Several months after my husband and I wrote The Thunder of Justice in 1994, we received a call from EWTN asking if we would come down to EWTN and meet with Mother. We admired Mother Angelica as she was not afraid to speak the truth in a time when many did what was politically correct. At our first meeting with Mother, we were brought behind closed doors in a room right off the cloister. When Mother walked in the room, we saw that she walked with braces. She sat on a glider rocker and immediately made us feel at ease as she began talking with us and our children. At one point, our son, who was ten years-old at the time, lifted up her skirt two inches to inspect her leg braces. We were mortified. Mother just laughed and showed off her braces. She asked us many questions about the book we wrote, especially in regards to the various approved apparitions like Fatima and Akita. She was also interested in Medjugorje and Garabandal. We had a long discussion about the prophesied events at Garabandal, including the Warning and Miracle.
That night we taped her show, and she made us feel very comfortable. She held up our book several times which launched it to the Catholic world. In 1996, we went back to EWTN and Mother Angelica drove us to the new monastery being built. Ted and I rode in the station wagon with Mother and one of her nuns. She walked around to show us the plans and was very excited that it was going to be a beautiful temple for the Lord. One of the nuns shared with us how the child Jesus had appeared to Mother.
We spoke with Mother on the phone many times over the years. On August 14, 2000, I wrote a letter to Mother Angelica to invite her to be the keynote speaker for the Jubilee International Week of Prayer and Fasting. We dated the letter August 15, 2000 and sent it overnight. August 15th was the date Mother Angelica founded EWTN. She called us several days later to talk with us. Halfway through the conversation, she agreed to speak in Washington, D.C. in October of that year. We were so excited. Then she said she would like to stay at our home. We picked her up at the airport with two religious brothers and one sister. We brought her home to our house for a nice dinner with filet mignon (how many times do you have Mother Angelica for dinner?). We were wondering why our golden retriever dog, Josie, wouldn’t leave Mother’s side. We later realized Mother was slipping the dog pieces of steak under the table.
The next day, a limo was sent by some friends to drive Mother Angelica and her traveling companions to the Basilica of the National Shrine of Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. When she entered the Basilica, Mother was greeted by over 7,000 enthusiastic fans of EWTN. Mother gave a beautiful talk about Our Lord in the Eucharist and how we must talk to Him and bring Him all of our concerns. As Mother spoke, she kept on turning to her right to look at Jesus exposed in the monstrance. She spoke directly to Him. She received several standing ovations at the end of her talk. It was a very blessed and anointed day and one that we will never forget!
We later took Mother and her fellow travelers for dinner with our prayer group and key volunteers. Later that night as we were preparing for bed, Mother Angelica came into our daughter’s bedroom and sat and chatted with her. She was down to earth, funny and personable. I even saved the comforter she slept on, as I had a feeling someday she would be elevated to sainthood. Mother Angelica was truly a gift for our times. Mother was not afraid to defend the Church’s teachings in the face of adversity. Her compassion and ability to speak the truth in love endeared her to millions. She will be greatly missed, but her legacy in EWTN continues. There is no coincidence that Our Lord called Mother Angelica home on the greatest feast day of the Church–Easter Sunday. Well done, good and faithful servant.