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Meeting St. Teresa of Kolkata

As Pope Francis canonized Mother Teresa of Kolkata in Rome this past Sunday, the Dominican Sisters of Peace and Associates recounted memories of meeting her over the years. Mary Edmund Gibson, OPSr. Mary Edmund Gibson met Mother Teresa in Baton Rouge in 1987. [Read the full account of Sr. Mary Edmund's meeting featured in Sunday's Columbus Dispatch.]  
Mary Michaeline Green, OPSr. Michaeline Green: "I met Mother Teresa sometime in the 1990s. She came to Baton Rouge to investigate the possible opening of a shelter in the Diocese. At the time, I was Superintendent of Schools, and we had just closed our Vocational Educational School. She came to inspect the buildings and see if the facilities would be suitable for a shelter. I went to the facility when she was there, and she asked me if it would be possible to use the facilities. It was such a humbling experience. The pastor and I agreed that it would be good for Mother to open a shelter there. Bishop Ott agreed, too. Within a year the Sisters came and are still serving there."
Nadine Buchanan, OPSr. Nadine Buchanan: "I met Mother Teresa in either 1966 or 1967 in Steubenville, OH. She spoke at the Parochial High School. The Knights of Columbus with all the pomp and circumstance were present for her, but it didn't matter because she had a message to give regarding the poor she worked with. I think she is the reason why I have such compassion and dedication to the poor to this day. She was so humble and strong in her message to all of us! Sr. Marita Charley was also there."
Esther Calderon, OPSr. Esther Calderon: "I heard her once when she came to New Orleans but didn't get to meet her personally. She was a tiny little lady and spoke very softly... so didn't come across as the great lady she was. I guess that's what it is to be a humble person. At that time she was asking for funds, spoke about her ministry to all the poor, suffering children, and yet a strong stance against abortion. Takes that conviction to be a saint!"
Virginia Bruen, OPSr. Virginia Bruen: "I was away when Mother Teresa stayed at our convent in Puerto Rico. She slept on the floor in the bedroom across from me. I was so disappointed that I missed her. Another time I was at a conference for educators, and she came out on stage to speak to us. We all thought she would say we should work with the poor or become social workers. But no, she praised the work we were doing wherever it was. It was beautiful!"
Joan Popovits, OPSr. Joan Popovits: "When I was attending a meeting at St. Joseph's College in Cincinnati, OH, in the late 60s or early 70s Mother Theresa was there. I was with a group who saw her, and she spoke a few words to us. I did not personally meet her, but was in her presence."  
Pieta Mattingly, OP Sr. Pieta Mattingly: "I attended a conference at Mt. St. Joseph University (Cincinnati, OH) where Mother Teresa spoke. Though I didn't get to meet her personally, just being in her presence was quite an experience for me."  
Mary Louise Edwards, OPSr. Mary Louise Edwards: "While participating in the International Dominican Formators' Program in Rome, 1987-88, we were encouraged to do some volunteer service. Several of us chose a nearby shelter sponsored by the Missionaries of Charity. Since a number of novices lived and worked there Mother Teresa came to visit several times. She was affectionately referred to as Madre. My most distinct memory is when several of the novices we had gotten to know were professing their  vows at the Church of St. Mary Major. The Madre was prominent in the procession of cardinals and dignitaries and equally prominent when she dozed off during the homily."
Marie E. Russo, OPAAssociate Marie Russo worked with Mother Teresa in Calcutta and remembers one special resident. "Bobbi was a toddler when he was abandoned by the side of the road. He was severely afflicted with a neurological disorder that restricted his mobility and his speech. When I met him, he had been with the Missionaries of Charity for 17 years, so, at that time, he was about 19 years old. Bobbi exemplified the true spirit of the patient sufferer. From his bed he greeted everyone with a smile. In spite of his affliction, he was keenly aware of everyone who came into the room. His body was broken, but his mind and his heart were in concert with his surroundings. You had a sense of his awareness through his eyes which seemed to convey intelligence and wisdom. Bobbi was very special to Mother Teresa. When she came into the room, his eyes widened and he opened his mouth, as if he were trying to communicate his joy at seeing her. However, he was only able to make muffled sounds. Mother would smile and talk to him and caress his face. We all knew there was a special bond between them that no words could express. She called him the 'Professor of Love.'"

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