Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Pope Benedict XVI Awarded the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice Medal to EWTN's Mother Angelica and Deacon Bill Steltemeier

The medal is the highest honor the Pope can bestow upon laity and religious. Bishop of Birmingham Robert J. Baker conferred the awards in a brief ceremony following Sunday benediction at the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Hanceville, Alabama.

Mother Mary Angelica, 86, is a Poor Clare Nun of Perpetual Adoration who founded Our Lady of the Angels Monastery in Irondale, Alabama in 1961. She began EWTN in a garage on the monastery property in 1981. In 1999 she relocated the monastery to the grounds of the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Hanceville.

Deacon R. William Steltemeier, 80, is a former Nashville, Tenn. attorney who left his law practice to join Mother Angelica’s fledgling television network. He served as EWTN’s president and now serves as chairman of the network’s Board of Governors.

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