Those with deep roots in the Diocese of Phoenix recall fondly Mother Teresa’s visits to Phoenix on Feb. 1 and Feb. 10 in 1989. Nearly three decades later, the 45 hours she spent with us still reverberate throughout the life of the Church here in Arizona.
Why? Very likely it has much to do with the fact that the spry nun captured the attention of the world when she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979. It also had to do with her charismatic personality. Although her mission was worldwide and she received a lot of attention personally, she remained the simple, poor, holy woman the world had come to know and admire.
Much of the attention she attracted, and still attracts to this day, could be attributed to the belief many people had that she was a “living saint.” Mother Teresa herself would say that God calls us all to be living saints.
And as of Sept. 4, Pope Francis would make it official at the Mass of Canonization: Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta.
Mother Teresa’s visits to Phoenix brought attention to the work of our women and men religious, and priests; she brought an increase in prayer and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament; she brought an awareness of the poverty in our own state. But most importantly, her presence brought people to deeper faith, fed the hungry and gave shelter to the homeless.
As we give thanks to God for the life of Saint Mother Teresa, her cause for sainthood, and for her long-lasting impact on our community and the world, we encourage you to listen to this prayerful reflection from Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted. Please share this with your family and friends!
May the Lord be with you as you go out to “do something beautiful for God.”