"Come, Bride of Christ" – Mother Angelica Dies at 92
See, there'll always be another Bishop of Rome... but there can never be another "Mother."
Arguably the most influential voice for the Stateside church's "base" over two generations – and, indeed, a woman whose prime saw her wield more clout than almost any churchman at home or abroad – the beloved, famous, ever-original, sometime-controversial EWTN foundress Mother Angelica died at 92 at 5pm Central time, surrounded by the Poor Clare sisters of the Alabama monastery she built, as the world's largest religious media empire beamed the Resurrection to the masses.
Within minutes of the network's announcement two hours later, the news spurred a global outpouring of grief and prayers reflecting the peerless devotion of the "EWTN family" to the apostolate, and the unparalleled breadth of its reach across global television, local and shortwave radio, newsprint, a wire service and a growing piece of the internet. Accordingly, in these days' ultimate tribute to anyone – let alone to an unlikely titan of "legacy" communications long kept from public view – "Mother Angelica" ranked among the top trending terms on Twitter both in the US and worldwide through the night, with the Spanish "Madre Angélica" likewise climbing the chart.
To be sure, the story and legacy of the Ohio Italian born to a single mother could fill volumes – it already has, and even those are far from the last word. For now, though, the order of the moment instead is simply to give thanks and pay tribute to a witness and example that, objectively speaking, has brought the life of faith to untold souls and, with it, has irrevocably changed the face of this church.
Once upon a time, many moons ago – long before the network was ever envisioned – Mother's earliest media initiative was the steady stream of "mini-books" she cranked out on various aspects of the faith, which could be obtained by mail from the monastery at low cost. The circulation of these created the relationships and support from which the TV apostolate would be built.
Even if they'd come to be replaced by the ever more memorable live shows, the mini-books and their role should never be forgotten... but among them all, the title of one particularly sticks out on this night: a work she called To Leave, And Yet To Stay.
Tonight, then, may the ancient prayer be our own....
Saints of God, come to her aid,May Mother's Easter never end. Lord only knows how, well more than most, we will never see her like again.
Hasten to meet her, Angels of the Lord,
Receive her soul, and present her to God, the Most High.
* * *
At the liturgy's close, Mother Angelica will be laid to rest in the Shrine's crypt, in the niche above the body of Sister Mary David – her own mother, who would eventually follow her into religious life.
-30-Lord, the joy of Your Resurrection fills my soul w/the realization that my body will also rise someday.— Raymond Arroyo (@RaymondArroyo) March 27, 2016
M. Angelica pic.twitter.com/CCy94S6Re9