Will This Be Barbara McGuigan’s Last ‘Good Fight’ on EWTN?
Radio host bids farewell to ‘esteemed listeners.’
Longtime Catholic speaker Barbara McGuigan has traversed the nation — and the globe — in her desire to promote the teachings of the Church. The oldest of 11, mother of six and grandmother of 16, McGuigan has spoken since the 1980s in classrooms, prisons, retreat centers, and virtually any other place she was asked. She has also made television series for EWTN called Voices on Virtue, Portraits in Faith, Living the Pro-Life Mysteries and It’s a Miracle.
McGuigan has specialized in pro-life and pro-family issues, which were her main topics when joining EWTN as the Tuesday host of Open Line in 2003. In 2008 she added a second show to her schedule called The Good Fight, which airs on Saturdays. In 2018, Father of Mercy Wade Menezes became the Tuesday Open Line host, but McGuigan continued hosting The Good Fight.
While McGuigan said she is open to where the Holy Spirit leads her — which could include teaming up with EWTN again — last Saturday witnessed the last punchy installment of The Good Fight. One of her brothers-in-law died a month ago, and her 95-year-old mother is in need of more care, so McGuigan thought it would be best to step aside for as long as she needed to be with her family.
Thom Price, director of programming for EWTN Radio, is the “ringside announcer” heard in each intro of The Good Fight. Price said, “We will miss Barbara. … She has been a real pro-life warrior over the years, working with many Catholic leaders to promote the sanctity of life. On her radio shows, she has answered calls and conducted interviews with great love and patience. Godspeed, Barbara!”
Over the years, seemingly everyone on staff at EWTN Radio has filled the role of producer for The Good Fight. Jeff Burson, who produced the show through the last episode, says McGuigan will be dearly missed. He told the Register, “It has just been a pleasure and a grace to work with Barbara throughout the years. She had this insight with each guest. She made them each feel relaxed and like they were talking to a friend and not a radio host…It did not matter if they were someone who wrote their first book or a cardinal in a large diocese. They were all special and given her undivided attention. Barbara is just a class act and she will be missed here at EWTN Radio.”
After having interviewed everyone from priests to physicians to pro baseball players, McGuigan had planned on the June 19 episode being her final appearance on The Good Fight. Yet when she learned of a man, also with an Irish name, who had a book on a topic near and dear to her heart, she jumped at the opportunity to bring him on for her swan song.
Last Saturday, July 3, McGuigan talked to Patrick O’Hearn, the new editor at TAN Books. O’Hearn has written a book called Parents of the Saints, which starts with the canonization of St. Maria Goretti, who died in 1902. Goretti, whose feast is July 6, has been a special patron for McGuigan, who said she has ended all her retreat presentations with “little Maria’s” story of heroic purity, humility, forgiveness and hope.
“St. Maria Goretti is the perfect saint for today,” Barbara said, “not only because she took the Church’s stance on purity so seriously as to give up her life rather than have it violated, but because she was ready, at the behest of a priest who assisted her as she was dying, to forgive her assailant, Alessandro Serenelli. That forgiveness and her intercession from heaven brought about Alessandro’s conversion.”
Conversion of hearts and minds to Christ has been the goal of McGuigan’s career. She has faced many battles — inside and outside of the Church — in her efforts to promote holiness. She noted, “If you want to be popular, preach happiness. If you want to be unpopular, preach holiness.”
McGuigan knows that true happiness and holiness are actually the same thing, but it is tough to convince many of that in a world in search of immediate highs. She has learned to speak, not for the applause she might get, but for the glory of God and the hopeful salvation of souls.
That might mean disagreements, mockery and other adversities here, but eternally, it means the unalloyed contentment of heavenly glory. In this regard, St. Paul’s reference to having “fought the good fight” in 2 Timothy 4:7 is well known, but a lesser-known reference is from Venerable Louis of Granada. In his Summa of the Christian Life, Vol. 3, page 367, the Spanish Dominican writes of the reward of heaven: “Delightful to the saints is the eternal rest after the fatigue of many labors. Now the wars are over and there is no longer any need to bear arms. This is the region of peace and security.”
Before that security, however, the battle here rolls on, as expressed in one of Barbara’s favorite sayings, taken from the same page of Venerable Louis’ Summa of the Christian Life:
“If suffering is necessary to gain [the Fatherland of Heaven], let all the sufferings of the world fall upon you. Let sickness exhaust you, let tribulations afflict you, let one persecute you and another distress you, let all creatures be against you and all the opprobrium of men fall upon you, be an outcast of the world, let your life end in suffering and your years in groans, as long as you shall rest in the day of tribulation and merit to rise to that glorious City.”
Listen to Barbara’s recent show-ending farewell below and the whole show about Parents of the Saints here.