EWTN's new app for smartphones and tablets

EWTN's new app for smartphones and tablets

Peter Westmore

<>The Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) in the United States has released an app for iPhones and smartphones which includes the full Bible, the Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (RSV-CE), as well as a quality audio recording of the Gospel of Mark, and access to EWTN's web content.

EWTN is a global Catholic TV network, based in the US, which is widely available through cable TV networks and online. It is independent of the US Catholic Bishops Conference, giving it a degree of independence in its editorial policy which is both authoritative and unashamedly orthodox.

It is an important means of evangelisation in the digital age, and has an audience in the millions. It has previously been available in Australia through satellite TV and online.

Mother Angelica

EWTN was established 30 years ago by an American nun known throughout the world simply as "Mother Angelica".

Mother Mary Angelica of the Annunciation entered the Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration as a postulant in 1944, aged 21, after a very difficult childhood, the result of her mother being deserted by her husband. She made her solemn profession of vows in 1953.

In 1962, after obtaining all necessary permissions, she set out with four other sisters to found a new cloistered monastery in the American south, Our Lady of the Angels Monastery, just outside Bermingham, the largest city in Alabama.

In the mid-1970s, Mother Angelica began making videotaped programs for television and taping a Catholic teaching series for a CBS affiliate, Channel 42 WBMG.

Shortly afterward, Pat Robertson of the Christian Broadcasting Network got interest in airing her program over his satellite network CBN (now ABC Family Channel). Additionally, Christian television WCFC 38 (now WCPX) out of Chicago began airing her program in 1977.

After the CBS affiliate ran a program with which she disapproved, she ended the show temporarily and began building her own cable channel.

In 1980, a garage behind the monastery was converted into a television studio. Mother Angelica was then able to tape her programs without leaving the monastery.

They continued to air on various Christian stations while she began planning to buy satellite space to launch her own Catholic Cable channel.

After many problems and glitches, Mother Angelica established her cable channel in August 1981, and named it Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN). This service aired via satellite to cable companies and home satellite dishes as it still does today. It runs 24 hours a day.

During a missionary visit to Bogota, the capital of Colombia in 1996, she experienced visions of the Child Jesus, who asked her to build a Temple in his honour. On returning to the US, she immediately set about building the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament and an adjoining convent, completed in 1999.

Mother Angelica stepped down from control of EWTN in 2000 and handed control to a board of lay people. She subsequently suffered a series of strokes which prevented her continuing to broadcast. She lives at the convent close to the Shrine.

EWTN has continued to grow and adapt to the changing media landscape. Its latest offering, an app called EWTN, is available free on both the iPhone and Android platforms.

The app allows users free access to EWTN's TV and radio, live and on demand. It also has an important Catholic news program and EWTN program schedule. To access EWTN's video programs, you need a fast (4G) internet connection or preferably Wifi.

It also contains a fully-searchable text of the RSV Bible, with the Gospel of Mark audio (99 minutes).

At any time you can purchase the complete New Testament audio which has been professionally produced with well-known actors playing the role of the evangelist, Jesus, Mary, the Apostles and disciples.

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