By Father Brian Kolodiejchuk, MC
Father Brian Kolodiejchuk, MC was the postulator of the Cause of Beatification and Canonization of Mother Teresa of Calcutta and serves as director of the Mother Teresa Center in Rome.
The Mother Teresa Center was founded in 2004 by the Missionaries of Charity religious family after her beatification. Its primary aim is to preserve the legacy of Mother Teresa by collecting and disseminating her written and spoken words. Our objective is to be the centralized and authoritative source of information on our foundress, Saint Teresa of Calcutta.
We attempt to spread knowledge of her life, work, spirituality and message through the preparation and publication of her authentic writings, distribution of devotional materials and maintenance of an official website (motherteresa.org). One of the most powerful and effective means is also the exhibition with her words and images that we have prepared for this purpose. It has been shown at her beatification and canonization as well as in various places around the world.
To collect material related to Mother Teresa, our research team contacts person and institutions that had contact with her and asks for any items (usually copies where possible) that they have and can share with us along with their precious testimonies of how she touched people during her lifetime as well as in the present. While doing this research, we got in touch with the Archdiocese of Denver and received very gracious and generous treatment.
What in a nutshell would be her legacy and message? There are many aspects to Mother Teresa’s legacy and message which could be spelled out in a number of ways, but a quote that strings many of them together is:
“The good news is that God still loves the world through each one of you. You are God’s good news; you are God’s love in action. Through you God is still loving the world.”
From this conviction, expressed in a very simple manner, follow many other aspects of Mother Teresa’s message: respect for the inherent dignity of each human person as a child of God, “created for greater things, to love and to be loved”, respect and protection for the unborn and most vulnerable members of society, working for peace in the world, love and compassion for the poor, the value of doing small things with love; the list could go on.
With her work for the least and the last of human society, Mother Teresa became one of the most admired women in the world demonstrated by the many prominent awards and recognitions received through the decades. Yet she remained “right on the ground” and fully dedicated to her mission among the poorest of the poor.
In one of her instructions to her Sisters, she encouraged them to be instruments of God’s love by doing little services to those in need: “Humility always radiates the greatness and glory of God. Let us not be afraid to be humble, small, helpless to prove our love for God. The cup of water you give to the sick, the way you lift a dying man, the way you give medicine to a leper, the way you feed a baby, the way in which you teach an ignorant child, the joy with which you smile at your own at home — all this is God’s love in the world today. I want this to be imprinted in your minds: God still loves the world through you and through me today. We must not be afraid to radiate God’s love everywhere.”
Because of the power of love and compassion that she radiated, Mother Teresa was a messenger of hope for our world. And definitely we are not less in need of that message today than we were when she was among us. Thus, she continues to be an inspiration, but at this time we also have the privilege of having her as a powerful intercessor.
Even now after her canonization, many people report the favors received through her intercession for their various and at times even strange needs. She seems to be specially interested in helping the couples get babies, in “visiting” those in the hospitals on a death bed, in helping unemployed get employment, in helping students with their exams, and even getting stray pets back come.
For whatever need, she does not seem to deem it unimportant or unnecessary and is close to those who turn to her in trustful prayer.
The Mother Teresa Center is the exclusive licensee throughout the world for the works of Mother Teresa on behalf of the Missionaries of Charity, the copyright owners of Mother Teresa’s writings. Requests for information or permission to use Mother Teresa’s words or image can be directed to the Mother Teresa Center (email@example.com).