Ad Te Levávi Ánimam Meam

To Thee have I lifted up my soul (Introit – 1st Sunday of Advent)

85 Years Ago Today

Posted by james0235 on April 20, 2008

The future Mother Angelica was born Rita Antoinette Rizzo, on April 20, 1923 in Canton, Ohio. She was the only child of John and Mae Helen Rizzo…

On August 15, 1944, Rita Antoinette Rizzo became Sister Rita. When she arrived at Saint Paul‘s Shrine in Cleveland and entered the Adoration Monastery of the Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration (a cloistered contemplative order).

As a postulant, Sister was introduced to the religious life. She joined the nuns in prayer, adoration, and manual labor. Among her early assignments were working in the laundry, baking altar breads, working in the kitchen, and cleaning floors. Before long, though, Rita’s knees began to cause her problems so her work assignments were altered. On November 8, 1945, Rita was invested as a Poor Clare nun. She received the brown Franciscan habit and white novice veil. She received a new name and title: Sister Mary Angelica of the Annunciation…

After seeking all necessary permissions and raising funds by making and selling fishing lures, Mother Angelica and four other sisters headed south. Our Lady of the Angels Monastery was officially established in Irondale, Alabama on May 20, 1962…

By 1976, Mother Angelica had written 50 booklets and recorded 150 audio cassette teaching tapes. When she was given the opportunity to make video tape programs for television, she realized the impact television could have in spreading the Faith. Converting a planned garage behind the monastery into a television studio, Mother Angelica founded the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN). EWTN began airing programs on August 15, 1981 via satellite to cable companies and home satellite dishes. In 1992, Mother Angelica also founded WEWN to broadcast Catholic programs world-wide via short-wave radio.

EWTN has become a voice for American Catholics, despite its location in the not-particularly Catholic state of Alabama in the Bible Belt of the Deep South. She was frequently seen on the network teaching or taking questions from viewers via telephone.


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