Vatican City, Mar 31, 2017 / 04:42 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Members of EWTN’s Rome Bureau on Friday met Benedict XVI in the Vatican Gardens to explain their work and thank him for his service to the Church, while he in turn thanked them for their efforts.
“Thank you for your work,” the emeritus Pope said March 31 to the six persons present at the encounter, who represented the various programs produced at the bureau.
EWTN’s Rome bureau has roughly 25 employees, producing both print and television news. Members who attended audience were selected to represent each of the entities produced in the office, and included bureau chief Alan Holdren; office manager Emanuele Latini; head of production Pilar Piero; EWTN News Nightly producer Mary Shovlain; CNA correspondent Elise Harris; and ACI Prensa correspondent Alvaro de Juana.
The team met Benedict in the Vatican Gardens at 4:30 in the afternoon, when the emeritus Pope prays his daily rosary. He was accompanied by Archbishop Georg Ganswein, prefect of the papal household. After finishing his prayer, Benedict removed his hat and stood up to greet the team.
Benedict was clear and alert, and interested in each person as they approached him. Leading the delegation, Holdren gave a brief introduction to the organization; the emeritus Pope marvelled at the size of the bureau. Benedict greeted each member of the group individually, learning about their families and their work.
Holdren gave the Bavarian personal letters from all those present. He in turn offered each of them a medal and commemorative cards of his 2012 visit to Lebanon, the last he took as Roman Pontiff. He then gave the group his blessing and departed for his residence in the Vatican's Mater Ecclesiae monastery.
The audience was granted to mark the one-year anniversary of the March 27, 2016 death of Mother Angelica, foundress of EWTN. She launched the network in 1981, and it today transmits programming to more than 264 million homes in 144 countries. What began with approximately 20 employees has now grown to nearly 400.
The religious network broadcasts terrestrial and shortwave radio around the world, operates a religious goods catalog and publishes the National Catholic Register and Catholic News Agency, among other publishing ventures. Among the television coverage produced through the Rome office are EWTN’s 30-minute weekly news program “Vaticano,” as well as a portion of “EWTN News Nightly.” In addition, there are eight correspondents who write print news for Catholic News Agency and two of her sister-agencies, ACI Prensa and ACI Stampa.