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EWTN Day #2 – The Shrine

Two summers ago while spending 8-10 hours a day writing the first edition of Hundredfold, I went through a major time of discernment, asking God if he really wanted me to write this book, start a website, speak at the Serra Rally, and do the million other crazy things that were put in front of me. Do you know that Mother Angelica, too, questioned all the tasks that God was putting in front of her while starting EWTN? The clear answer to her and me was YES! Do Whatever He Tells You!

Nativity at the shrine.So this trip to the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament meant so much to me. I prayed for all your intentions by lighting this candle before the perpetual nativity scene, before Mother Angelica’s tomb, and at Mass!!

When I saw the statue El Divino Niño, the story told about Mother Angelic and the Divine Child came back to me. “In 1995, Mother Angelica traveled to Colombia to raise funds and seek assistance for EWTN’s Spanish programs. She was invited by Salesian Father Juan Pablo Rodriguez to attend Mass at the Sanctuary of the Divine Infant Jesus in Bogotá. It was here where Mother Angelica heard the words that gave her a new mission: to build a shrine honoring the True Presence of Our Lord in the Most Blessed Sacrament.
This project would culminate in a beautiful church attached to a monastery for her growing community of Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration, a community dedicated to a life of prayer, penance, and adoration of Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. As she visited the small chapel dedicated to the Divine Child, she heard the statue speak in the voice of a young boy. “Build Me a Temple,” the voice said, “and I will help those who help you.”

Mother Angelica heeded those words as she had responded to the challenging commands of the Lord so often before.”

Shrine piazza.After Mass at the Shrine, I found out the hard way that just because you can take Uber somewhere that does not mean that you can take Uber back! A nice Uber driver took me 45 miles to the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament, but when I requested one to take me back to EWTN for my 3PM podcast interview with Fr. Mark Mary with Life on the Rock, the app said “FAILED” in all red!
I prayed and asked everyone after Mass if they were going to Birmingham. I had never done hitched a ride in my life! After 30 minutes of controlled panic, I was typing an email to Fr. Mark to say that I could not make it back to the studios for his interview, a wonderful lady came up to me, asking if I had found a ride back yet. She was the first person I had asked, but she only lived a mile from the Shrine. I told her I would find someone, but that someone did not materialize. So, when she said she would drive me to EWTN as a corporal work of mercy, I was so thankful. God bless Joan!
Only later did I realize how fitting this incident of relying on God’s providence to find a way back to EWTN should happen at the Shrine that Mother Angelica built, who only relied on God’s providence!
Rhonda with Father Mark Mary.Finally, I was back at EWTN and ready to meet Fr. Mark Mary. I had heard from a friend that he was very laid back and thoughtful, which was completely accurate. Fr. Mark said that we would meet for a 15-minute interview, but we started talking and continued for 45 minutes. I could see his wheels turning, thinking of more and more questions about my conversion, Vocation Ministry, and vocations, in general. It could not have gone better!
Now, I had to get ready for the LIVE interview with Fr. Mitch!Back at EWTN: My 15 minute interview with Fr. Mark Mary from Life on the Rock turned into 45 minutes! Praise God! Next up Fr. Mitch and EWTN Live at 7 CST!