Rome, Italy, Sep 29, 2016 / 03:02 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The EWTN News Rome Bureau is now is just minutes from St. Peter’s Square, having launched its new office on Wednesday. The occasion sparked reflection on Mother Angelica’s legacy and the media network’s mission to serve the gospel.
“Today with this launch we step out in a new chapter in how we can serve our EWTN family with information from Rome,” Michael Warsaw, president of EWTN Global Catholic Network, told CNA Sept. 29. The new office is on the Via Della Conciliazione in the shadow of St. Peter’s Basilica, the dome of which is visible from the building’s rooftop terrace.
“You can’t help but be here in Rome and in this place, so close to St. Peter’s Basilica, the tomb of St. Peter, and not be energized by that,” Warsaw said. “For all of us at EWTN that’s my hope, that this presence in Rome, so close to St. Peter, will energize us for the work of the New Evangelization in the years ahead.”
Monsignor Dario Edoardo Vigan√≤, prefect of the Vatican’s Secretariat for Communications, blessed the new location in the presence of dozens of EWTN staff, supporters, and guests. Several hundred people gathered for a rooftop reception. Among the guests were Syriac Patriarch Ignatius Joseph III Younan of Antioch, Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston, and Cardinal Raymond Burke, patron of the Knights of Malta. Other guests included Archbishop Georg Ganswein, prefect of the Papal Household; several other cardinals and bishops; U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See Ken Hackett and several other ambassadors to the Holy See; and members of the Vatican press corps.
The office includes access to professional recording studios on the sixth-floor rooftop, advanced technical infrastructure, and a much improved and spacious workspace. Warsaw said the new Rome office “really positions the network in an even better way to be able to bring news and information from the heart of the Church to our audience around the world.” “It gives us a much bigger base of operations to be able to use at the service of the Church,” he said.
About 17 people work full-time in the EWTN News Rome office, as do three part-time employees. The multi-national, multi-lingual staff comes from the United States, Italy, Spain, Peru, and Kazakhstan. From the Rome office, the EWTN News Bureau and its related EWTN agencies provide video news services in English, Spanish, and German, and written news services in English, Spanish, and Italian. This effort is complemented by EWTN News’ internet presence. Its social media reached 100 million people the weekend of Mother Teresa’s canonization. The office will support staff and media production from various EWTN News sections: the National Catholic Register; CNA Group members Catholic News Agency, ACI Stampa, and ACI Prensa; and ChurchPop.
The impact of EWTN founder Mother Angelica, who passed away on Easter Sunday 2016, was still felt in Rome. “If she could see this place here in Rome, she would see part of her dream realized,” Alan Holdren, EWTN News Bureau Chief, told Vatican Radio. Warsaw agreed. “I think Mother would be very, very pleased to see this development in Rome,” he said. “It was always her hope that the network could be a vehicle for bringing news and information about the Holy Father and the Vatican to our audience around the world.”
Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston also saw the new Rome office as part of Mother Angelica’s legacy. “I am convinced that Mother Angelica is now happy in heaven thinking that after all his work, there is now finally this place here in Rome,” Cardinal O’Malley told Vatican Radio. “The story of Mother Angelica is the story of a miracle. A cloistered nun has managed to do what the bishops and the U.S. Catholic foundations have failed to do.” “EWTN is an important reality in the United States to reach Catholics,” the cardinal continued. “To have a headquarters here in Rome will help a lot to communicate to our people the message of the Holy Father and what happens here in Rome.”
Cardinal O’Malley said EWTN faces the challenge of communicating the faith to new generations. “In the U.S. we now have a huge Hispanic population, and we are very pleased that EWTN also has programs in Spanish, for our migrants,” he said. The beneficiaries of EWTN are truly international. During Mother Teresa’s canonization, her Missionaries of Charity sisters in India were watching the EWTN broadcast from St. Peter’s Square. “That would be enough to motivate our work,” commented Holdren.
He noted the world’s many crises, including those in the Middle East. “We serve an evangelical voice, we serve the voice of Christ, we serve the Pope’s message,” he said. “To reach these places of crisis is a challenge. Through the satellite that Mother Angelica bought many years ago, we were able to reach these countries.” “The challenge is to keep this widespread reach, but also reach people in modern Western society.
In the face of so many problems and so many challenges, there are many hopes. We want to reach out with this Gospel message to deliver that truth which we believe leads everyone to the salvation that it accompanies.” EWTN Global Catholic Network is now in its 36th year. Based in Irondale, Alabama, it is the largest religious media network in the world.