Books To Help You Through the Pandemic – And Your Life!

With most of the country sheltering in place for a few more weeks to a few more months, many people find themselves turning to their faith for comfort. If you would like to learn to pray better, to know Jesus better, to defend the Faith better, and to be inspired to live a better life, EWTN Religious Catalogue has some suggestions for you. The books below are bestsellers for a reason. To see these and all the resources EWTN Religious Catalogue offers, please go to

Learn to Pray Better 

  • “The Examen Prayer” by Father Timothy Gallagher.

In this book, Fr. Timothy Gallagher teaches Catholics the Ignatian method of examining your conscience. Many people end the day by asking God about what they could or should have done better. But St. Ignatius recommends beginning our examination of conscience by thanking God, not just for general blessings, but for what He very specifically did for us that particular day. Focusing on gratitude first makes us realize how much God loves us. That’s why we say this book could change your life. Find it here: If you have read this book and want to go deeper, pick up Fr. Gallagher’s book, “The Discernment of Spirits: An Ignatian Guide for Everyday Living.” Learn to discern when you are feeling consolation and when you are feeling desolation and what to do about those changes in your spirit. Find the book and/or accompanying DVD here:

  • “The Interior Castle” by St. Teresa of Avila.

For those who want to understand just how close it is possible to get to Jesus in this life, St. Teresa of Avila’s masterwork, “The Interior Castle,“ is a must read. She describes the soul as a series of room in a castle and takes you on a journey from outside the castle. where lots of snakes and other poisonous creatures (temptations) assail you, all the way through the castle and into the innermost room, where Jesus awaits. You can get closer to Our Lord in this life than you ever thought possible! Find it here: 

Be Inspired To Live a Better Life

  • Books By and About Mother Angelica, including “Mother Angelica: The Remarkable Story of a Nun, Her Nerve, and a Network of Miracles” by Raymond Arroyo, and, especially in these times of pandemic, “Mother Angelica on Suffering and Burnout.”

If you haven’t read the definitive bio of Mother Angelica, it’s an entertaining and inspiring read! And if you’re looking for encouragement and consolation as well as an explanation of the purpose of suffering and how to avoid wasting it, turn to the Suffering and Burnout book. Find these and other books by Mother Angelica here:

  • “33 Days to Morning Glory” by Father Michael Gaitley.

During this Easter season of celebration, we thank God for all He did for us during His Passion and Death. One amazing way to do this is to consecrate ourselves to the Blessed Virgin Mary. As Catholics often say: “To Jesus through Mary!” This book provides an easily accessible way to make this consecration with teachings from Saints Therese of Lisieux, Faustina Kowalska, John Paul II, and Louis de Montfort. Already read this book? Then, read the next two books in this trilogy: “33 days to Merciful Love,” which is about consecration to Divine Mercy, and “33 Days to Greater Glory,” Father Gaitley’s newest book, which is about consecration to God the Father. Find all three books here:

Learn to Defend the Faith Better 

  • “Praying the Gospels – Jesus Launches His Ministry” by Father Mitch Pacwa.

There is no better way to learn (and to live) the Bible than by praying it. In this book, Fr. Mitch takes you by the hand and shows you how enter into a Gospel scene and meditate upon it even as He shares fascinating details about the geography, customs and ideas of Jesus’ time. He even provides questions intended to lead you into a deeper examination of your own life and mission in the world today. Find it here: Find dozens of other Bible studies, including many more by Father Mitch, here:

  • “Why Be Catholic?: Ten Answers to a Very Important Question” by Patrick Madrid.

Described by readers as “essential,” “phenomenal,” “easy to read,” and more, this book will make you proud to be Catholic and able to defend the Faith with clear, fact-based answers. Non-Catholics will find it clears up many misconceptions and helps them see the Church in a new light. The book is riveting because it is deeply personal, and offers wonderful anecdotes from Madrid’s own experience as a life-long Catholic born in the 1960s. Worthwhile reading! Find it here:

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In Response To Pandemic, EWTN To Air Re-Consecration Of U.S. And Canada To Our Lady

Have you heard? Los Angeles Archbishop José H. Gomez, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), announced April 23 that the U.S. bishops will join the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops to renew the consecration of the two nations to the care of our Blessed Mother!

EWTN will air the brief liturgy and prayer of re-consecration at 3 p.m. ET, Friday, May 1, live from Our Lady of the Angels Cathedral in Los Angeles with Archbishop Gomez celebrating. The event will also be aired live on EWTN’s Facebook page,

But that’s not all! On the day of the Re-Consecration, Birmingham Bishop Robert J. Baker will celebrate the 8 a.m. ET Daily Mass, which will include some very special prayers, and the Franciscan Friars of the Eternal Word will conduct a Rosary Holy Hour at 2 p.m. ET.

Also, this week, the Friars have been leading a series of short meditations on the Seven Sorrows of Our Lady immediately following the 8 a.m. ET Mass. If you missed them, the meditations can be found on EWTN’s Facebook page, along with a post containing the words to each day’s meditation.

In a letter to the U.S. Bishops regarding the Re-Consecration, Archbishop Gomez said: “This will give the Church the occasion to pray for Our Lady’s continued protection of the vulnerable, healing of the unwell, and wisdom for those who work to cure this terrible virus.” Each year, the Church seeks the special intercession of the Mother of God during the month of May. “This year, we seek the assistance of Our Lady all the more earnestly as we face together the effects of the global pandemic.”

EWTN Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Michael P. Warsaw said: “EWTN is honored to be airing this important Re-Consecration of the United States and Canada to Our Lady. As the bishops’ leadership demonstrates, the road out of this pandemic is through the intercession of our Heavenly Mother. May the Lord bless and protect us in these challenging times.”

Don’t miss this important event Family!

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EWTN’s Divine Mercy Programming Includes Live Novena to the Divine Mercy in Time of Pandemic

Beginning Easter Sunday, EWTN Global Catholic Network will broadcast a live “Novena to the Divine Mercy in Time of Pandemic.” The novena will air shortly after the conclusion of the live Daily Mass, which airs at 8 a.m. ET. (The text to the novena can be found at, which viewers should begin on Good Friday.

“The graces of Divine Mercy Sunday are so extraordinary that every Catholic should take full advantage of them, especially in these very difficult days,” said EWTN Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Michael P. Warsaw. “Although EWTN viewers can join in the Chaplet of Divine Mercy every weekday at 3 p.m. ET, the Network has a long tradition of airing expanded programming about the devotion on Divine Mercy Sunday itself, and during the week leading up to it.”

Highlights of EWTN’s Divine Mercy programs are noted below. For a complete listing, please go to Find EWTN at For all the ways to watch EWTN, please go to


Novena to the Divine Mercy in Time of Pandemic: Airs approximately 9 a.m. ET (immediately following Daily Mass at 8 a.m. ET).


Chaplet of Divine Mercy: Airs 3 p.m. ET. From Our Lady of the Angels Chapel Irondale, AL.

Monday, April 13

Chaplet of Divine Mercy from Our Lady of Grace Shrine in Sasse, Cameroon, Africa: Airs 3:45 a.m. ET. Encores 1:45 a.m., Tuesday through Saturday, April 14 through 18. Combines Cameroon’s rich native culture and melodies with the beauty and serenity of God’s Mercy.

The God of Mercy – Faustina, A Story of Mercy: Airs 5:30 p.m. ET with an encore at 3:30 a.m. ET, Tuesday, April 14. Fr. Bala Udumala shares the life of St. Faustina as permeated with the mission of mercy entrusted to her by Jesus.

Tuesday, April 14

The Face of Mercy: Airs 4 a.m. ET. Encores 8 p.m. ET, Friday, April 17. Documentary on the origins of the Divine Mercy devotion and the personal impact it ha had on the lives of several Catholics.

Saint Faustina: Divine Mercy in Our Souls: Airs 1:30 p.m. ET. Fr. Roesch talks to Bob and Maureen Digen about Maureen’s healing at the tomb of St. Faustina, which led to Blessed Faustina’s beatification in 1993.

The God of Mercy: The Five Elements of the Divine Mercy Devotion: Airs 5:30 p.m. ET, with an encore at 2:30 a.m. ET, Wednesday, April 15.

Wednesday, April 15

The God of Mercy – Yahweh, The God of Mercy in the Old Testament: Airs 5:30 p.m. ET, with an encore at 3:30 a.m. ET, Thursday, April 16.

Thursday, April 16

The God of Mercy – Jesus, The Incarnation of Mercy in the New Testament: Airs 5:30 p.m. ET, with an encore that airs at 3:30 a.m. ET, Friday, April 17.

Friday, April 17

Divine Mercy – The Canonization of John Paul II: Airs 10:30 am. ET. Newt and Callista Gingrich, along with a cast of scholars, witnesses, and pilgrims share their experiences of the canonization of Pope John Paul II and reflect on his legacy.

The God of Mercy – Mercy Wanted Today: Airs 5:30 p.m. ET, with an encore at 3:30 a.m., Saturday, April 18. Fr. Bala Udumala relates that the message of Divine Mercy is needed today in a violent and godless world, in which mercy is redemptive.

Saturday, April 18

Original Image of the Divine Mercy, The Untold Story of an Unknown Masterpiece. Airs 8 p.m. ET. A look at the history of the original image of Divine Mercy, from the events that led to its creation under St. Faustina’s guidance to its current place in the Cathedral in Vilnius, Lithuania.

Divine Mercy Sunday, April 19 

Life and Times of Sister Faustina: Airs 3 a.m. ET. Encores at 3 a.m. ET, Tuesday, April 21. Fr. Seraphin Michalenko, Vice Postulor for the Cause of Canonization for Blessed Fautina for North America, explains this re-enactment of Blessed Faustina’s life and the Divine Mercy Novena.

Divine Mercy Celebration from Vilnius, Lithuania: Airs 10 a.m. ET. Celebrated by Archbishop Gintaras Grusas from the Shrine of Divine Mercy.

Divine Mercy Preview Show: Airs Noon and midnight ET. Celebrated by Fr. Joseph Roesch, MIC, from the National Shrine of the Divine Mercy.

Mass and Celebration of Divine Mercy from Stockbridge, MA: Airs live at 1:30 p.m. ET.

Chaplet of Divine Mercy: Airs 3 p.m. ET.

Divine Mercy Holy Hour With the Franciscan Missionaries of the Eternal Word: Airs 4 p.m. ET with an encore at 7 a.m. ET, Monday, April 20. Live from the Chapel of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Irondale, Ala.

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Make The Most of Holy Week With These EWTN Specials

EWTN Foundress Mother Mary Angelica, P.C.P.A.

In addition to the beautiful Palm Sunday Masses and live Adoration EWTN offers this week (, we want to call your attention to just a few of the specials we’ll be offering you during this prelude to the Triduum (Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday). You’ll find them grouped by categories below.

For a complete schedule, please go to Not in the U.S.? Just click on “United States” and a drop down menu will take you to programs in your part of the world. For all the ways to watch us, please go to EWTN Everywhere:

Stations of the Cross – Beautiful ways to deepen your appreciation of the Passion of Christ and how it applies to your daily life.

  • Stations of the Cross During Pandemic of Covid-19
    Especially relevant for our times. Airs 7 a.m. ET,  Friday, April 3, and 7 a.m. ET and 2 p.m. ET, Good Friday, April 10.
  • Stations of the Cross with the Franciscan Missionaries of the Eternal World
    Airs 2:30 p.m. ET, Friday, April 3 from Our Lady of the Angels Chapel in Irondale, Ala.

Travel – Make a virtual visit the Holy Land during the holiest time of the year

  • Built on Faith: The Church of the Holy Sepulchre
    A look inside the Church where Jesus was crucified, buried, and resurrected. Airs 6:30 p.m. ET, Tuesday, April 7.
  • An EWTN Holy Land Experience: Holy Week
    Fr. Joseph Mary Wolfe and Fr. Mark Mary Cristina journey to the sites in the Holy Land where our Lord suffered, died, and rose from the dead. Airs 11 p.m. ET, Sunday, April 5

Children’s Programming – But adults will enjoy it too!

  • The Way of the Cross for Kids
    Airs 4 p.m. ET, Friday, April 3.
  • I Was There, The Holy Mass
    A reverent animated account of a young man’s realization of the meaning of Mass for him. Airs 4 p.m. ET, Tuesday, April 7.

Wisdom from Mother Angelica

  • Mother Angelic Live Classics: Preparation for Holy Week
    Airs 10 a.m. ET, Monday, April 6. Start your Holy Week out right!

Sacred Music

  • Love, Agony, and Hope: A Journey Into the Lives of Jesus and Mary on Holy Thursday ad Good Friday.
    A narrated concert of the Passion of Jesus, the Last Supper and the Blessed Sacrament. Airs 5 p.m. ET, Sunday,  April 5.

Something to Read – now or in the coming year

EWTN Bookmark

Gary Zimak’s “Give Up Worry for Lent,”, provides advice for finding peace in Christ, while Conor Gallagher shares three remedies for the stress of modern life in “Still Amidst the Storm,” Airs 9:30 a.m., Sunday, April 5, and 5 p.m. ET, Monday, April 6.

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EWTN Is Here For You During Holy Week And Easter

EWTN Global Catholic Network is here for you during and after the coronavirus pandemic with Masses and other devotions – especially as we prepare to enter the most important week of the year: Holy Week and Easter. The following is the schedule of Masses and a few important devotions. Please click here for the complete schedule of the Holy Week events. (Note: Events are subject to change. Please check our schedule at the link above for updates.)

You can watch these events on EWTN on television, online, and via the free EWTN app. For all the many ways to access EWTN, please go to

Holy Thursday:

  • Chrism Mass in Rome with Pope Francis: Airs 3:30 a.m. ET and 8 a.m. ET
  • Solemn Mass of the Lord’s Supper From Rome: 11 a.m. ET
  • Choral Meditations and Solemn Mass of the Lord’s Supper: 5:30 p.m. ET, live from the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.
  • Mass of the Lord’s Supper: 10:30 p.m. ET, live from Christ Cathedral in Garden Grove, CA.

 Good Friday:

  • Walk the Way of the Cross: San Giovanni Rotondo: 10 a.m. ET
  • Faustina’s Way of the Cross at the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy: 2 p.m. ET
  • Choral Meditations and Liturgy of the Lord’s Passion: 2:30 p.m. ET and 6 p.m. ET, live from the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.
  • Way of the Cross From Rome: 8 p.m. ET
  • Celebration of the Lord’s Passion from Rome: Live at 11 a.m. ET and Midnight ET

 Holy Saturday:

  • Way of the Cross From Rome: 5:30 a.m. ET
  • Easter Vigil Mass From Rome: 2:30 p.m. ET
  • Easter Vigil Mass: 8 p.m. ET, from the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.
  • Easter Vigil Mass: 11 p.m. ET, live from Christ Cathedral in Garden Grove, CA. (3 hours)

 Easter Sunday:

  • Solemn Mass of Easter Sunday From Rome: 4 a.m. ET (120 min.)
  • Urbi Et Orbi: Message and Blessing – Easter: 6 a.m. ET and 9 p.m. ET
  • Sunday Mass: 8 a.m. ET and Midnight ET, from Our Lady of the Angels Chapel in Irondale, AL with the Franciscan Missionaries of the Eternal Word. (80 min.)
  • Easter Sunday Mass: Noon ET, from the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. (90 min.)
  • Louisville Chorus – In Exaltation: 1:30 p.m. ET and 11:30 p.m. ET
  • Sunday Vespers With Benediction: 6 p.m. ET, from Our Lady of the Angels Chapel with the Franciscan Friars of the Eternal Word.
  • Solemn Mass of Easter Sunday from Rome: 7 p.m. ET
Posted in EWTN Hosts, Employees, Shows | 7 Comments

‘Hope: Our Lady of Knock’ – Original Docudrama – Premieres March 18 on EWTN

Many Catholics have never heard of the apparition in Knock, Ireland. The apparition is extraordinarily difficult to film. So why in the world did Campbell Miller, Writer/Producer/Director of EWTN’s new blockbuster film, “Hope: Our Lady of Knock,” choose to dramatize this lesser-known and difficult-to-film apparition?

Writer/Producer/Director Campbell Miller on location filming “Hope: Our Lady of Knock.”

“I wanted to tell the story of Our Lady, St. Joseph, St. John and the Lamb of God and His Angels who appeared to the Irish people during a time when they needed a message of hope,” says Miller, who is Irish himself and who filmed the docudrama in his native country. “In 1879, the Irish were fighting to get back ownership of their land, which was entirely ruled by the British. There were people still living who remembered the Great Famine 40 years earlier when over 1 million people died and over 1 million emigrated…and a second famine was beginning. The mercy of the apparitions was to give a message of hope. I believe that message is as relevant today as it was back then.”

British soldiers evict Irish farmers from their homes. The massive multi-year failure of their potato crop left farmers unable to pay their rent.

This must-see 90-minute EWTN original docudrama airs 10 p.m. ET, Wednesday, March 18 on EWTN, with encores at 3:30 a.m. ET and 3:30 p.m. ET, Thursday, March 19, the Feast of St. Joseph. But you won’t want to miss Fr. Mitch’s interview with Miller at 8 p.m. ET, the same night, on “EWTN Live.”

Want a preview of the film? On Jan. 29, Miller pre-screened the movie at the Vatican and gave Pope Francis a DVD, which you can purchase for yourself here: EWTN’s own Joan Lewis was at that pre-screening (read her blog here, as was EWTN Vaticano, which interviewed people from Knock who attended the screening,

Scene of Irish peasants evicted from their home carrying their feverish child, who is unable to walk.

To help viewers understand why the Knock apparition is so important to his kinsmen, Miller begins the story in penal times, when the Irish were not allowed to celebrate Mass and anyone caught doing so would be shot. Viewers also witness the devastation caused by the Great Famine, caused when the potato crop was decimated. Much of what was left of the crop was taken out of the country by British landlords. In many cases, the starving Irish farmers and their families were then enticed to emigrate to the United States with false stories about the jobs that would be waiting for them. The landlords were then able to confiscate the farmer’s land.

Director Campbell Miller on set with the actress who portrays the Virgin Mary and the makeup artist who transforms her.

A hush fell over the set when the actress portraying Our Lady appeared. Finally, someone said: “Guys, we can talk. It’s only Danielle!”

“I want viewers to get an idea of what must have been going through the minds of the Irish people in 1879 when there was another famine and people must have thought this was all going to happen again,” Miller said. “We dramatize what happened in the famine with the poor to put the apparition in perspective. Then, we dramatize the apparition itself and what actually happened. Throughout the whole sequence you follow a family from the moment of them losing everything, to the heist by the landlord because they can’t pay the rent, to the soup kitchens, to their getting on the famine ship and going to America.”

You can get an idea of how important this film is by the spiritual warfare the cast and crew endured. Miller said his own home was broken into, someone tried to steal the car used for production, there was credit card fraud, Miller lost his assistant directors and makeup artists three times, one of the cast was hospitalized the day before going on the set, one of the wranglers got badly kicked by a horse, and more.

But Miller says: “With all that happened, we still got the movie made because we found that God always supplied. We ended up getting the best Assistant Director, the best makeup artist, and people stepped in with costumes we never thought we would have access to use!”

In fact, Miller says the makeup artist was so good that when the actress portraying Our Lady of Knock walked onto the set, “the place just went silent because she looked exactly like how Our Lady has been depicted in statues and pictures of Knock. It took about 30 seconds before someone said, ‘Guys, we can talk. It’s only Danielle!’”

The actor who portrays St. Joseph as he appears in the film: “Hope: Our Lady of Knock.

The apparitions were particularly challenging to film not only because no one speaks, but because they also don’t move.

“That is a photograph,” Miller said. “How do you make that real? We actually shot each of the apparition characters [including a real lamb in a field] in slow motion [and over 15 minutes] to give a bit more realization to it. So there is light movement, which you can’t see with the naked eye, but it gives it a bit more realism than a photograph. There are computer-generated images as well.”

Director Campbell Miller on the set of “Hope: Our Lady of Knock.”

Miller wants people to come away from the film with more than just an understanding of what happened in Ireland, although that is certainly one of the goals. A clue to the message is in the title of the docudrama: Hope.

“God’s help to the Irish people was to give them this sense of hope that things will get better. Look what the Irish people went through: having to fight for their own lands, millions dying and emigrating. They must have hit rock bottom.

“Then, Our Lady appeared. Nothing was said. She came to be with the people. When somebody is going through something, that’s what you do. You sit down with them. You don’t say anything. You’re just there. That’s what Our Lady did.

“Today, worldwide, people are under difficult pressures. When people lose hope, they go through a spiral of addictions. There’s anxiety, depression, and suicide. I want people to take away the message of hope; that things will get better. After all, if you don’t have hope, what do you have?

Come see what Campbell Miller is talking about when “Hope: Our Lady of Knock” airs at 10 p.m. ET, Wednesday, March 18 on EWTN.

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EWTN Presents ‘Fatal Flaws: Legalizing Assisted Death’

Are laws allowing euthanasia & assisted suicide leading society down a dangerous path?

Aurelia, a young woman who tells Filmmaker Kevin Dunn she wants to kill herself, offers a smile and happily accepts a hug from Dunn after the interview.

That is the question that Filmmaker Kevin Dunn asks in the incredible new documentary, “Fatal Flaws – Legalizing Assisted Death,” (DunnMedia and Euthanasia Prevention Coalition) which premieres 9:30 p.m. ET, Wednesday, Jan. 15 on EWTN. This EWTN Event will be preceded that same night by Father Mitch Pacwa’s interview with Dunn on “EWTN Live” at 8 p.m. ET.

Assisted suicide is already legal in California, Colorado, Washington, D.C., Oregon, Vermont, Washington State, Hawaii, and even Montana, which has a Defense of Consent law – and is being debated in 25 other states. Helping people understand the experience of countries who have enacted assisted suicide laws is critical.

Filmmaker Kevin Dunn (right) with Dr. Boudewijn Chabot, now a retired Dutch psychiatrist, who opened the door to assisted suicide in The Netherlands.

To aid in this understanding, Dunn traveled through Canada, the USA and the Netherlands – ground zero in the legalization of euthanasia. He spoke with people on both sides of the issue as well as with those directly affected. Chillingly, the doctor who provided the means for the first woman in the Netherlands to be euthanized now has concerns about how far his country has gone in legalizing death by doctors.

Before the assisted suicide law was passed, this doctor admits to helping a healthy 50-year-old social worker to die. She said she no longer wanted to live after losing a daughter to cancer and a son to suicide. A court found him “guilty without punishment.”

The award-winning film “Fatal Flaws” premieres 9:30 p.m. ET, Wed., Jan. 15 on EWTN. This EWTN Event will be preceded at 8 p.m. ET that same night by Father Mitch Pacwa’s interview with Filmmaker Kevin Dunn on “EWTN Live.”


“The Grim Reaper” stalks people during The Netherlands’ annual Euthanasia Week.

Originally, euthanasia in the Netherlands was supposed to be for those who are terminally ill. But it has evolved to include people who are chronically ill, mentally ill, the elderly and the disabled. Soon it may be possible for those who are ‘tired of life’ or feel their ‘life is complete’ to have access to euthanasia.  Currently, youth over 16 can be euthanized, and doctors will consider a child as young as 12. Even newborns can be euthanized under certain criteria.

The doctor who opened Pandora’s box to assisted suicide in The Netherlands is concerned about how quickly the number of euthanasia deaths for psychiatric reasons has risen in only a few years.

Filmmaker Kevin Dunn with Candace. Her Mom was pressured to end her daughter’s life, which reduced mother and daughter to tears.

In Canada, Dunn interviews Candice, a 25-year-old woman with disabilities who was pressured by doctors to end her life during a hospital stay. In the U.S., we hear from a university professor who encountered similar coercion. Access to quality palliative care in North America is extremely limited, which begs the question: Is assisted dying really a ‘choice’?

These are just a few of the many stories you’ll see and hear during this documentary, which puts clarity to the questions above. Now this scourge has come to America.

Alex Schadenberg of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, (, co-produced the film, “Fatal Flaws.”

Fortunately, most U.S. medical societies have come out in favor of protecting patients’ lives and giving them the care they need rather than killing them at the lowest point of their lives. With such a consensus, some might think the battle would be over, yet even now there are people whose goal it is to make the medical profession “more comfortable with killing people” – as one doctor in the film reveals.

Replace the image of a pill or needle with a gun, says one doctor, and see how fast the discussion changes. What can we do? What can you do?

Tune into this incredible award-winning documentary to find out – and please gather your friends and family around to see this too. Consider purchasing the DVD,, and inquire as to whether you can show it in your parish or community group. “Fatal Flaws” will undoubtedly change minds and hearts, and will save lives – maybe even yours.

The film’s official website is

Posted in Culture of Death, Current Issues, EWTN Hosts, Employees, Shows, Pro-Life, Suffering, Youth | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Teresa of the Andes: Saint of Joy, Patron of Young People

St. Teresa of the Andes lived only 19 years and spent a scant 11 months in a Carmelite monastery. However, on March 21, 1993, Pope John Paul II canonized this young woman, making her the first Chilean saint and the only Carmelite of the Americas to be so honored.

How is it possible that a teenager, who spent so little time as a religious, not only became a saint, but a saint with thousands of devotees, who make a grueling 17-mile pilgrimage every year to her grave?

The EWTN Original Documentary “St. Teresa of the Andes” airs at 8 p.m. ET, Friday, Nov. 8, but early birds can also view it at midnight ET, Sunday, Nov. 3 and 3 a.m. ET, Tuesday, Nov. 11.

A scene from the EWTN Original docu-drama “St. Teresa of the Andes.”

Discover the answer to these and many other questions when EWTN premieres a one-hour original documentary on the life and mission of Juanita Fernandez Solar, also known as “St. Teresa of the Andes.” The program, produced by Journalist Magdalena Ossandon of Santiago, Chile,  airs at 8 p.m. ET, Friday, Nov. 8, but early birds can also view it at midnight ET, Sunday, Nov. 3 and 3 a.m. ET, Tuesday, Nov. 11.

(Purchase your own copy of the DVD in both English and Spanish from EWTN Religious Catalogue at View the trailer here:

The first half of the documentary takes viewers on a tour of all the important places from little Juanita’s family, educational and religious lives. But it is in the second half of the documentary that we really begin to learn about the depth of her spirituality, which gives us a clue as to why the saint is so popular, especially with the young.

Fr. Alain-Marie de Lassus of the Congregation of St. John, author of a Spanish work on St. Teresa of the Andes, is interviewed about the saint’s spirituality during the EWTN docudrama, “St. Teresa of the Andes.” filmed on location in Chile. His work is called “Dieu est joie infinie : Etude sur sainte Thérèse des Andes,” meaning “God is Infinite Joy: A Study of St. Teresa of the Andes.”

Probably the most startling assertion comes from Fr. Alain-Marie de Lassus of the Congregation of St. John, author of the Spanish work, “Dieu est joie infinie : Etude sur sainte Thérèse des Andes.” He says he believes that St. Teresa of the Andes is the only saint ever to declare that “God is infinite joy.” As he notes in the documentary, that claim is not even made in the Bible!

Fr. de Lassus believes that Jesus stole little Juanita’s heart during her First Communion. The documentary talks about that day and about the young girl’s joyful demeanor even in the midst of deprivation and sickness. Although she had a short life, Teresa endured much suffering, getting seriously ill every Sept. 8, Our Lady’s birthday!

Behind the scenes filming of the docudrama, “St. Teresa of the Andes.”

Scene from “St. Teresa of the Andes” depicting  the arduous 17-mile pilgrimage – an annual event – taken by many people, especially the young, who are inspired by the example of St. Teresa of the Andes.

Mother Angelica would have loved this documentary because it is very even-handed. On the plus side, we learn that even as a pretty young girl, Juanita cared deeply for others, and spent her time trying to catechize and help the young, the old, and everyone in between. However, she had much to overcome. In addition to all her many virtues, the documentary points out that the child was vain, impetuous, and selfish; she liked to be first in everything. In other words, she was normal.

However, once Teresa understood that God loved her, we are told that she gave all of herself to Him. “He who loves doesn’t have any other will except that of the Beloved,” she wrote. “Love is the bond of union between two souls. For love, I will fuse myself with Jesus.”

At the age of only 15, Juanita asked herself what she had done to please her Creator. She wrote: “I’d prefer to die rather than commit sin.”

St. Teresa of the Andes lived in this remote Carmelite monastery only 11 months before her death.

A scene from the EWTN Original Documentary portraying Teresa of the Andes as an adolescent.

She suffered much when she left her family for Carmel. Her father visited her only once while she was there. But she threw herself into the life of a Carmelite. As the documentary states, Carmelite novices only left their cells for choir, recreation or other novitiate exercises. But it was in her confinement that Teresa found complete freedom.

Teresa explained it like this: “A Carmelite ascends to Calvary and sacrifices herself for souls. She dies to herself and to the world. She buries herself, and her sepulcher is the Sacred Heart of Jesus. From there, she resurrects. She is reborn and lives spiritually united to the whole world.”

Juanita Fernandez Solar, who would become St. Teresa of the Andes, lived only 19 years and spent a scant 11 months in a Carmelite monastery, yet she would become the first Chilean saint and the only Carmelite of the Americas to be so honored.

Teresa was a joy to all in the monastery. Yet she was humble, volunteering to do all of the lowest duties, one of which would result in her death. In fact, after 10 months in the monastery, Teresa told her superior that she would die in a month, and her death at that time was quite dramatic.

Tune into this wonderful documentary to find out what happened and to learn more about why this saint is so revered, not only by thousands of young people in Chile – who make the pilgrimage to her grave every year – but, as a canonized saint, by Catholics around the world.

Posted in Church Around the World, Saints, Youth | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Defending Victims Of ISIS Genocide in the Middle East

It was only a few years ago that American television screens were filled with images of ISIS terrorists beheading, crucifying, and setting Christians ablaze for their faith. Do you remember?

It was only a few years ago that ISIS terrorists began targeting Christian homes in Iraq with the Arabic “noon” sign (N) for Nazarene. Do you remember?

It was only a few years ago that ISIS terrorists told these same Christians, “You pay fidyah (a high tax no one could afford), convert or die.” Most died. Do you remember?

IDC President Toufic Baaklini (right) at the IDC 2018 Annual Summit.

Two Catholic Christians – Toufic Baaklini and Andrew Doran – DO remember and they want you to remember too. In 2014, they formed an organization called In Defense of Christians. Their mission is to call on Christians of all denominations to unite and support their persecuted brothers and sisters in the Middle East.

“We are the voice of the voiceless – no matter who it is,” IDC President Toufic Baaklini told Father Mitch Pacwa on a recent episode of “EWTN Live,” This includes minorities of all faiths. Unfortunately, 80 percent of religious persecution in the world is against Christians, yet Baaklini says they have not had the support that some of the other faiths have enjoyed.

“The Shiite Muslims, they depend on Iran,” Baaklini said. “The Sunni Muslims, they depend on the Gulf states and Saudi Arabia. Christians, they always look to the West, and we need to support them. We need to support our brothers and sisters.”

Displaced children in Erbil, who fled the ISIS genocide.

To insure this is more than just talk – or even just a lot of publicity – Baaklini and Doran put together an advisory board of high-level officials and ecumenical religious leaders that reads like a who’s who of Christianity.

The Roman Catholic side includes New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan, USCCB President Cardinal Daniel DiNardo and Los Angeles Archbishop José Gomez. But the board also includes Melkite and Maronite Catholics, the Orthodox Archbishop, well-known Evangelicals, and Lebanese American political figures such as U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood and Thomas Farr, director of the Religious Freedom Project at Georgetown University’s Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs.

Being Christians, the organization launched with an historic prayer service that included six patriarchs from the Middle East who prayed in the Aramaic, Latin, Syriac, and Armenian languages. “This was the first time they had prayed in one room in 600 years,” said IDC President Baaklini. These historic prayers powered the advocacy that immediately followed.

The destruction of Christian homes and churches in Syria is overwhelming.

IDC’s first battle – getting genocide recognition for ISIS victims — was the hardest fought.

“When you say Christian, no one wants to talk about it,” Baaklini continued. “[A previous Administration] only wanted to designate the Yazidis [whose religion includes elements of many religions]. We had the Knights of Columbus on our side. Supreme Knight Carl Anderson is the best human being. He stood by us.

“The Knights usually don’t do work like this; even the USCCB had never done work like this. The KOC were unbelievable. They started the Stop the Christian Genocide campaign. They helped a lot to make people aware of it [by distributing pins, scarves and more with the “noon” for Nazarean symbol that so many people put on their Facebook profiles.]”

A displaced family in Erbil, who fled the ISIS genocide.

“We put a lot of pressure on Congress” to get an official declaration of genocide recognition for all ISIS victims – Christians and Yazidis in Iraq and Syria. Accomplishing this “was a major victory for us” because this allowed monetary aid to follow.

While there are 15 million Coptic Christians in Egypt, who are citizens, Baaklini says they have no voice. “They cannot get high level jobs with the government, they can’t worship freely, they can’t fix their churches [which have been burned down].” A few months ago, President Trump met with the President of Egypt. “The first question he asked was: “How are you treating the Christian Coptics?”

During the IDC’s annual summit in 2017, Vice President Mike Pence announced a new Trump Administration policy to provide direct help to persecuted Christians and Yazidi victims of ISIS genocide.

“So far, they have given more than $300 million – now $360 or $370 million – in direct aid to Christians in the Middle East.” Baaklini said.

Baaklini says he thought it would take years for the promised money to make its way to the Middle East, but he said “a couple months later, the money started flowing in.”

Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean all is well for Christians in Egypt. “A few weeks back, neighbors were burning Christian homes,” Baaklini said.

A statue of Our Lady is desecrated in Syria.

So IDC is now fighting to change the governor of the Egyptian province in which this happened or for the appointment of a Coptic co-governor to insure Christians are treated fairly.

IDC also helped put pressure on the Turkish government for Protestant Pastor Brunson’s release even though he did not know him. During the period that IDC was testifying before Congress, Baaklini says “[t]he Turkish government hacked our computers, phones, and put the Turkish flag on our website. We are not afraid.”

Baaklini, who is married with one college-age daughter, is not kidding. He frequently travels to the Middle East, even though he acknowledges that the only safe place for Christians is in Lebanon. “I know that I’m in danger, but nothing will stop me.”

A displaced family in Iraq.

He says his wife and daughter are supportive of his work, but the question remains: Why would this family put themselves in harm’s way for Christians in the Middle East?

To answer this question, Baaklini points to his family lineage. He has a great uncle whose descendants gave him more than 250 cousins. “He had a big family; he was Catholic,” Baaklini said, laughing. “He told his kids [about the persecution of Christians]. It’s happened with him, with me, with my dad, with my great grandparents. For 1,600 years, this has been happening.”

A young girl from Alqosh in Northern Iraq, who fled ISIS genocide.

Enough is enough. Baaklini wants the persecution to end with his generation. He says: “We need to make sure the Christians of the West stand with their brothers and sisters.”

Most people don’t realize that 80 percent of the religious persecution in the world is against Christians. “Here in the U.S., we don’t feel it. Now, after the awareness and advocacy, people are understanding it better. If a Christian is hurt anywhere in the world, we should care.”

Baaklini cares.

Baaklini remembers.

Do we?

Posted in Christian Persecution/Martyrs | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

‘Faith on the Frontier:’ Winning the West for God

It’s hard to imagine an American alive who hasn’t seen a movie or TV show about life on the American frontier. We’re all familiar with legendary frontiersmen such as Lewis and Clark, Daniel Boone, and Davy Crockett. But outside of serious students of Church history, few know the names of Catholic frontier missionary evangelists such as Jesuit Father Pierre-Jean De Smet, Dominican Father Samuel Mazzuchelli, or Father Francis Craft, a diocesan priest.

Portrait of a missionary in the snow.

That oversight is about to be remedied! Your view of both Catholic and American history will be forever changed when you tune into the EWTN Original Documentary “Faith on the Frontier.” The one-hour program premieres 10 p.m. ET, Wednesday, Sept. 25, and re-airs at 10 a.m. ET, Thursday, Sept. 26 on EWTN. The premiere will be preceded by an “EWTN Live” with “Faith on the Frontier” Writer, Director, and Producer James Kelty at 8 p.m. ET, Wednesday, Sept. 25.

“You will leave this film with a distinct feeling of friendship with these men,” Kelty said. “These were strong men, strong priests, strong missionaries, who braved incredible challenges and difficulties in a tempestuous period of American life. Although these men never knew each other, each had a huge impact on the development of Catholicism in the U.S. from the Midwest to the Upper Plains to the Far West.”

“Faith on the Frontier” Writer/Director/Producer James Kelty in Montana.

At the end of this program, you’ll also learn which of these priests is on track to one day be canonized.”” Here’s a quick snapshot of the three priests to wet your appetite for learning more.

Father Francis Craft, diocesan priest.

“Fr. Francis Craft was a survivor of the Battle of Wounded Knee. He tried to separate the warring parties and got stabbed in the middle of it,” Kelty said. “A wild man who was good with a six shooter,” Fr. Craft braved winter storms on the Great Plains while on horseback during the 1870s and ‘80s in an effort to convert the Lakota and Sioux tribes.

At the time, it was generally accepted that it was not possible for the Native Americans to be converted. But Fr. Craft not only evangelized the tribes, he never wavered in his resolve to found an order of Lakota/Sioux sisters. He was determined to prove that the Indians could be of service to their own people – and he did!

Father Pierre-Jean Desmet, S.J.

“Father Pierre-Jean De Smet of Belgium was “a colossus of a man and a priest,” says Kelty. He arrived in the fur trading outpost of St. Louis a mere 20 years after the famous Lewis and Clark expedition. He spent 20 years preparing for what he always knew was his destiny to travel west. That preparation included learning many of the Indian languages.

When the time came to make the trip west, which was arduous for the most fit of pioneers, he fell ill with malaria. Incredibly, he didn’t let that stop him. Kelty says he spent most of the trip “flat out on a wagon,” suffering for three days with no water when his fever was highest, and enduring outbreaks of violence that included travelers biting off each other’s noses. That sheer grit and ability to speak the native languages allowed him to successfully evangelize the Salish (or “Flathead”) tribe in Idaho.

Father Samuel Mazzuchelli, O.P.

Fr. Samuel Mazzuchelli was an Italian Dominican, who set off for Cincinnati and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan with no money and no ability to speak the Native American languages, trusting in God to guide him. Even though he was well aware that the Jesuits had been expelled from the area in the 1830s and hadn’t seen a “black robe” in 70 years, Fr. Mazzuchelli, as an architect and church builder, managed to found and build 43 separate parishes.

The above is just a snapshot of what these men endured to bring the faith to America. Follow in the footsteps of these frontiersmen, as Kelty and his crew travel to Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa and Montana and to the parishes – still there! – that these men were responsible for building.

Of course, it takes a lot of teamwork to put together such a film. Kelty thanks EWTN Director of Acquisitions John Elson for the name “Faith on the Frontier,” and his staff for brainstorming the concept. He credits Marquette University Archivist Mark Thiel for recommending the priests featured and for providing him with a constant stream of important information, Dominican Sister Mary Ewens, for helping him understand how Fr. Craft founded a Native American order of nuns, and Jesuit Father Michael F. Steltenkamp, for helping him understand the ways that Jesuit missionaries were able to go into Native American communities and evangelize.

“Faith on the Frontier” Writer/Producer/Director James Kelty,

“The Knights of Columbus chapter in Galina, Illinois rebuilt one of Fr. Mazzuchelli’s churches, St. Augustine, in a tiny hamlet near Galina,” Kelty said. “We filmed that. His communities along the Mississippi river are still very devoted to him.”

But there is one name Kelty mentions whose impact was far greater than any of the above.

“Faith on the Frontier” Writer/Producer/Director James Kelty.

“So many times, God has stepped in and helped me do this,” Kelty said. “We had amazing things happen in our favor: snowstorms coming in, fog clearing, sun breaking through just when we needed it. We had a Montana snowstorm, which was spectacular. I’ve gotten film production values that people spend fortunes to recreate in studios. Atmospheric wonder is one thing, as a filmmaker, I felt fortunate and blessed to get.”

Come, experience the wonder of America’s frontier priests when “Faith on the Frontier” premieres on EWTN.

Posted in Bishops, Priests, Religious, Church History, EWTN Hosts, Employees, Shows, Missions/Social Justice | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments
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