Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Quotes from the EWTN 25th Anniversary Family Celebration in San Francisco


EWTN 25th Anniversary Family Celebration in San Francisco
Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, January 28 and 29, 2005


From the prayer of Mother Angelica at the launching of the EWTN satellite transmissions on August 15, 1981: "O God, Lord of heaven and earth. You alone have accomplished all we have done. May this first Catholic satellite television network be a tribute to the beauty of Your Church."


Crucifix over the stage

From Raymond Arroyo's best selling book: Mother Angelica: The Remarkable Story of a Nun, Her Nerve, and a Network of Miracles:
The misson statement of the Eternal Word Television Network clearly stated its dedication to "the advancement of truth as defined by the Magisterium of the Roman Catholic Church. . . . to serve the orthodox belief and teaching of the Church as proclaimed by the Supreme Pontiff and his predecessors.

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Father Joseph Mary Wolf is one of the original friars in the order created by Mother Angelica, the Missionary Franciscans of the Eternal Word, MFVA. During a pilgrimage in November 2005 to the Holy Land, Father Joseph Mary met Catholic Arabs who live in a precarious situation in Palestinian-owned Bethlehem. They recognized him at the Church of the Nativity and told him that EWTN gives them hope.


Father Joseph hears confession at the SF Civic Center


Father Joseph descends from the stage after Mass on Saturday.

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Michael P. Warsaw, President of EWTN:

Mother Angelica always says that you have to have the courage to do the ridiculous so God can do the miraculous. In 1981, a cloistered 58 year old nun with $200 in the bank and no broadcasting experience started a TV network in a garage. It now reaches 125 million television households in 147 countries and territories. EWTN broadcasts simultaneously in English and Spanish, 24 hours a day. Everything Mother accomplished was based on her trust and faith in God’s providence. Based on her complete and total reliance on God’s awesome providence along with her prayers and sacrifices. Mother Angelica did the ridiculous so God did the miraculous There are all those stories of conversions, the sick and the dying comforted, suicides and abortions averted because of EWTN. We come together to celebrate and give thanks to God. And to thank you our family for your love and support..


Michael P. Warsaw

From the program notes: It is [Mother Angelica’s] suffering and prayers that have helped sustain this Network since her stroke four years ago. . . . It is her hope that this event will save many souls and provide hope for all of those who are affected by loneliness, despair or physical suffering.

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Father Brian Mulhaddy, O.P., Host of EWTN’s upcoming series The Seven Sacraments:

People ask: What does the Church teach [on one topic or another]? But they don’t read the Catechism. .. The source of our faith is not only the Bible but the catechism.

We go to Mass to worship God because He is God, not to fill our emotions.

When someone asks Father Mulhaddy, “What do you think of the DaVinci code?” He answers, “What section do you find it in at the bookstores? FIC-TION!”

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Speaking about the ETWN Media Missionaries: We have $2.1 million a month in expenses. No support from the Catholic communications campaign. We are free as a bird at EWTN because we are not dependent on anyone (bishops or anyone else). Only on the Magisterium. Only on Truth.—Robert Rodriquez, Manager of Volunteer Support.

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Four young men in black tee shirts. The backs of the shirts all read in white letters, “Real Men Watch.” The front each have a different letter, which when they stand together in the right order reads: “E,” “W,” “T,” “N.”


One of the four "real men."

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Father Mark Mary Cristina, MFVA, was celebrant and homilist during the reverential Saturday Mass in honor of the feast of St. Thomas Aquinas.

The goal of all evangelization: it’s the Eucharist. St. Thomas’ teachings were used to defend the Eucharist during the Reformation three hundred years later. Father Mark Mary quoted Flannery O’Connor, who listened to an Episcopal friend go on about the symbolism of the Eucharist, and then blurted out, “If it’s only a symbol, I say the heck with it. But she didn’t say “Heck.”

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Father Francis Mary, MFVA, Host of EWTN's Life on the Rock

JP II brought millions of young people into the public square. B16 will bring them in. [Pope John Paul II] [Pope Benedict XVI]

He calls San Francisco “Assisi by the Bay.” But also, “The Belly of the Beast.” We stand for the good vs. being bad, nice vs. just mean. He spoke about how the friars were all still coming off the previous Saturday’s Walk for Life. Numbers doubled from last year, protesters decreased. We are the Church Militant. We are engaged in Christian warfare. During the walk, the battle showed itself in prayer, silent meditation, saying the rosary, singing.

We will go into the public square and preach the Gospel of Truth. Thank God for the Catholic Church. The sisters here [Cloistered Poor Clare Nuns from Our Lady of the Angels Monastery] are our prayer support. Priest show you the way and feed you: We give you Jesus, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity. Our Leader is Our Lady sand she is always pointing to the Boss. Our Lady has risen up this army of young men with vocations. There are a lot of good guys coming through the seminaries. They desire to be conform to the Truth, not nuance or explain anything away.

We love the life of celibacy. Have no intention whatever to get rid of this long-standing discipline. We’ve seen the quote unquote sexual revolution/deformation, the A bomb that hit the family. The answer is not to go have sex. We as a society have this infatuation with the gift of human sexuality. We as priests freely give that up. We don’t hate marriage or women. Spouse and priest cannot both be done.

We in this JP II generation, we love the Church. We cherish its divinely mandated authority. We have a drop dead love for the Church, not for anything less than the Mystical Body of Christ which is the Church.

Father Franciis Mary Cristina

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Deacon Bill Steltemeier: Day 1: When Mother first met him, she said, “How often do you go to confession? He weakly said, “Oh, maybe every 90 days.” He didn’t dare tell her it was more like once every four months. She smiled at him and said, “Try weekly. Or more often.” There are priests hearing confessions on the fourth floor next to the Adoration Chapel. I want all of you to go to confession while you are here. Day 2: Isn’t that a beautiful Monstrance in the Adoration Chapel? It’s been wonderful to see in the Adoration Chapel, tears of joy on the faces of people coming back from confession.

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Raymond Arroyo, ETWN news director and author of best-selling Mother Angelica, A Nun, a TV and a Network of Miracles.

Pope Benedict XVI recently wrote the first encyclical about the nature of love. It’s the primordial creative power that moves the universe. Mother Angelica harnessed some of that energy. Mother Angelica said, “I am convinced God is looking for dodoes. He found one: me! There are a lot of smart people out there who know it can’t be done, so they don’t do it. But a dodo doesn’t know it can’t be done. God uses dodoes.” Every major thing that God wanted her to do was preceded by suffering. When she started the network, she was 58 years old. She had diabetes. A twisted spine. You pay the cost to be the boss. She was following inspiration and the dictates of her spouse. The struggle. The cross. That’s her real story. Her life has become a parable. She wanted to reach people. She did what she did for love of souls, It was never about TV. For God’s sake, be a dodo!

To a questioner from the audience: Don’t look at the big picture. Do the little things. Begin in prayer and sacrifice. Bet the light in your community. Be the light in your family. Be a faithful spouse. Be faithful where you are.



Bob and Mary Jo Wieland, Raymond Arroyo, Roseanne Sullivan at Arroyo's book signing for Mother Angelica: A Nun, Her Nerve, and a Network of Miracles

From the book: On her visits to at least nine cities between 1979 and 1980, Mother Angelica preached about the promise of television and the need to support her efforts. “And what if you fail,” On doubter asked. “Then I’m going to have the most lit-up garage in Birmingham,” Angelica fired back from the stage.

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A question from the audience on a special edition of former Lutheran Marcus Grodi’s show The Journey Home: “What advice would you give to someone who was where you were?

A: Doug Gonzalez, former minister of the Church of the Nazarene: "If you say 'I will go wherever I have to go to be like Christ,' every road will lead to Rome. Every holy desire is fulfilled in the Catholic Church."

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Dale Alquist, Baptist convert, host of an EWTN show called, G. K. Chesterton, the Apostle of Common Sense, told the audience that he started towards the Catholic Church when he did what any good Baptist would do, went to Rome on his honeymoon and started reading G. K. Chesterton. Chesterton wrote things like, “The Christian ideal hasn’t been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult and left untried.” “Chesterton,” Alquist quipped, “Is one of the few writers who have more one liners than Mother Angelica.
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Bob Fishman, convert from Judaism: There is a revival in the Catholic Church and EWTN is a great part of it.

He asked his mother one time, “How come Jews don’t believe in Jesus?” In classic Jewish mother style she retorted, “I don’t have to tell you why . This is my house, and we don’t believe in Jesus.”

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Johnette Benkovic, Host of EWTN’s The Abundant Lifespoke, often in tears, about the loss of her son Simon in an automobile accident and her husband Anthony’s inoperable cancerous brain tumor, and she said that God is teaching her family to embrace the Cross, “We must take all of our sufferings as a gift from God. We don’t need to go out and look for sufferings. The closer we draw to God, the deeper the suffering we experience.”


Johnette Benkovic



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Most Reverend Allen Vigneron, Bishop of Oakland, celebrated and gave the homily during Sunday’s Solemn Mass of Thanksgiving. The Gospel (Mark 1:21-28) speaks of the people of Capernaum being astonished at Jesus’ teaching “for he taught them as one having authority.” Bishop Vigneron said, “We give thanks for Mother Angelica, the Sisters, the Franciscan friars. And we ask God’s blessing on all the coworkers. In the economy of grace a natural observance such as the 25th anniversary celebration today is taken up, healed, and perfected. That’s what we’re about here today. We place on this altar all the sacrifices, offer all the good fruit that these good works have borne, as a pleasing offering to the Father. ... We thank God for all have served the authoritative Word, all who have been a voice for the revelation of God’s saving Word. And for all who have been served.”


Bishop Vigneron gives Communion
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