Eternal Word Television Network, Inc.

The information in this column was provided to MinistryWatch by the ministry itself. It was last updated 6/18/2021. To update the information in this column, please email:


Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) was launched on August 15, 1981 by Mother Angelica, a Franciscan Nun.
EWTN airs family and religious programming from a Catholic point of view. Providing more that 80% original programming, EWTN offers inspiring talk shows, entertaining children's animation, exclusive teaching series, live coverage of Church events, and thought-provoking documentaries.
Program Categories:
Live call-in talk shows, News/Current events, Children's Programming, Music & Drama, Teaching Series, Daily Devotions and Church Events, Documentaries, Spanish Programming

Contact information

Mailing address:
5817 Old Leeds Rd.
Irondale, AL 35210-2198


Phone: 1-800-447-3986


Organization details

EIN: 630801391

CEO/President: Mr. Michael Warsaw

Chairman: Mr. Michael Warsaw

Board size: 21

Founder: Mother Angelica

Ruling year: 1981

Tax deductible: Yes

Fiscal year end: 06/30

Member of ECFA: No

Member of ECFA since:


    Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN), the world's largest religious cable network, airs family and religious programming from a Catholic point of view. Providing more than 80% original programming, EWTN offers inspiring talk shows, entertaining children's animation, exclusive teaching series, live coverage of Church events, and though-provoking documentaries. EWTN's programming is designed to enrich the viewer's time, not just consume it.

Mission statement

To spread the Good News of Jesus Christ world wide not just through television but also through short wave radio, AM/FM radio, and the Internet.

Statement of faith

EWTN uses the following to express its Statement of Faith: Now the catholic faith is that we worship One God in Trinity and Trinity in Unity, neither confounding the Persons nor dividing the substance. For there is one Person of the Father, another of the Son, another of the Holy Spirit. But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, is One, the Glory equal, the Majesty coeternal.

Such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such is the Holy Spirit; the Father uncreated, the Son uncreated, and the Holy Spirit uncreated; the Father infinite, the Son infinite, and the Holy Spirit infinite; the Father eternal, the Son eternal, and the Holy Spirit eternal. And yet not three eternals but one eternal, as also not three infinites, nor three uncreated, but one uncreated, and one infinite. So, likewise, the Father is almighty, the Son almighty, and the Holy Spirit almighty; and yet not three almighties but one almighty.

So the Father is God, the Son God, and the Holy Spirit God; and yet not three Gods but one God. So the Father is Lord, the Son Lord, and the Holy Spirit Lord; and yet not three Lords but one Lord. For like as we are compelled by Christian truth to acknowledge every Person by Himself to be both God and Lord; so are we forbidden by the catholic religion to say, there be three Gods or three Lords.

The Father is made of none, neither created nor begotten. The Son is of the Father alone, not made nor created but begotten. The Holy Spirit is of the Father and the Son, not made nor created nor begotten but proceeding. So there is one Father not three Fathers, one Son not three Sons, and Holy Spirit not three Holy Spirits. And in this Trinity there is nothing before or after, nothing greater or less, but the whole three Persons are coeternal together and coequal.

So that in all things, as is aforesaid, the Trinity in Unity and the Unity in Trinity is to be worshipped. He therefore who wills to be in a state of salvation, let him think thus of the Trinity.

Transparency grade


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Financial efficiency ratings

Sector: Radio/ TV Stations

CategoryRatingOverall rankSector rank
Overall efficiency rating366 of 99910 of 34
Fund acquisition rating837 of 100127 of 34
Resource allocation rating353 of 100110 of 34
Asset utilization rating103 of 9995 of 34

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Balance sheet
Receivables, inventories, prepaids$9,278,434$4,343,668$11,468,479$9,416,269$7,329,051
Short-term investments$3,178,842$4,683,696$4,470,403$4,208,511$4,723,536
Other current assets$0$0$0$0$0
Total current assets$17,273,205$14,179,002$25,134,804$25,263,647$21,969,193
Long-term investments$649,818$736,420$804,214$1,018,548$992,167
Fixed assets$27,171,345$27,562,785$24,823,355$23,825,117$23,998,836
Other long-term assets$5,119,503$4,945,589$4,825,512$4,428,243$3,642,467
Total long-term assets$32,940,666$33,244,794$30,453,081$29,271,908$28,633,470
Total assets$50,213,871$47,423,796$55,587,885$54,535,555$50,602,663
Payables and accrued expenses$4,890,363$4,726,840$4,274,546$3,554,595$3,601,426
Other current liabilities$0$0$0$0$0
Total current liabilities$4,890,363$4,726,840$4,274,546$3,554,595$3,601,426
Due to (from) affiliates$0$0$0$0$0
Other long-term liabilities$343,908$395,171$329,573$313,311$246,198
Total long-term liabilities$343,908$395,171$329,573$313,311$246,198
Total liabilities$5,234,271$5,122,011$4,604,119$3,867,906$3,847,624
Net assets20192018201720162015
Without donor restrictions$39,966,492$37,549,468$46,431,448$46,115,334$41,334,338
With donor restrictions$5,013,108$4,752,317$4,552,318$4,552,315$5,420,701
Net assets$44,979,600$42,301,785$50,983,766$50,667,649$46,755,039
Revenues and expenses
Total contributions$63,267,371$56,244,097$26,759,005$59,023,580$52,316,900
Program service revenue$214,215$248,823$196,135$214,865$370,843
Membership dues$0$0$0$0$0
Investment income$1,462,519$694,012$613,082$847,342($71,642)
Other revenue$2,639$331$5,617($1,144)$24,677
Total other revenue$1,679,373$943,166$814,834$1,061,063$323,878
Total revenue$64,946,744$57,187,263$27,573,839$60,084,643$52,640,778
Program services$51,208,743$47,246,596$22,602,165$46,940,642$43,350,205
Management and general$3,371,421$3,135,552$1,641,012$3,103,274$3,157,907
Total expenses$61,693,765$56,733,269$27,259,139$56,190,928$51,377,124
Change in net assets20192018201720162015
Surplus (deficit)$3,252,979$453,994$314,700$3,893,715$1,263,654
Other changes in net assets$0$0$0$0$0
Total change in net assets$3,252,979$453,994$314,700$3,893,715$1,263,654


Michael P WarsawChairman, Ceo, & Governor$292,585
Douglas J KeckPresident, Coo, & Governor$255,490
Lauren DueffertOn Air Host$216,837
Rev Mr Gerald J ZukauckasVP & Chief Financial Officer$200,191
Raymond ArroyoOn Air Host$184,573
John ManosCorp Secretary & General Counsel$183,691
Leonard MarinoVP Creative Services$182,277
Patricia ConnollyVP Human Resources$163,238

Compensation data as of: 6/30/2019

Response from ministry

No response has been provided by this ministry.

The information below was provided to MinistryWatch by the ministry itself. It was last updated 6/18/2021. To update the information below, please email:


When Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) was launched on Aug. 15, 1981, many felt there would be little demand for a Catholic network. In fact, when Mother M. Angelica, a cloistered nun, fulfilled a promise to our Lord in the early 1960s by founding Our Lady of Angels Monastery in Irondale, Ala., she had no idea she would one day found the largest religious media network in the world.

Who could have imagined that a cloistered nun would found a global television network? Who could have predicted that a network funded entirely by donations from "people in the pews" instead of advertising would become the largest religious media network in the world? Yet that is the story behind the EWTN Global Catholic Network.

The future Mother Angelica, foundress of EWTN, was born on April 20, 1923 in southeast Canton, Ohio to Mae Gianfrancesco Rizzo and John Rizzo. The couple named their daughter Rita Antoinette Rizzo.

Realistically, no one could have expected the child to amount to much. Her parents were not religious. In fact, when Rita was only 7-years-old, her abused mother filed for divorce, which was quite a stigma in those days. Rita was so poor and her mother so mentally fragile that the child had to go to school and run her mother's dry cleaning business at the same time. As a result, she was distrustful of outsiders, never made friends and never dated.

But Rita experienced two miracles in her pre-convent days, which changed her life. The first occurred in 1934. The 11-year-old adolescent went running for a bus - and missed seeing an oncoming car. When she finally saw the car, she froze. However, "two hands" picked her up and placed her on the median. The bus driver would later say he had never seen anyone jump so high.

Her second miracle occurred in 1942. For years, the teenager suffered from ptosis of the stomach, which made her hands shake, her left arm go numb, and her stomach spasm, which made it hard to eat or sleep, But after a visit with Mystic Rhonda Wise, Rita experienced a miraculous healing. That healing made her realize that God loved her personally - and she began to love Him back. Her love became such that on Aug. 15, 1944, she entered a Cleveland convent and became Sister Mary Angelica of the Annunciation, a Franciscan Nun of the Most Blessed Sacrament. The order would later change its name to the Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration.

Sister's brash personality and poor health - including pneumonia, a tonsillectomy and water on the knees - made it unlikely that she would remain a nun. But an overnight healing of her knees convinced the order that the young nun had a vocation. Sister Angelica made her final vows on Jan. 2, 1953.

But making vows didn't cure Sister of her ailments. She fell and injured her back while washing the floor and nothing, including a body cast, leg and neck traction and a back brace, cured it. However, just before a risky operation on her back, Sister made God a life-changing promise. She told Him she would start a monastery in the South if He would allow her to walk again and, although the July 31, 1956 surgery was a medical failure, Sister found she could indeed walk.

To make good on that promise, Sister wrote a letter to Archbishop Toolen, bishop of the Diocese of Mobile-Birmingham, in Jan. 1957 asking if he would allow her to build a cloistered community in his diocese. Archbishop Toolen said yes, and the seeds of an apostolate -- the likes of which the world had never seen - were planted.

Of course, Our Lady of the Angels Monastery in Irondale, from which EWTN would spring, had its share of start-up problems. Despite Archbishop Toolen's "yes," Sister Angelica had to obtain approval from her bishop in Ohio as well as waivers from Rome because, at 37, she was too young to become abbess of a new monastery.

It was five long years before Rome granted Mother Angelica permission to establish an Alabama Foundation, during which time she obtained the waiver and the title "Mother." As she and a handful of nuns drove south to Birmingham in February 1961, they stopped in a roadside motel for the night and Mother saw a television set for the first time.

Once in Birmingham, a former mayor showed Mother the site on which EWTN would be built - 15 beautiful acres of mountainside in the city of Irondale. Archbishop Toolen broke ground for the monastery on July 24, 1961. Neither he nor the nuns expected any trouble.

But trouble there was. In those days, only 2 percent of the population was Catholic, and not everyone was happy about the new monastery. The nuns were shot at, the monastery site vandalized every Saturday, and the project plagued with costly overruns. But the publicity brought the monastery and its nuns to the attention of the general population, which eventually embraced it.

The new monastery was dedicated on May 20, 1962, and Mother immediately began giving speeches in its parlor. She even did a television interview in Sept. 1967 to explain how the Second Vatican Council was changing things in the monastery. Meanwhile, the sisters sold fishing lures and roasted peanuts to support themselves, but they implored God to send them work that would help them be part of the mission of the Church.

In 1969, Rome gave Mother permission to continue her parlor talks as a missionary activity. The talks were taped and sold.

By 1971, Bishop Joseph Vath, the first bishop of the new Diocese of Birmingham, began encouraging Mother to accept invitations to speak to Catholic groups outside the cloister.

In the ensuing decade, Mother would record a radio program, and publish mini-books on the Faith. Her books would eventually be printed on her own printing press, and, along with her tapes, distributed throughout the country by a group of dedicated lay people.

But it wasn't until Mother visited a Baptist-run television station atop a Chicago skyscraper in March 1978 that she turned her attention to a new medium: television. It was then that she famously declared: "Lord, I gotta have one of these."

Never one to do things by halves, Mother's first foray into television was a 60-part series for the Christian Broadcast Network, filmed from May to August 1978.

However, in November 1978, Mother discovered that the station where she was filming her second series planned to air a blasphemous movie. She threatened to pull out. The station manager told that her television work would end without his facilities. Mother told him she'd build her own studio. The station manager said she couldn't do it. Mother said: "You just watch me!"

Armed with only a high school education, $200, and 12 cloistered nuns with no television experience, Mother proceeded to turn the monastery garage into a television studio. EWTN received its FCC license on Jan. 27, 1981, making it the first Catholic satellite television station in the United States. A few months later, on Aug. 15, 1981, EWTN began broadcasting four hours a day to 60,000 homes.

Mother would go millions of dollars into debt over the course of building the Network, which has always been funded by viewer contributions - no advertising!

Few would have been willing to risk so much. But Mother said: "You want to do something for the Lord ... do it. Whatever you feel needs to be done, even though you're shaking in your books, you're scared to death - take the first step forward. The grace comes with that one step and you get the grace as you step. Being afraid is not a problem; it's doing nothing when you're afraid."

Mother was no stranger to fear - but she kept moving and, through the grace of God, the Network grew and the debt was paid.

In addition to Mother's official titles as the Network's first Chairman and CEO, Mother hosted the popular and still running EWTN television show, "Mother Angelica Live," and founded the Franciscan Missionaries of the Eternal Word, a religious community of men based in Irondale.

In 1995, Mother Angelica was inspired by God to build Our Lady of the Angels Monastery and Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament in rural Hanceville, Ala., to which her order relocated in December 1999.

On Christmas Eve 2001, Mother Angelica suffered a debilitating stroke and cerebral hemorrhage which left her unable to speak. In 2009, Pope Benedict XVI awarded Mother the prestigious Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice medal. Mother Angelica died on Easter Sunday 2016, a woman whose great faith continues to inspire millions around the world.

From the original four hours of broadcasting a day to 24 hours a day; from pre-taped programs only to live programs in the U.S. and around the world; from one network in English to 11 networks broadcasting in multiple languages; from radio services transmitted domestically and internationally to the largest Catholic website in the U.S., as well as EWTN Religious Catalogue; from 60,000 homes to more than 310 million homes in 145 countries and territories; from a series of small pamphlets to electronic and print news services, including "The National Catholic Register" newspaper, and two global wire services; and a publishing arm - the Network continues to grow.

And all because one cloistered nun said "yes" to Jesus.

Program accomplishments

  • Online Services, one of EWTN's newest apostolates, provides a variety of Catholic resources to those with Internet capability. Here one has access to the Catholic Church's teachings on a wide variety of moral and theological issues made available in searchable audio and document libraries. The service offers online experts to answer questions about the Faith
  • EWTN Global Catholic Radio reaches a potential audience of 600 million listeners.
  • EWTN offers a satellite-delivered AM/FM radio network free of charge to radio stations worldwide for re-broadcast locally in either English or Spanish.
  • EWTN News produces a daily news service for the television network, the radio network and Online Services, featuring in-depth reports and summaries gathered from worldwide news sources including Vatican Radio.


EWTN has communicated the following needs:

Mother Angelica has always trusted that God in His Providence would inspire viewers to supply the network's financial needs. Her trademark fund appeal, coming periodically at the end of her live show, asks viewers to "remember the network between your gas bill and your electric bill." EWTN offers programming free-of-charge to cable companies and never uses advertising to generate income for the network.