IRONDALE, AL, October 5, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Pope Benedict XVI has awarded EWTN foundress, Mother Mary Angelica, and Deacon Bill Steltemeier, Chairman of EWTN's Board of Governors, the Cross of Honor for distinguished service to the Church. The medal, officially known as "Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice" (literally "For the Church and the Pope"), is the highest honor that the Pope can bestow upon laity and religious.
Pope Awards Highest Honor to EWTN Founder Mother Angelica and Chairman
Year ago, my mother told me about Mother Angelica. She got a kick out of her, especially appreciating the nun's Italian feisty spirit. She encouraged me to listen to her, saying I'd love her. At the time, I was away from the Catholic Church, so I demurred and simply said she sounded interesting.
It wasn't until my mother passed away that I had any curiosity regarding EWTN. When I finally saw Mother Angelica on an old broadcast, I understood why my mother loved her. Mother Angelica is a joy and her passion for her Spouse and Church is contagious. I read the book about Mother Angelica's life, marveling over how she overcame many physical distresses to enter into a religious order and eventually conceiving the vision for EWTN. It is a remarkable story, about a remarkable woman who has the tenacity of a bulldog.
It is an awesome award and I am sure both she and Deacon Bill Steltemeier are just thrilled. Good for them. I daresay this is another way His Holiness is affirming the use of the media to spread the gospel. Praise God!