Blast From The Past: Mother Angelica 1993 – “My agenda is not hidden.”

Back in 1993 Mother Angelica blew up when, at World Youth Day (10-15 August), there was a mimed Stations of the Cross during which a woman portrayed Christ.  Someone gave me a recording of her reaction.

She called out the dissident nomenklatura reigning at the time.

Mother’s reaction caused a lot of people to run in circles and ring their hands.  It could be argued that this moment was a watershed in the Church in these USA.  Dissidents push and push and push the borders little by little as far as they can.  She stood up, like Leonidas, and said “No!”.


This was the moment, by the way, when Mother and her community rejected their modernized habit and went back to more traditional habits.

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  1. iPadre says:

    God bless Mother Angelica! I remember that as if it were yesterday. She was one of the few who fought publicly for the Church. If it were not for Mother, we would still be in the 70’s in the US.

  2. Papabile says:

    I am going to enjoy when the first miracle is attributed to this holy woman.

  3. VexillaRegis says:

    Magnificent indeed!

  4. A couple years ago, a bishop told me what he said was the rest of the story.

    Several weeks after the Stations of the Cross incident, a priest dined with Pope John Paul II and was curious about his thoughts on the subject. “Holy Father,” he said, “do you remember the mimed Stations of the Cross?”

    Yes, he nodded.

    “There was a woman playing Christ.”

    Yes, he nodded again.

    “What did you think of that?”

    John Paul thought a moment and shrugged. “What difference does it make?,” he supposedly said. “There is no gender in mime.”

  5. CradleRevert says:

    I’d never seen this before. Fantastic! From reading commentaries about this whole ordeal in 1993, I’m heartened in that I think her words would probably be much better received by the Church at large today than it was then.

  6. CrimsonCatholic says:

    God bless Mother Angelica! August 15th with the 70th anniversary of her vows as a nun.

    I just recently went to Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament at Our Lady of the Angels Monastery in Hanceville, AL, where Mother lives. It is a beautiful and holy place. I suggest people make a pilgrimage to it one day.

  7. FrAnt says:

    Oh, I remember that day very well. That and where I was when Elvis died. Glorious day, not Elvis dying, Mother’s Italian overcame her, and she was right. May God continue to bless Mother and all who continue her work for the Lord.

  8. CrimsonCatholic says:

    The 15th is her 70th anniversary, not with*

  9. John Paul thought a moment and shrugged. “What difference does it make?,” he supposedly said. “There is no gender in mime.”

    Doesn’t this probably apocryphal story demean John Paul II. Except, perhaps, to one who thinks Mother Angelica did more than he to restore the Church.

  10. DisturbedMary says:

    What a passionate voice for Our Lord. We need you now Mother — no spit Catholicism. I hope some day she will be a named a Doctor of the Church.

  11. Tito Edwards says:

    There are bishops still today who loathe Mother Angelica, sitting in their diocesan thrones throwing stones at her still.

    They will have to answer to God eventually.

  12. Massachusetts Catholic says:

    Hard to believe John Paul II, who as a Nazi slave laborer studied for the priesthood in secret — who would have been killed if he had been discovered — would have such a response to what Mother Angelica called blasphemy. If JP II was anything, he was pious! He spent hours in prayer before the Eucharist. He had a steadfast devotion to the Blessed Mother, and introduced a new set of Rosary mysteries. I suspect Deacon Kandra’s bishop got it exactly wrong. (Would an old Pole like JP II talk about “gender”?)

  13. suedusek says:

    August of 1993: that was 21 years ago and my husband and I were at World Youth Day as chaperones with a youth group. I was about six months pregnant at the time and we walked and walked and walked. Kids all around us were dropping like flies (IDK – altitude sickness? Lack of hydration?). We managed pretty well. I wish I could remember the mime event but it doesn’t ring a bell. But then, some of us had to take turns staying back with sick kids so it’s possible that I missed it. My most memorable experience by far was the closing Mass at Cherry State Park. It was amazing!

    As for Mother Angelica–she’s awesome! May God bless her.

  14. DisturbedMary says:

    “There is no gender in mime.” Mmmmm. Is that true? Is that an astute observation? Is that a crock? Seems like such an odd thing to say.

  15. Mojoron says:

    The new president of the LCWR. Well, I wish anyway.

  16. benedetta says:

    And here, friends, is what is the rest of this story, the whole context: St. JPII, a dramatist and playwright, and actor and director in his youth, and the author of the most beautiful reflections on the Theology of the Body, the treasure of our Magisterium, would certainly have deemed mime a lesser art form in drama as someone who knew, and, of course, as one who saw the beauty of God’s plan in the complementarity of the sexes, in marriage, and in the dignity of women, would have been well aware of how useless a medium it would have been to portray the dignity of human life with respect to the Via Crucis.

    Interesting though how that Never Happened Again…I think that speaks to his interior thought on it more than some passed on chit chat with a priest at dinner. Allegedly. Source?

  17. Scott Woltze says:

    Vague, apocryphal stories can be so useful. I once knew a holy religious who had a private audience with Pope Paul IV in 1978. The Holy Father said that he deeply regretted the liturgical reforms, and that he would roll them back if he just lived long enough. He also said he was planning a Syllabus of Errors for the proper interpretation of Vatican II.

  18. incredulous says:

    Stunning. Wow. I wish I were more Catholic then. Thank you for this.

  19. bbmoe says:

    Mother has a firmer grip on reality than anyone I know (present company excepted!)

    We need T-shirts: “Catholics Gotta Kneel: Amen, Mutha!”

  20. Emilio says:

    Thank you so much Father for posting this, it brings back so many treasured memories. I remember being 12 years old when watching this live and I remember my jaw dropping at her strength of character and courage, and perhaps without realizing why, of the propriety and of the importance of the rebuke. I also went from being my parish’s most absent-minded and sloppiest server, to suffocating our Pastor into making our parish liturgy more like the one on EWTN (and it worked except for celebrating ad orientem!). I have been in love with the Church’s liturgy, and all matters liturgical since.

    In her day, the name of Mother Angelica struck terror among the USCCB in DC. It was the beginning of the end of the Bernardin/Jadot/Weakland-dominated liberal Catholicism, which is happily now on life support, and the damages of which we steadily recover from. Incidentally, Raymond Arroyo relates (in his Bio of Mother) that Archbishop Weakland stated that it was the most offensive diatribe that he had ever heard in his life (I wonder if his homosexual affair with another priest was still going on as he said this?) “By their fruits you shall know them…” I would also include the names of Father Benedict Groeschel, Bishop Bruskewitz, and the late former Bishops of Arlington, VA and Allentown, PA. And how can we forget Cardinal O’Connor? We Washingtonians also gratefully remember the gentle but rock-solid orthodoxy of James Cardinal Hickey (one of the first proponents of a corrected translation of the Missal, and who often would publicly disagree with Bernardin and his “seamless garment” philosophy). These were all dear friends of Mother’s and among her staunchest defenders. Mother has been away from us for so long, that I don’t think that younger generations fully appreciate her. You have no idea how good you have it now, be grateful and give the Lord thanks!

    I’m not sure I trust 100% the anecdote above about John Paul II (with all due respect), he was a clear supporter of Mother Angelica (read Arroyo’s biography), and they were no strangers to each other. If anything the Pope’s purported comment sounds like the response of an artist and of a holy man not wanting to bite the bait and engage in gossip.

  21. benedetta says:

    Let’s not forget that JPII himself had a lot of haters in these USA…I remember all that very well. In fact we are still seeing the warmed over aftermath of the regime…And, the biggest haters also hated on WYD, not only to one another, but to the youth who rightly stood to benefit greatly, infinitely, from it. So. Let’s get real.

  22. benedetta says:

    Check it out though: the Stations of the Cross, like the Mass, is “iconic”, and, tampering and fooling and experimenting render them, unrecognizable. She is right. And, she is also right that it had nothing to do with the youth and nothing to do with the faith, or the way of the cross, and, had everything to do with hijack which is not compassionate, not respectful, and not related to dialogue. It was an attempt to manipulate and try to instrumentalize, with the most brutal disregard for human dignity, impressionable young people from the very faith they were entitled to, which is, was and will be, as the stations of the cross are, trustworthy, just as they are.

  23. jflare says:

    Hmm. I can’t say that I have any memory of this at all, but then, that’s not all that surprising, in hindsight. On many, many occasions throughout my teens, I wound up struggling immensely to make sense of anything the Church was doing at the time.

    I would think that one way of doing something would make sense, but we would be instructed to actually do it a different way. I spent quite some time trying to make sense of what we did. I recall when the local bishop decided that he’d allow girls to serve at Mass, I remember when the diocese started “Going Bananas for Jesus”, something more or less pitched as the local equivalent to World Youth Day. I recall a day when, instead of All School Mass, we had some sort of Native American spirituality..thing. Not sure what to call it, really.

    As I recall, I had already lost considerable interest in serving for Mass, but I had been having..awkward feelings..about girls at the time and didn’t wish to tangle with those feelings at the same time as I served Mass. As I recall, I simply quit serving for Mass. I don’t remember what I did–or if I did anything besides get to Mass–but I didn’t serve Mass any further. Not until my third year of college, and that’s a whole different story.
    No, come to think of it, I do remember a little of what I ultimately did. I don’t remember what I did for the three years or so after ceasing to serve, but around the time I turned 16, I joined our adult choir at Church. I became well acquainted with some parts of Haugen’s Mass of Creation. ..And I recall becoming quite disgusted with efforts at school to have a choir for All School Mass. They used Haugen, but didn’t make any effort–that I remember anyway–to recruit anyone that might know any of the music. After I’d grown accustomed to offering Mass of Creation in four parts, but they did melody exclusively for All School Mass, I decided against trying to join in.

    I recall attending Going Bananas for Jesus, the local diocese’ rendition of something like World Youth Day. I recall being fairly disgusted with it, really. I don’t remember very much of it, but I’m pretty sure the music for the closing Mass was about as bad as what we typically did for All School Mass, which helped me decide I never wanted to go back.

    I recall attending a Confirmation retreat–probably during Advent of 1992. I recall coming away from that pretty perplexed. I recall struggling with the idea of a gender neutral Creed and being highly unsure of what TO think about the idea of ordaining women as priests. I didn’t like the idea at all, but I didn’t think I had any..decent..rationale for why not.

    Come to think of it, after my family had switched parishes, I had tried continuing with choir, but learned quite quickly that the director for the new parish..had only a vague understanding of how Catholic Mass worked–I don’t know what denomination she was, but she wasn’t Catholic. After we sang something about a white lilly blowing in the heart of spring–for Easter–I decided against having much to do with music in the Church for awhile.

    So..all in all, by two months after graduating high school, I had mostly walked away from the Church’s routine doings.

    I AM somewhat surprised by Mother’s comments about an IT. I recall taking an English class during my first year or so of college; I recall learning about how we needed to avoid gender bias in that manner too. I recall, in time, I finally gave up on being gender neutral about almost anything. That was pretty odd, really. After several years, I finally decided to simply defy the common conventions in society and referred to God as he. I felt that if God was a personal God, I simply could not refer to Him as…IT.
    “It” does not qualify as a usable personal pronoun for me.

    So I’m not surprised that I don’t remember WYD 1993 in Denver. I probably heard about it, but had pretty much zero interest in going. I think I was eagerly anticipating my first year of college.
    Come to think of it, that may have happened about the same time.
    And I wasn’t watching the news very much.
    Certainly I didn’t have cable, so I had no idea that EWTN existed.

    I wouldn’t find out about EWTN until 1998.

  24. bookworm says:

    I was at WYD 1993 and I was there in Mile High Stadium when the Stations were done, but I honestly did not notice that the person playing Christ was female until after I got home and read about it in the Catholic newspaper! I’m not sure how I missed it — probably a combination of nearsightedness, poor facial recognition skills (I have to see someone multiple times before I can recognize them on sight) and assuming that the “Christus” in question had to be a really long-haired guy. Still, I have to wonder how many other people would even have noticed that the Christus (the classic term for a person who portrays Christ in a dramatic setting) was female if it had not been pointed out.

  25. e.davison49 says:

    And to think! Dear Father Z posted this while the LCWR nuns are meeting.


  26. Tamquam says:

    I did run in ETWN circles at that time, I’d been fighting similar battles on other fronts. Finally got my head handed to me in ’93 and went into the wilderness for a few years. Been back for seven or eight years or so, but the battles remain the same. No more frontal assaults. I’m no spring chicken, but I’m healthy and occasionally have my wits about me, I expect to outlast the wreckers. The youth are hungry for their Catholic heritage and the knowledge of God.

    Mother Angelica declares war. Magnificent! I really do with I’d known about it at the time.

  27. Tamquam says:

    Furthermore, I do not doubt for a second that Old Scratch has been sinking its hooks into the Church since Day One, but has been singularly successful in the last 50 years. Fruits, and all that. Tie that in with Fr. Z’s recent post on disinformation (Russia spreading her errors throughout the world, there was, as there ever is, a reason for what Our Lady asks of us) and we have the recipe for the wreck to which the Church has been reduced. Lucky for us the Holy Spirit is a master strategist.

  28. benedetta says:

    Only people who see the Stations in primary terms as “drama” would decide that mimes were feasible for it. The Stations are of course, prayer, communal prayer at times such as this, and, as such, in the realm of liturgy. So, of course when one tinkers with that one thinks that other tinkering and fooling around in liturgy is perfectly acceptable.

    I expect, having seen personally the twinkle and wit of St JPII, that his response outlined by Deacon Kandra above had more to do with deeming it, on the terms of art or drama, not even good art or drama. He spoke to it as a “genre” of “drama”.

    He above all would obviously been aware that the Stations of the Cross were never intended to be aestheticism or entertainment. His response shows he was happy to critique it along those lines!

  29. majuscule says:

    If anyone has seen the movie Desire of the Everlasting Hills (at ) you might remember near the end, one of the subjects of the film credits seeing the “Pirate Nun” (Mother Angelica with an eye patch) on TV. At first he thought she was funny (a nun with an eyepatch? Hahahah!), but then he listened to what she had to say…and changed his life.

    May God bless her.

  30. Eugene says:

    I remember seeing a replay of this sometime ago. What an awesome woman, sister, mother, witness, prophet and true follower of Jesus. She has more good for the Church than many male members of the hierarchy. I could name some but charity prevents me. Can I suggest someone send a CD of this to whoever is the leader of the LCWR and write on the cover “an example of female power in the church” that should pique their interest

  31. Uxixu says:

    Ah God bless Mother Angelica and all her works.

  32. franciskoerber says:

    and introduced a new set of Rosary mysteries


  33. franciskoerber says:

    Didn’t we also get a new set of stations?

  34. Tom Ryan says:

    The Holy Father (a polyglot) would not have used the word “gender” in that manner. It applies to words not living things.

    There’s no gender in mime is a pun for There’s no agenda in mind

  35. RJHighland says:

    Man I love her, she was such a big part of my early journey into the Church. We named my our third daughter after her. I loved it when she would get on fire about a topic and this is one of those moments. She drilled it home. The stream went out for a moment when she was talking about the necessity to kneel but I know what she probably said. EWTN is a shadow of what it was with-out her at the helm, none of those folks have what she had. I can honestly say I would not be were I am today if it were not for Mother Angelica and EWTN. I may disagree with aspects of Saint John Paul II’s pontificate but I find it as likely that he said what the good deacon reported as St. Cyril of Jeruselem taught to recieve our Lord in our hands formed like a crown. Both I believe to be fabrications by those that had ulterior motives.

  36. An interesting side note, is that the “mime troupe” mentioned in this story was the Cincinnati-based “Fountain Square Fools,” founded in 1975 by a Jesuit priest at Xavier University (Ohio) named Father J Michael Sparough. And while they wore costumes and makeup similar to a mime troupe, and while everyone at the time described them as such, their dramatizations of Gospel stories and the like included speaking parts. In fact, their first performance ever was a sequel to Godspell, a collaboration between him and Father Mitch Pacwa. The point is, they were never a mime troupe in the first place. One simply couldn’t hear them from so far away at World Youth Day.

    And that, to quote Paul Harvey, is “the rest of the story.”

  37. karmato says:


    Thanks for the “rest of the story”. Fr. Sparough came to our parish (at the time) with his family to give a Lenten mission. One of his sisters came into the sanctuary dressed as a clown and Fr. Sparough explained that the whole family are professional clowns and that they give missions with the aid of their clown personas. I cannot comment about the mission as we quietly slipped out the back of church before the performance – sorry…. mission – began.

  38. dominic1955 says:

    I don’t find the JP II “rest of the story” that hard to believe. Why? As a Polak myself, that sounds about right for the way we dismiss something as silly and not worth getting hot under the collar and confrontational about. However, note well that it didn’t happen again. That’s the other part of it, we might not have the Italian outburst reaction but we’ll put the kabosh on something we find less than appropriate.

    It is also true that miming isn’t necessarily gendered either. The real issue wasn’t so much the woman playing Christ (though that is dark considering the undercurrents at the time) but rather for mimes doing the Stations of the Cross! As a form of art that had developed more towards the clown end of the spectrum, who was the moron that thought this was a good way to portray the Passion? Why not just play Life of Bryan and have some polo shirted Jesuit try to explain it as a modern take on the Passion-with a little humor thrown in? Some people just don’t think things through.

    When you already have plenty of silly, what does it really matter to add more silly to it? To any serious orthodox Christian, the whole thing was ridiculous.

  39. ncstevem says:

    Is that a deacon in the Catholic Church who related that alleged conversation of the pope above? One would think that a deacon in the Catholic Church (or any cleric or religious for that matter) would be more circumspect in repeating a questionable story in a public forum such as this.

    Unfortunately we are in an age when even those in positions of authority in the Church who should know better don’t think and act as the Church teaches us (gossip, calumny, detraction etc.).

    Deacon, I think you owe all on here an apology for your scandalous behavior.

  40. pattif says:

    I remain convinced that St JPII sent Bishop Mahony to Los Angeles and gave him a red hat simply to get him out of Mother Angelica’s hair.

  41. guans says:

    No one can replace Mother Angelica. However, I am constantly amazed at the wisdom portrayed on that channel. I was just thinking if only Robin Williams watched EWTN. I caught Fr Spitzer’s
    IN DEFENSE OF GOD’S LIKENESS, THE REASONS OF THE HEART: THE FOUR LEVELS OF HAPPINESS. Oh and the program on Alzheimer’s: REMEMBERING JESUS: STRESS,FORGIVENESS AND HEALING Dr. Vincent Fortanasce and Fr. Roger Landry discuss the importance of eliminating stress as a way to prevent Alzheimer’s, should win an award.
    Mary Jo Anderson was on “Women of Grace” explaining the pitfalls of “Common Core”.
    Fr Pacwa tells it like it is “with zeal” at the Family Celebrations. There are standouts like
    Steve Wood (on ewtn radio), Fr Emmerich Vogt (the 12 step review) and Anthony Rizzi
    (who established): The Institute for Advanced Physics is established to advance modern science in a balanced fashion that does not leave behind the correct philosophical foundations, nor the proper moral and spiritual components.
    EWTN is truly God’s gift to mankind.

  42. marcelus says:

    Had this happened under Francis , he would have been burned at the stake. Why did Francis allowed .I’m sure he’s behind this all. …this and so on..?

    And if the the ‘ no gender in mime’ story turns out to be true. .. who knows

  43. Andrew says:

    I have been looking for this video for a long time. A Catholic priest in Australia (that is where I am from, he actually died earlier this year, may he rest in peace) who had recently come pack from a leading a youth pilgrimage to Denver at World Youth Day in 1993, read about Mother’s dramatic intervention here from reading Catholic World Report.

    He ordered the video, and it was shown one evening, at the youth group he lead, which I belonged to at the time.

    Very interestingly now, EWTN has not made this available to viewers, in spite of an enormous amount of her presentations, being available on YouTube. I suspect this is because despite of lot of very good things on the network, there is has been a slight change of emphasis from Mother’s boldness , when she departed the network, following several strokes that she had in 2001.

    Recently I discovered, that the videocassete of this presentation was available at the Audio Center in the Notre Dame Library, in Indiana. I let a few people know about this. You can draw your own conclusions.

    I am delighted this has been converted to a digital format, and if we want to inspire a few crestfallen Catholics, this can be the tonic to do it.

    By the way, I loved that comment from the person that we should send a copy to the LCWR meeting, with the comment look at real female power, in the Church. Mother Angelica has had an influence surpassing many male bishops. I mean we knew about her in Australia, long before the it EWTN available on satellite dish here, and the Internet. May God bless this valiant woman for all her courageous work, in the words of the Psalmist.

  44. bourgja says:

    I was present during this event at World Youth Day. I remember that there was an impending storm that gave the evening an ominous tone, and I remember St. John Paul II’s plaintive cry that “Jesus Christ is the only hope of the world.” It was only later that I heard about Mother Angelica’s passionate response.

  45. benedetta says:

    What I admire and respect most about what Mother did in that moment with the WYD Stations was to stand up and say, on behalf of youth and also for herself and for all, enough to so very much horrible junk imposed upon people without their say or choosing, to their great detriment. Amazing that a little habited sister would instantly draw so much venom and the full weight of attack. Talk about trying to crush the messenger. She was attacked and in many places all of that went right on business as usual and that much more so, and orthodoxy was targeted and systematically stamped out, or, an attempt to, in every single sphere and expression of faith. It was amazing how the folks who talked a good game about dialogue and sharing and social justice brought the heavy fist down in the most totalitarian terms and far from any sense of “live and let live”, in a draconian way resembling machine politics than any model of transparency for a Church.

  46. benedetta says:

    And of course the rest of the rest of the rest of the story…(LOL)…is that Fr. Pacwa, realized fairly quickly where all of that was leading, and that it wasn’t a “do your own thing man” sort of a spirit at all but a spirit that wished to impose, dominate, rule, and wipe out anything that even so much as questioned innocently what it was doing, and, that the whole goal was to force everyone to worship in lockstep and to believe their odd notions for ever and ever.

    Over the years I think Fr. Pacwa has done a beautiful work in presenting the true depth and variety of diversity within orthodoxy in our Church, particularly through his constant televised studies of papal encyclicals as well as his live program in which he gives people a chance to hear about any number of lay efforts to enrich and support the Church which are growing and help a great many.

    It’s like Mother said in that video — it’s certainly people’s God given right to think and believe whatever they choose. It’s quite another thing to then impose that on others, and to deny them the choice to believe or not believe it that they themselves had. Particularly when it comes to young people. Most particularly that is and was tantamount to an abuse.

    A lot of people became good soldiers to the cause that Mother so accurately described. They were sent forth to parishes everywhere to tell off priests who spoke about prolife…they insisted that lay people could do everything…they compared everything from a Pope to their own personal marching orders which they had been given and deemed it all not satisfactory and untrustworthy, for themselves and for all and for children. A lot of them today are quite bitter and far from living the joy of the Gospel. They are obsessed with what they deem the judgmentalism of others who just desire what Christians in all times and places have had the benefit of. Partisan American politics, local and otherwise, are paramount, above any expression or practice of faith in authentic terms. Like the traditionalists they so despise, they will drive hours out of their state or neighborhood in order to go to the Mass of their favorite priest, but in their case it is the only one they will listen to, and hear his inappropriate and strange and politically loaded and bitter jokes undermining the Gospel and one’s neighbor. If that priest isn’t celebrating they don’t leave the house. They comment on all our favorite comboxes with all the same “What’s wrong with the Church” manifesto that has held forth and exercised power for many decades and care not that even their own disciples and their children have sadly left the Church finding their alternative spirituality totally unworkable, as up to date and progressive with our special times as it may be. Why is that.

  47. JesusFreak84 says:

    Heh, the priest who married my parents and baptized me (4 years apart…) thinks Mother Angelica is the worst thing to happen to the Catholic Church =-p Mom, of course, idolizes the priest and thinks he should be Pope. Needless to say, when I met this priest on the occasion of my parents’ 25th wedding anniversary, he and I didn’t get along. (He actually mocked me, to the laughter and participation of the rest of my family…)

    Mother Angelica has a huge deal to do with me even still being Catholic, let alone being the Catholic that I am; I’ll cry when the Lord calls her home, but the day of her beatification will be one of rejoicing.

  48. Andrew says:

    Thank you so much Fr Z, for showing this to us.

    I must say in justice, that I have been helping another organization to obtain this recording in a digital format, and it has nothing to do with what you have given to us here.

    I don’t want to take credit, for anything which is not deserving.

    I am glad somebody was able to get their hands on this, and share it, regardless.

  49. frjim4321 says:

    Does anyone pay attention to “Mother Angelica” (sic) who does not already think as she does?

    She’s like any other echo chamber pundit whose stock in trade is making like-minded people feel good about themselves.

  50. frjim4321 says:

    Actually that was weak . . . her stock in trade is helping like-minded people feel that they are better than others.

  51. mpmaron says:

    I guess if you can’t find fault in the substance of what she had to say, you attack Mother Angelica.

    Awesomely brave for the internet.

    Speaking as a hippy-dippy diocesean veteran of 37 years, the good Mother was a breath of fresh air. God bless her.

    frjim4321, you sound bitter. I will pray for you.

  52. Kathleen10 says:

    Mother Angelica is a phenomenon, a gift. What this poor nun accomplished with no media training or experience, is just beyond unlikely. Read the book written about her by Raymond Arroyo, if you want to read a story that explains in full detail how amazing a story hers is. It leaves you knowing that God surely sustained her and guided her. The idea that someone in her position could begin a local radio spot is interesting, but to consider it became a global network complete with satellites and so on? Come on! In a world with few authentic female role models, I found her a complete inspiration, and she changed my life by opening up and explaining the world of true Catholicism, not the junk we were getting in our local parish, so weak my son left his faith and joined a Pentecostal church nearby, and only in the last year, after 15 years, came back to any degree. Our local priest, eventually arrested for mismanaging funds or taking funds, whatever, had an obviously gay protegee priest living in the rectory. This priest ran an AIDS ministry and had no interest in anyone in the parish outside of that, except the youth group. My son, in the church youth group, agreed to be one of the people who’s feet were washed on Holy Thursday. Our priest then told the boys, “Be sure you wash your g-damn feet.” So, we needed some true Catholicism and got it only by EWTN. Mother Angelica, Fr. Mitch Pacwa, Fr. Benedict Groeschel, Scott Hahn, Thomas Dubay, Bob and Penny Lord, Fr. Rutler, and so many others, became so very important in my daily life, and surely they did change my thinking and my faith forever. I am eternally grateful to them! This is true for millions of people all over the world, I’m sure.
    I cannot fathom your comment frjim.

  53. s i says:

    Oh my gosh! I just knew I had to see this….after trying unsuccessfully on my Android phone to view it, I had to wait until I was back at my Windows computer……then install Quicktime……a pain, but well worth it! I just love Mother Angelica!!

  54. Emilio says:

    @frjim4321 – I have never actually bitten your bait and typed a reaction to your contributions here, so here goes: what a PATHETIC, pathetic thing to say. This woman spent herself in her ministry of mercy and evangelization, until a stroke physically took away her ability to keep doing so actively. I am sorry for what you say and hope you are capable of shame. Her diatribe was aimed at defeating American Catholicism in deconstruction, you may not have cared for it or her, but like Weakland, you can at least admit defeat in peace and quiet, that may do your more good than trying to bite the heels of the supporters of a heroine.

  55. Midwest St. Michael says:


    Well said, Emilio. ;^)


  56. JesusFreak84 says:

    Ad-hominim {sp?} attacks on the internet? When’d that start? o.o

  57. Supertradmum says:

    A great woman…one of the most heretical priests in my home diocese once said to me that he decried the new young priests coming up-“The sons of Mother Angelica”, he sneered.

    Well, God will look at Mother when she meets Him, and say, “Look at all your sons. Enter, Mother.”

  58. St Donatus says:

    Odd that so many of us ‘Male Chovenist Pigs’ who want to take away ‘womens health choices’ like abortion and keep women as the ‘slaves of men’ by not allowing them to be priests (like we have a choice), love this women who stood up to Bishops and priests and called them out on there weakness in holding up Catholic truth. The problem is that we don’t love and respect women, but within Gods structure of the Church and the Family, we all have our place, men have their place, women have theirs. When each take up their rightful place in Gods way, we blossom like holy flowers to what we were meant to be. He created us, he knows what we need. Who would replace the Mother Mary with Joseph, Jesus with Mary Magdalene, Saint Joan of Arc with Saint Francis.

  59. St Donatus says:

    Sorry, that was supposed to be ‘The problem is that we DO love and respect women, but…’

  60. Supertradmum says:

    PS Notre Dame, when I was a student there, had a full basilica for the Stations and a woman played Christ. It was disturbing and, to be honest, stupid looking. I was disgusted and disappointed at those who organized this. It was “tacky”.

  61. Eugene says:

    what an unbelievable comment especially from a priest… a woman who BUILT the biggest Christian Catholic network in the world…”her stock in trade is helping like-minded people feel that they are better than others” – really her whole and sole objective was to bring America, the world to Jesus, THE ETERNAL WORD…I would suggest two things apologize for your comments and read her biography…May God have mercy on you

  62. Mike says:

    @frjim4321: What breathtaking hate. I pray for your conversion of heart, as I do for my own — and that, one way or another, your flock be graced soon with a Catholic priest.

  63. Lutgardis says:

    @frjim4321, are you sure that only those who already think like Mother Angelica pay attention to her? Is is unfathomable that she might speak also to the lost sheep?

    We could ask Paul, one of the subjects of the new documentary “Desire of the Everlasting Hills.” He slept with thousands of male lovers during the height of Studio 54 in the 1970s, watched 90% of his friends die of AIDS, then settled down with his partner Jeff in San Francisco. Then one day Paul spotted Mother Angelica while flipping channels and called Jeff in to laugh at her:

    From CNA:
    ““I’m laughing mockingly at this nun with a patch over her eye, a distorted face (I didn’t know she had a stroke at the time), and a complete, old fashioned habit,” he said.
    It was Mother Angelica on EWTN.
    Jeff and Paul both laughed at “these crazy Christians”, but when Jeff left the room, Paul kept watching.
    “I was about to change the channel, she said something so intelligent and so real and so honest that it really struck me.”
    “You see God created you and I to be happy in this life and the next. He cares for you. He watches your every move. There’s no one that loves you (that) can do that,” Mother Angelica said.
    From then on, Paul was hooked on Mother Angelica. But he hid his new obsession. He would change the channel after watching her so that Jeff or anyone who used the T.V. wouldn’t see the nun.
    Eventually Paul came back to the Church and a life of chastity.

    And I’m not sure what to do with the idea that saying things like “You see God created you and I to be happy in this life and the next” = “helping like-minded people feel that they are better than others.”

    Or rather, I am sure.

  64. RJHighland says:

    My gold star goes to Mike spot on Fr. Jim with that one statement places himself solidly in the same camp as Card. Mahoney, Card. Bernardine, and Arch Bishop Foley, Arch Bishop Weekland. Not the crowd I would want to be associated with. Sadly they were all elevated by Saint John Paul II. I read and article that stated that Bishop Foley forced the priests of EWTN to offer mass Versus Populum, prior to that demand by the Bishop of Birmingham they were offering the mass Ad Orientem. I had not known that, I didn’t start watching until the mid 1990’s. Cardinal Mahoney had a vendetta against Mother Angelica, very bitter kind of like Fr. Jim. She just called a heretic a heretic, but in a kind of kind, humble way for an Italian Catholic Sister.

  65. CrimsonCatholic says:


    Just so you the know, the MFVA brothers at EWTN celebrate the latin(many times the high mass). They also celebrate the NO in the proper manner according to the rubrics.

    I don’t what changed Bishop Foley, but since he has retired he has become more traditional, by celebrating latin masses and the NO by the rubrics(while singing a lot of Latin in the NO). Praise God for that. I know this because I has confirmed by Bp. Foley, and have seen him celebrate mass on several occasions recently. I do know that the MFVA brothers have helped me in my faith greatly, and so I am so thankful for all that Mother Angelica has started.

  66. Uxixu says:

    I’m covered with shame to read the calumny Reverend Fr Jim puts on Mother Angelica. I can only hope in charity that he’s being facetious. Domine, misere nobis.

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