Mother Angelica, who spearheaded the founding of the Eternal Word Television Network, has been placed on a feeding tube as she fights the lingering effects of two strokes she suffered 14 years ago.
A spokesman for her order, the Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration at Our Lady of Angels Monastery in Hanceville, said the 92-year-old nun was doing as well as could be expected for someone her age who remains partially paralysed.
“From what I’m told, it’s not that she’s completely unable to eat. It’s assisting her to get the nutrients she needs,” said Luke Johnasen, director of pilgrimages at the monastery.
Mr Johnasen told the US Catholic News Service that Mother Angelica has been fitted with the tube in recent weeks.
“She’s had some ups and downs the last few months,” he said. “She’s a fighter.”
Johnasen added that Mother Angelica remained confined to bed, but that she acknowledges visitors to her room in the monastery.
“She’s able to communicate with a squeeze of a hand, make gestures with her eyes. She acknowledges people when they’re there. The nuns say she does sleep a lot,” he said.
A native of Canton, Ohio, Mother Angelica launched EWTN on August 15, 1981, from the garage of her monastery.
The initiative was greeted with scepticism from television executives who felt there was little demand for Catholic programming.
The network’s website reports that it transmits programmes 24 hours a day to more than 230 million homes in 144 countries via cable and other technologies.
The network still broadcasts hundreds of Mother Angelica’s shows even though she stepped down as chairman of the board and CEO of the network in 2000.
On her 92nd birthday in April, the sisters at the monastery said in a statement that Mother Angelica offers her suffering “all up for the Church”.
Islamists expelled from Italy after threats against the Pope
Italian state police in Brescia, working with their counterparts in Kosovo, said last week that they had taken action against four Kosovar Albanians they believed to be terrorist risks and had made threats on social media against Pope Francis.
The four are accused by police of publishing messages “against the person of the Holy Father”, and saying: “Remember, there will not be another pope after this one; he will be the last.”
One of the four was arrested in Kosovo, the police in the northern Italian city of Brescia said.
Two were expelled from Italy and a fourth was placed on a terrorism “watch list” and his travel documents were confiscated.
The four were active on a Facebook group that indicated they had, or aspired to have, connections to Lavdrim Muhaxheri, the leader of 150 or so Albanian and Macedonian Muslims fighting for the terrorist group ISIS in Syria and Iraq. This was according to a statement from police in Brescia.
The four also posted photos of themselves “with weapons and in poses characteristic of combatants of the so-called Islamic State”.
Priests hug cats for calendar
A calendar featuring Russian Orthodox priests posing with their cats has become an online sensation.
The calendar, created by Orthodox site Kravmir.com, only had a print run of 1,000 before being picked up by news outlets around the world. Journalist Ksenia Luchenko said: “It’s all their own cats – nothing was staged. It was whoever had a cat and was ready to pose for a photo.” The calendar grew out of a photography book project showing priests’ everyday lives.
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