Mother Angelica's passing

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On Easter Sunday, Mother Angelica passed from our world at the age of 92, leaving behind a great legacy that will continue to live on across television screens "the world over," as people tune in to programing on her Eternal Word Television Network, otherwise known as EWTN.

Her passing in some ways reminds me of another's: St. John Paul II's. Like the great saint, Mother Angelica impacted our world in profound ways during the 20th and 21st centuries, shaping the way the Catholic faith is brought to a wider audience in a manner never before seen. She left our world with dignity, just like John Paul II, offering her sufferings up to God in her final moments in a way that will inspire me, and many others, for years to come.

During her life, Mother Angelica was a luminous voice of sanity and sanctity in a veritable sea of moral and religious confusion. Her motherly and spiritual insights, filled with faith and wisdom, were a consolation to millions of people around the world.

I know all this from personal encounters with her over the years. Mother Angelica was a great friend of Christendom College, videotaping a message for one of our commencement ceremonies. In addition, she invited me and other members of the college to be guests on "Mother Angelica Live" numerous times. Before these tapings, she would pray with my family and me, manifesting her deep, profound prayerful spirit - the same spirit that inspired millions and brought countless people to the truths of the Catholic faith. She never shied away from these truths, but instead brought them straight to the men and women of our time, always having the motherly willingness to "call a spade a spade."

Her wit, humor and joyful yet fiery Italian temperament were noteworthy as well. I always will treasure my time with her and have drawn strength from her support for the work of Christendom College. When the history of the Catholic Church in the United Sates in the late 20th and early 21st century is written, she will be noted as a key figure in the restoration of the Catholic faith and devotional life in our nation and around the world.

We thank you, Blessed Lord, for the gift of Mother Angelica and for the power and depth of her faith and vision.

O'Donnell is president of Christendom College in Front Royal.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2016