Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of May 10, 2004
EWTN now on local cable
Faith-based TV keeps viewers in touch with faith
By RAMON GONZALEZ
WCR Staff Writer
Pat Cooney enjoys watching TV these days. Now she can get her favourite TV station, Eternal Word TV Network (EWTN), on cable.
She has Shaw Cable to thank for it. The TV cable giant began offering EWTN locally earlier this year for $1.99 per month. Cooney even got her first month for free.
She found out about it by accident. "I happened to be cruising through the upper channels one day in February and realized that EWTN was finally available in Canada," she said. "I think it's excellent that Shaw Cable (offers it).
"I applaud them for doing it because I wanted to get EWTN so badly that we were prepared to get a satellite dish because that was the only way that I knew people were getting it."
This is also a victory for the Catholic community, which has been pressuring Shaw for years to carry the station.
EWTN began in 1981 when Mother Angelica and a handful of nuns began transmitting Catholic programming four hours a day from a monastery garage in Alabama to 60,000 Catholic homes.
Today EWTN is the world's largest religious media network, transmitting programming 24 hours a day to more than 85 million homes in 110 countries.
To get EWTN you need a digital cable receiver, which can be purchased from Shaw for a one-time cost of $199 or rented for $10.95 a month.
Cooney, manager of students' services at Martech College, says she likes EWTN because it is a "faith-based station" that keeps her in touch with what's going on.
"It's probably a really good way to stay in touch with what's happening with the Catholic faith around the world," she said. "I've been following Mother Angelica and EWTN, I would say, for at least 10 years."
In the early days she used to get the network on short-wave radio. Then she started watching it on the Internet. Now Cooney is a regular Shaw subscriber. She gets EWTN on channel 249.
"I love the content of their programs, everything from the news programs to the rosary, to the Mass, to the special guests that they interview," she said. "I just find that it's probably the best way for me to sort of keep in touch with the Catholic community."
EWTN offers everything from music to news interviews to specials on the saints. It even runs Christian movies and a roster of children's programming.
"They do a wonderful job; they really stay on top of things," Cooney said. "Even among their news bulletins everyday they give you the news from the Vatican. They keep you up to date on what's happening with the pope's visits and things that you really want to know about."
And she said EWTN came at a really good time "because it was just the time that Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ was about to be released and so EWTN carried a lot of information on it and had some of the first interviews with Mel Gibson."
Cooney's mother, Julia Palmer of Saskatoon, is also a big fan of EWTN. "She is in her 80s and is basically shut-in so EWTN is her continued connection with her faith," she said. "This has been so wonderful for her."