National Catholic Reporter

The Independent News Source

Pope gives top honors to Mother Angelica


BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- Mother Angelica, 86, the nun who founded the world's largest religious network, rarely leaves her bed these days and didn't make it to an Oct. 4 ceremony awarding her a papal honor.

Pope Benedict XVI awarded the Cross of Honor for distinguished service to both Mother Angelica and Deacon Bill Steltemeier, 80, chairman of the board for EWTN, the network Mother Angelica founded in 1981 in a garage at the Our Lady of Angels Monastery in Irondale.

Bishop Robert Baker of Birmingham presented the medals and certificates to Mother Angelica and to Steltemeier.

Francis-cartoon-book.jpgGet NCR's newest book: The Chronicles of Francis, the Cartoon Strip, featuring cartoons from the popular series Francis.
Buy it now!

Sr. Margaret Mary, the mother vicar of the monastery, received the framed document and medal on Mother Angelica's behalf in the public part of the ceremony at the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Hanceville.

Mother Angelica's frail health restricts her activities, said EWTN spokeswoman Michelle Johnson. “She doesn't really do ceremonies,” Johnson said. “She doesn't make public appearances right now.”

Mother Angelica came to Alabama in 1961 to found the monastery in Irondale. After she started the network, Steltemeier left his Nashville law practice to help run what has become one of the largest religious media networks in the world. EWTN can be seen in 150 million households in more than 140 countries and territories.

Enjoy this article?
Help support more like it by donating today!

Friends of NCR 300x80 web ad.jpg

NCR Email Alerts


In This Issue

August 28-September 10, 2015


Some articles are only available in the print newspaper and Kindle edition.