Andrew Walther, president of EWTN News, died in New Haven, Connecticut on the Feast of All Saints after a brief battle with leukaemia. He was 45 years old. An ardent Catholic and dedicated family man, Andrew’s death came one day after the beatification of Fr. Michael, McGivney, the founder of the Knights of Columbus, whose cause he had done everything in his power to advance. Faith and family were the twin forces that animated everything that Andrew did and was.
Andrew’s devastating diagnosis came only a few weeks after his appointment to EWTN in June of this year, following a distinguished career of over 15 years at the Knights of Columbus, where he was vice president of communications and strategic planning. To all these roles, Andrew brought not just immense organizational skills, but also an extraordinary creativity, opening up transcendence towards God and people in all his undertakings.
It was, however, defending the persecution of Christians—particularly in the Middle East—where Andrew found his special mission. He saw in the suffering of the Christian survivors of ISIS genocide in Iraq—the suffering of the Body of Christ—and became their devoted defender and advocate. At the Knights of Columbus, he not only raised millions of dollars on their behalf, ensuring their survival at a time when they were largely abandoned by the United States and the United Nations, but also brought awareness to their dire situation. The millions he raised through the Knights gave these Christians the means to rebuild their villages and maintain their community’s presence in the cradle of Christianity.
Andrew was a uniquely inspirational figure, who brought vision, energy and efficaciousness to the task of touching hearts and minds in Congress. His considerable organizational skills, including relentless energy and dedication, resulted in a pivotal fact-finding report which led to Secretary of State John Kerry including Nineveh Christians in the U.S. genocide designation against ISIS. Working closely with other heroic advocates like Nina Shea of the Center for Religious Freedom at the Hudson Institute, his actions resulted in both saving thousands of lives and preserving Christianity in Iraq. In the past six months alone, he brought these same skills and devotion to the cause of saving similarly imperilled Christians sub-Saharan Africa.
Like so many who knew and loved Andrew, I will forever thank God for bringing him into my life, and inspiring in me the passion for those persecuted for their faith that animated him. His legacy will live on in all his many friends and admirers, as well as those who did not have the privilege of knowing him in person, but whose lives he lifted up. Andrew shared not only Churchill’s birthday of November 30th, but also Winston’s lionhearted courage and resilience. May he rest in peace.
Amanda Bowman is the founder of The Anglosphere Society, which aims to promote freedom of speech and freedom of religion. She was blessed to call Andrew Walther a friend.