I once told a priest from Germany that I thought that EWTN had saved Catholicism in America. He looked surprised and startled at my pronouncement. But where on the TV waves was (and is) authentic Catholicism being taught? How many Catholic and non-Catholic lives have been transformed through the network?
Congratulations to EWTN which celebrated its 25th anniversary on May 2, 2012.
“There is significance that Mother Angelica started EWTN to defend Jesus Christ, and we were founded on the feast of St. Athanasius, a doctor of the Church, defender of the divinity of Jesus Christ and the ‘Father of Orthodoxy,’” said Father Joseph Wolfe, MFVA, the first priest ordained for the new Public Clerical Association of the Faithful in 1993. “Mother Angelica wanted us to be a spiritual support for the television network.” He uses the analogy that their cloistered nuns are to be the heart of the mission and the friars and EWTN are to be the voice of the mission.
Today, there are 17 Franciscan Missionaries of the Eternal Word (MFVA) friars who are priests or brothers. Twelve are in perpetual profession. On June 2, two men will be ordained to the transitional deaconate and two to the priesthood, increasing MFVA priests’ numbers to seven.
May the friars continue to be true to the their motto: The lost I will seek out; the strays I will bring back (Ezekiel 34:16).