"Mother Mary Angelica of the Annunciation, foundress of the
Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN), passed away on March 27
after a lengthy struggle with the aftereffects of a stroke," the
Catholic News Agency said in a statement.
"Mother has always and will always personify EWTN, the network
that God asked her to found," said EWTN Chairman and Chief
Executive Officer Michael Warsaw.
The nun, born Rita Rizzo in Canton, Ohio, founded the network,
among the world's largest religious broadcasters, from a studio
set up in an Alabama monastery garage in 1981 after she objected
to a movie being shown by a station which was owned by the
studio she used for producing programs for a Christian network.
Mother Angelica, once hailed by Time magazine as arguably the
nation's most influential Roman Catholic woman, suffered a
debilitating stroke in 2001 which mostly left her without the
ability to speak in her final years, but her ministry lived on
through reruns of her television program.
In a statement, Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley said: "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."
EWTN said four days of memorial events at the Shrine of the Most
Blessed Sacrament in Hanceville, Alabama, would culminate in a
Christian burial mass on Friday.
(Reporting by Chris Michaud; Editing by Richard Pullin)
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