sophia Institute Press. EWTN Publishing Inc. will begin to regularly publish books in print and electronic form and to make them available to a worldwide audience.
EWTN premieres “You’re Amazing with Justin Fatica,” a new show for youth on YouTube, a week before its television premiere.
EWTN launches ACI Stampa, a Rome-based Italian language Catholic news agency.
EWTN simultaneously fields news teams in Cuba, Washington, D.C., New York, and Philadelphia to cover Pope Francis’ trip to North America. The visit is covered on EWTN television, radio, print, online, and social media.
EWTN launches Catholic News Agency German Edition, a Munich-based German-language Catholic news agency.