Homily of the
Robert J. Baker, S.T.D.
Bishop of Birmingham
Feast of St. Francis Benediction
-- Our Lady of the Angels Monastery -- October 4, 2009
Today, we celebrate St. Francis’ tremendous impact on the Church and on
people who do not claim the name Catholic or even Christian. We
celebrate His humility, simplicity, fidelity, wisdom, and his promotion
of human life and life in all its forms.
Also, we have the privilege of acknowledging the
contributions to our church of another person in the great Franciscan
tradition, whose link to St. Francis is through St. Clare. To be
specific, a daughter of the Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration
spirituality and life, Mother Angelica.
The Holy See has seen fit to present to her the
pontifical medal “Pro Ecclesia Et Pontifice,” in recognition of her
founding what is now the largest Catholic television network in the
world, The Eternal Word Television Network.
EWTN is located in Irondale, Alabama, and was
founded 28 years ago by this Poor Clare nun. Mother Angelica traveled
from Canton, Ohio to Irondale, Alabama in 1961 at the invitation of
Archbishop Toolen, whose Diocese covered the State of Alabama, to build
a monastery in the south.