Although I never met Mother Mary Angelica personally, I, like millions of others, met her while watching her on EWTN and feel I owe her a debt of gratitude. Long before the Register became a part of the EWTN family five years ago, EWTN was an oasis of faith during the catechetical and liturgical desert of the late 20th century — and a light along my own path to conversion.

My first exposure to Mother came during the late 1980s-early 1990s, when I served as the editor of the TV supplement of a large Massachusetts newspaper. We would receive press releases on programming from the Eternal Word Television Network, a fledgling Catholic network that was trying to make a go of it. I noticed that it was the only Catholic network amid a sea of Evangelical televangelist programs.

My second meeting with Mother Angelica came in the mid-1990s, when my wife and I were part of a group of families at our parish that undertook a successful petition to have EWTN added to our basic cable television system. We believed that EWTN should be allowed to counteract the poison of so much bad content on network and cable TV. We believed EWTN was good for families. And we were right.

My next encounter with Mother, and the most personal and profound, came after reading her biography by Raymond Arroyo. Dealing with a years-long, painful back condition, I read of her incredible suffering and her faith-filled response to it. And God, in his mercy, provided me with such comfort — and grace. This led me to a period of prayer that I don’t think I’ve since been able to match.

I always come back to Mother’s response to suffering when I encounter it in my own life. She taught me about pain and sacrifice, prayer and perseverance. She taught me what it was to be loyal to the God who inspired her and carried her. They are lessons I’ll never forget.

So my question to you is this: Have you had a “meeting moment” with Mother Angelica that changed you in some way? Please tell us in the comments below.