Learn more about my latest book – All In: Why Belonging to the Catholic Church Matters. Available now!

Thank you, Mother Angelica, for teaching us the art of networking for Jesus…

Thank you, Mother Angelica, for teaching us the art of networking for Jesus…

Jesus was her spouse and Eucharistic Adoration was the center of her television ministry. That’s what stands out for me as the Catholic world mourns the passing of Mother Angelica, foundress of two religious orders of the Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration and Franciscan Missionaries, and the Eternal Word Television Network, EWTN. 

IMG_1975With prayer and holy chutzpah Mother Angelica, together with others, launched what would become a global Catholic network in 1981 to bring Jesus to the world. Donations from faithful Catholics around the world continue to sustain the mission today.

Mother Angelica taught us a lot about the beauty of the Catholic faith, as well as the feminine genius, in the way she lived.

Mother is definitely not a stereotypical nun. She appears stereotypical, but beneath the habit is this gutsy, determined woman who wields an incredible faith.

Her feminine genius resides just there I think: in her radical faith, in her abandonment to God’s will in the present moment. Additionally, she had an intuition that allowed her to see events as they were and to follow her heart and God, always.

We need that feminine aspect in the Church today. Mother used to say that the faith had become too “heady,” too theoretical. And I think she is right…

…she says, “Most people today are seeking master’s degrees, then they forget the Master.” She never forgot her Master.

Isn’t it curious that some of the same people who were the most outspoken advocates of “women’s power” in the Church, were the first ones trying to shove Mother Angelica back into the cloister once she appeared on the scene?

The idea of an orthodox, faithful woman leading people to Christ was a threat somehow. It shouldn’t have been. Time has shown that it was actually a blessing. – 2007 Zenit interview with Raymond Arroyo

Raymond Arroyo from The World Over at EWTN announces Mother Angelica’s passing and offers a few notes on her legacy…

Thank you, Mother Angelica for your wit and wisdom as a catechist, intercessor, and a spiritual mother to millions.

Oil painting of Mother Angelica, founder of EWTN, outside the chapel area.

Oil painting of Mother Angelica, outside the chapel area at EWTN

Thank you for loving Jesus and teaching us not to keep that love to ourselves, but to spread it to others… and that sometimes we are asked to do that with a microphone or camera in hand. You built a network for Jesus both in the relationships you grew in religious life and in your expression of the faith person to person.


In 2013, I visited EWTN as a guest to record a few programs with “Women of Grace” host, Johnette Benkovic, I took time to pray in the Adoration Chapel and attend Mass. (The banner photo above is the monstrance above the chapel altar at EWTN in Irondale, AL. I took the picture during a period when Mass or adoration was not taking place, so there is no Host in the photo.)

Find more of my photos from that visit here, and here.


No doubt you can search the internet for hundreds of tribute to Mother Angelica, but I’m happy to recommend a few.



Thanks to Johnette Benkovic, of Women of Grace, for the invite! Links for archived shows!

Thanks to Johnette Benkovic, of Women of Grace, for the invite! Links for archived shows!

Screen Shot 2014-02-28 at 3.21.00 PMThanks to the blessed, beautiful, and bodacious, Johnnette Benkovic, the host of Women of Grace on EWTN, for a great week together of shows talking about the feminine genius and all it means for us as Catholic women…. knowing our dignity, gifts, and mission! Much of the conversation over the five days covers ideas from my book, and what I’ve learned of the positive message that the Church teaches regarding women. Please share these with women you know!

Again, big time thanks to Johnnette who offered an EWTN debut to a new author, giving her a shot at reaching a new audience. I am truly grateful.

Here’s a recap of the archived shows in case you missed them. It’s a conversation that builds over the course of each day, so you may wish to view them in order.


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Living the Gift of Catholic Womanhood, Part 1

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Living the Gift of Catholic Womanhood, Part 2

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Living the Gift of Catholic Womanhood, Part 3

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Living the Gift of Catholic Womanhood, Part 4

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Living the Gift of Catholic Womanhood, Part 5


For more reviews or interviews regarding the message of my book, Blessed, Beautiful, and Bodacious, go to Ave Maria Press.

Purchase my book at your local Catholic bookseller, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Ave Maria Press, or get a personalized copy from me here.

For more content from Johnnette Benkovic, including book resources, radio and television, go to Women of Grace. 

Got local Catholic Radio and Television? Then help promote it!

Got local Catholic Radio and Television? Then help promote it!

WQOM is the Boston-area Catholic radio station, and while their signal is not as strong in my listening area, I know many of my Massachusetts and Rhode Island friends are very much blessed by its presence. The station recently started a billboard campaign and it is a simple message…


I hope folks in Massachusetts will consider some of the programming on WQOM. And I hope my little billboard here at The Back Porch can help lead people to it.


We’re also blessed in this region by Catholic TV and EWTN on our regional cable stations. Check them out, too! Both of them have many programs to watch on demand, besides regular daily programming.

Catholic TV has its studios in Watertown, just outside of Boston, and they have an app for your smart phone! Find them on Facebook.


I love radio, and I guess I’m kind of partial to it. It’s a great, inexpensive medium, compare to television, for the new evangelization. My radio roots have definitely shaped me.

Back in the 80s, when I was a newlywed, living in New York, there was no such thing as Catholic Radio. A few stations might have an hour of a priest giving a message on a Sunday morning, but there really was no such thing as a Catholic radio station, and Catholic television stations were fledgling and few. So, after working in commercial radio and advertising, I did a five year stint in Christian Radio for the old WLIX on Long Island.

There I was, a devout Catholic, sharing in the ministry of gospel radio alongside Evangelical Christians, Baptists, including a few former Catholics who left the church for Protestant congregations. Looking back on those years, I can see the roots of much of the ministry I engage in now — the desire to share the gospel (and its specific proclamation within the Catholic Church and to the world), and to write and work in media. I grew up a lot in those five years and learned the lessons of ecumenism, including praying for and with others, respect for other faith traditions, and discovering my genuine need to go deeper in my own Catholic faith, and learn its tenets so I could adequately defend and share it.

Fast forward to today. I’m writing and speaking, and I am a frequent radio guest on many Catholic radio programs near and far. And I have been so grateful to all of the hosts and producers and owners for sharing the airtime with me. I’m so impressed with the growth of Catholic radio across the nation.

Catholic television continue to grow, and I’ve support and promoted Catholic TV in my area and via new media. (I’ve even been asked to do some television now and again, like Catholic TV’s This is The Day, and I don’t mind saying that I find that so much more daunting!)

But the point of this post is to remember that we all have a role in helping to spread the word about these stations. Most of them are non-profits, and they need our support for their growth. So do what you can! Listen! Get a bumper sticker! Tell your family and friends! Put an announcement in your church bulletin or school! Retweet their stuff on Twitter or plug their shows on Facebook or Google + or your favorite social sharing site. Heck, write a blog post!