Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Canton, Ohio Names Street for EWTN Foundress and Hometown Native Mother Angelica


For Information, Please Contact:

Oct. 12, 2010

Michelle Johnson

Director of Communications

EWTN Global Catholic Network

5817 Old Leeds Road
Irondale, Alabama 35210-2198 USA

(205) 795-5769 – Office

(205) 441-6248 ­– Cell

(205) 795-5781 – Fax


Canton, Ohio Names Street For

EWTN Foundress and Hometown Native Mother Angelica

Irondale, AL (EWTN) – Mother Angelica, the cloistered nun who founded the EWTN Global Catholic Network, was honored by her hometown of Canton, Ohio in a ceremony Saturday night, Oct. 9 at the Canton Civic Center in Canton, Ohio. City officials – who have designated a section of Market Avenue between 30th St. N.W. and 44th St. N.W. as the “Mother Angelica Memorial Corridor” – presented EWTN President and CEO Michael P. Warsaw with the Canton City Council’s resolution and the sign that will grace the street in three places at the Saturday celebration.

The ceremony was witnessed by at least 3,000 people who were on hand for EWTN’s 2010 Family Celebration, an annual event that attracts viewers from all over the country. The event will be televised on EWTN at 6 p.m. ET, Sat., Oct. 16 and 2 p.m. ET, Sat. Oct. 23. (Find EWTN at www.ewtn.com/channelfinder.)

“Mother Angelica and all of us at EWTN are truly touched and thrilled by the recognition bestowed upon our foundress by the Mayor and the Canton City Council,” said EWTN CEO & President Michael P. Warsaw. “It is a testament to the work that Mother accomplished in her life – work from which the whole world is benefiting. We want to thank Mayor William Healy and the Canton City Council, especially Councilman Jim Griffin and City Engineer Dan Moeglin, for recognizing Mother Angelica in this way.”

The Mother Angelica Memorial Corridor will include the section of road that runs in front of Sancta Clara Monastery, where Mother made her first vows and lived out her first years as a nun. The sign includes the quote for which Mother is most famous: “Unless we are willing to do the ridiculous, God will not do the miraculous.”

During the Celebration’s welcome ceremony Saturday morning, Stark County Commissioner Dr. Peter Ferguson also presented Warsaw with a resolution promulgated by the Stark County Commissioners recognizing Mother Angelica’s achievements.

Excitement over EWTN’s presence in Canton was evidenced not only by the crowds at the event, but by the sold-out hotels, bus tours of sites important in Mother’s life (which attracted almost 500 people according to Barbara Gaskell, General Manger of Living Bread Radio AM 1060, an EWTN affiliate), and the widespread coverage from television, radio, print and the Internet sites across Ohio, from Cleveland to Akron to Canton. Among the highlights was NBC 3 Cleveland’s feature story, http://www.wkyc.com/news/news_article.aspx?storyid=152548, which noted that Mother is “the only woman in the history of broadcast television to found and lead a television network.” Their story included a clip of Mother once telling her audience, “We’re in TV, radio, shortwave, AM & FM and the Internet. Wherever there is rot, we’re there!”

The story was also front-page news in “The Repository” for two days. Canton’s hometown paper lauded the former Rita Rizzo, one of McKinley High School’s first drum majorettes, not only as the foundress of the largest religious media network in the world, but as “the only woman to found and lead a cable network” and compared the amount of time Mother logged on-air to that of Lucille Ball.

The crowd, which applauded wildly the entire weekend, was especially enthusiastic about Saturday night’s program celebrating “The Life & Legacy of Mother Angelica.” Those who worked with her from the beginning told behind-the-stories of her impact on their lives, the early days of the Network, and Mother’s unique way of preparing to go on-air. EWTN Anchor Raymond Arroyo hosted the program which included the memories of popular EWTN radio host, local Ohio celebrity, and Psychologist Dr. Ray Guarendi, Mother Assumpta Long, and “Journey Home” Host Marcus Grodi – all of whom were also speakers – as well as “”Life on the Rock” Host Fr. Mark, the Irish singer “Dana,” and Event Emcee Doug Keck.

Arroyo, who has also penned several best-selling books on Mother Angelica, received a standing ovation earlier that day after regaling the crowd with hilarious stories from Mother’s past, often in a voice that perfectly mimicked the famous nun. He was followed by “Family Talk,” a question-and-answer session, that included Deacon Bill Steltemeier, Warsaw, and the Franciscan Friars.

EWTN was also honored by the presence of Birmingham, Ala. Bishop Robert J. Baker, who was celebrant and homilist at the Sat., Oct. 9 Mass, and Youngstown, Ohio Bishop George V. Murry, S.J., Ph.D, who was celebrant and homilist at the Sun., Oct. 10 Mass.

Between shows, attendees including some who had fallen away from the faith or who had been atheists, thronged the “Family Talk” and “Meet the Author,” to thank Mother and the network for their conversions to the faith. While Mother could not attend the event herself, she will watch the event on television with the rest of her viewers over the next two weekends.

EWTN Global Catholic Network, in its 29th year, is available in over 160 million television households in more than 140 countries and territories. With its direct broadcast satellite television and radio services, AM & FM radio networks, worldwide short-wave radio station, Internet website www.ewtn.com and publishing arm, EWTN is the largest religious media network in the world.

(Editors’ Note: Images to be delivered via Photo Express or AP Commercial Wire. Select images will also be available after noon on Mon., Oct. 11 in EWTN’s Online Press Room, www.ewtn.com/media.)



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