The Remarkable Story of a Nun, Her Nerve, and a Network of Miracles
Doubleday Religion, Hardcover, 9780385510929, 400pp.
Publication Date: September 6, 2005
The extraordinary saga of Mother Angelica, founder of the multimillion-dollar Eternal Word Television Network and “the most influential Catholic woman in America” according to Time magazine
In 1981, the year after Ted Turner founded CNN, a simple nun, using merely her entrepreneurial instincts and $200, launched what would become the world’s largest religious media empire in the garage of a Birmingham, Alabama, monastery. Under her guidance, the Eternal Word Television Network grew at a staggering pace, both in viewership and in influence, to where it now reaches over a hundred million viewers in hundreds of countries around the globe.
Born Rita Rizzo in Canton, Ohio, in 1923, Mother Angelica was abandoned by her father and raised in poverty by a mother who suffered from suicidal depressions. As a young woman, Rita developed severe abdominal pain that doctors dismissed as a “nervous condition,” but when she sought the prayers of a local mystic, her symptoms disappeared. Awakened to the power of prayer, she vowed to dedicate her life to God and became a cloistered nun, expecting to spend her life hidden from the world. But Rita’s faith soon compelled her to unlikely endeavors, from establishing a monastery in Alabama to starting the world’s first Catholic cable network. Relying solely on “God’s providence,” Mother Angelica built an empire without concern for budgets or fund-raising campaigns, achieving what even the highest levels of the Catholic Church had been unable to do.
Raymond Arroyo combines his journalist’s objectivity and eye for detail with more than five years of exclusive interviews with Mother Angelica. He traces Mother Angelica’s tortured rise to success and exposes for the first time the fierce opposition she faced, both inside and outside of her church. It is an inspiring story of survival and proof that one woman’s faith can move more than mountains.
ADVANCE PRAISE FOR MOTHER ANGELICA
“In this dramatic page-turner, Raymond Arroyo has captured the life and lessons of Mother Angelica, a woman who may well be the patron saint of CEOs. Buy this book and be inspired.”
—Lee Iacocca, The Iacocca Foundation, former chief executive officer of the Chrysler Corporation
“Raymond Arroyo masterfully captures the complexities, humanity, and tenacity of Mother Angelica, who has long been one of my own personal heroes. The founder of the Eternal Word Television Network, Mother Angelica is a woman who dared to dream, to stand up for what she believed in, and whose faith showed that anything is possible. In Arroyo’s hands, she becomes someone you wish you had the opportunity to know and love. Read this book and believe.”
“This is some woman. What a wonderful story Raymond Arroyo has written—wonderful because it’s true, because he got the facts, because she chose him to tell them, and because he’s a born storyteller.”
—Peggy Noonan, author of When Character Was King
“Mother Angelica’s personal words to me, her courageous example, and her constant prayers helped inspire my portrayal of Jesus in The Passion of the Christ. No one could have captured the essence of this modern-day saint better than Raymond Arroyo. His narrative gifts and understanding of Mother are clearly evident in this truthful and often candid depiction of one nun’s struggle to bring God to the multitudes. Surely this book, and Mother’s life will have an incredible enduring legacy.”
—James Caviezel, actor
“Mother Angelica is one of the greatest entrepreneurs of all time, and is truly one of my heroes. With his “insider” perspective, Raymond Arroyo has done a masterful job capturing not only Mother’s immeasurable accomplishments but also her remarkable personality. Like Mother herself, this book has the unique combination of being both inspiring and entertaining.”
—Thomas S. Monaghan, founder of Domino’s Pizza and Chancellor of Ave Maria University
“A rattling good story of fear, faith, courage, and bulldog tenacity, beautifully told. The drama of Mother Angelica’s life is a powerful reminder that the extraordinary lies just beyond the ordinary—if we have eyes to see and ears to hear.”
—George Weigel, author of Witness to Hope:Tthe Biography of Pope John Paul II