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Mother Angelica: The Remarkable Story of a Nun, Her Nerve, and a Network of Miracles

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In 1981, the year after Ted Turner founded CNN, a simple nun launched the world's first Catholic cable channel in the garage of a Birmingham, Alabama, monastery, using her entrepreneurial instincts and $200 for seed money. Under her guidance, the Eternal Word Television Network grew by leaps and bounds. Today, EWTN offers twenty-four-hour television programming and AM/FM radio broadcasts in both English and Spanish, reaching more than 184 million viewers and listeners in 160 countries.

Raymond Arroyo's engrossing biography, reads like a novel. Born Rita Rizzo in Canton, Ohio, in 1923, she was abandoned by her father and raised in poverty by a mother who suffered suicidal depressions. As a young woman, Rita developed severe abdominal pain and large protrusions. After doctors dismissed the problems as a "nervous" condition, Rita sought the prayers of a local mystic, and her symptoms disappeared.

Awakened to the power of prayer, she vowed to dedicate her life to God. She became a cloistered nun, expecting to spend her life hidden from the world. But her faith compelled her to unlikely endeavors, from establishing a monastery in Alabama to starting the network. Relying solely on "God's providence," Mother Angelica built the empire without concern for budgets or fund-raising campaigns. She had accomplished what the highest echelon of the Catholic Church had been unable to do.

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