The Rev. Larry Gipson, former rector of the nation's largest Episcopal church from 1994 to 2008, is now a candidate for Catholic priesthood.
STERRETT, Ala. -- Marija Lunetti, one of six young peasants who claimed that the Virgin Mary began appearing to them in 1981 in Medjugorje, Yugoslavia, says the mother of Jesus is aware of the economic crisis in Europe.
"She's more preoccupied with spiritual (matters)," Lunetti said. "When there is a spiritual crisis, there is also an economic crisis."
Lunetti spoke briefly in an interview about the economic crisis in Europe and the weather -- "Hot like here," she said -- before she had her daily apparition on Sunday night on her visit to Shelby County, Ala. During the apparitions, she says the Virgin Mary appears to her and prays over the pilgrims, even though they cannot see her vision.
She's staying this week at the home of Terry Colafrancesco, founder of Caritas of Birmingham, a ministry that runs a large publishing operation and promotes the visions in Medjugorje.
Colafrancesco just returned with a group from Medjugorje, in what is now known as Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Lunetti arrived in Alabama on Friday night. Lunetti is married with four children and lives most of year in Milan, Italy.
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- Mother Angelica, 86, the nun who founded the world's largest religious network, rarely leaves her bed these days and didn't make it to an Oct. 4 ceremony awarding her a papal honor.
Pope Benedict XVI awarded the Cross of Honor for distinguished service to both Mother Angelica and Deacon Bill Steltemeier, 80, chairman of the board for EWTN, the network Mother Angelica founded in 1981 in a garage at the Our Lady of Angels Monastery in Irondale.
Bishop Robert Baker of Birmingham presented the medals and certificates to Mother Angelica and to Steltemeier.
Sr. Margaret Mary, the mother vicar of the monastery, received the framed document and medal on Mother Angelica's behalf in the public part of the ceremony at the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Hanceville.
Mother Angelica's frail health restricts her activities, said EWTN spokeswoman Michelle Johnson. “She doesn't really do ceremonies,” Johnson said. “She doesn't make public appearances right now.”