With grit, determination, and a whole lot of faith, Mother Angelica’s new TV station EWTN started broadcasting out of a garage on August 15th, 1981. By God’s grace, it’s still going strong 35 years later!
The Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) initially only broadcast for four hours a day, which included Mother Angelica’s own bi-weekly show Mother Angelica Live, Archbishop Fulton Sheen re-runs, shows produced by dioceses around the country, and a few Protestant Christian shows. EWTN also showed secular content, such as re-runs of The Bill Cosby Show and old films.
Programming went to 8 hours a day by 1986, and then 24 hours a day by the end of the decade. A televised daily Mass was added in 1991, around which time EWTN started to eliminate the secular and Protestant content and create more Catholic content in-house.
In the 1990s, EWTN expanded to radio and the nascent world wide web. In the last few years, EWTN has acquired the print and online newspaper The National Catholic Register, the online news service Catholic News Agency, and, of course most recently, ChurchPOP!
Today, EWTN reaches millions of people from all over the world with the Catholic faith.
Sadly, the founder and visionary Mother Angelica passed away earlier this year on Easter Sunday. But the global organization she built lives on.
Here’s a short documentary that tells the incredible story of EWTN and Mother Angelica:
Say a prayer for EWTN!
[See also: The Mystical Visions of Mother Angelica]