U.S. Nun a Media Mogul

A World-Wide Conglomerate Begun in a Garage

About fifteen years after the conclusion of Vatican Council II, Mother M. Angelica, a cloistered nun, turned the garage of Our Lady of Angels monastery in Irondale, Alabama into a television studio. She had two hundred dollars and twelve cloistered nuns with no television experience to assist her.

On January 27, 1981, the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) received its FCC license and became the first Catholic satellite television station in the United States. It began broadcasting pre-taped programs to sixty thousand homes four hours a day.

By its thirty-third year, EWTN had grown to become the largest religious media network in the world using satellite television, AM and FM radio networks, a worldwide short-wave radio station, an Internet website, and a publishing arm. It is available to over 230 million television households in more than 140 countries and territories.

EWTN offers a wide variety of both taped and live programs in English, German, French, and Spanish, commercial free, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. All are family and religious programs from a Catholic perspective.

Its website (www.ewtn.com) is the largest Catholic website in the United States. The EWTN Global Catholic Radio Network broadcasts through over 235 affiliate radio stations, Sirius XM satellite radio, and such apps as EWTN Network, iTunes Radio, iHeart Radio, and TuneIn Radio. More than five thousand affiliates worldwide are now connected to a conglomerate that was started in a garage by a Catholic nun.

There are numerous other television and radio stations that carry Christian programming, from theological debates and biographies of the saints to children’s stories. Even the Vatican has its own television station (www.ctv.org) created by John Paul II in 1983, two years after Sister Angelica started her network.

This story and many more concerning the history of the Catholic Church may be found in Rock of the Apostles: A Brief History of Catholic Tradition now available through Amazon.com ( click on goo.gl/w9h5H2 ).