Cardinal George Pell celebrated a Mass in memory of Mother Angelica, foundress of the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN), in Rome on March 27. The Mass, at the Church of Santo Spirito in Sassia, near the Vatican, marked the sixth anniversary of her death in 2016.
From the Australian cardinal’s homily:
….Rita Rizzo was born poor into a family in the Rust Belt of Ohio. Her father abandoned her when she was five and she was brought up by her mother, who unfortunately suffered from depression. She didn’t do well in school, but she was the drum majorette in the school band, which of course doesn’t come as a surprise….
I am not sure that Mother Angelica ever underwent a radical conversion, growing up with the faith as she did and entering the convent as a young woman. From that time at least, you could say that she went from strength to strength very much in a straight line….
Mother Angelica moved mountains. She was a strong woman with an aggressive nature, sharpened by her environment and upbringing, which she controlled well and she used to marvelous effect….
It was love and devotion to Christ which provoked Mother’s most famous and controversial denunciation in 1993, after a female Christ figure was presented [in the Stations of the Cross] at the Denver World Youth Day. It was a searing and prophetic indictment. It was a bit over the top and the end result of years of insults and provocation.
I remember reading it and concluding that whatever might be said of the language, her point was basically correct. She was right. An Australian Catholic activist told me that speech changed the direction of his life….
The above comes from a March 29 story on the site of the Catholic News Agency.