Welcome to this time together as we commemorate the Feast Day of Mother Theresa. Each one of us is here today because of Mother Theresa’s response to God’s personal call to her at different moments in her life beginning when she was still quite young. Picture a young girl at the age of 12 in war-torn Bavaria in 1809. She has heard that the girls’ school in her town that she attended for 6 years has suddenly closed. The sisters who taught her, the Canonesses of St. Augustine, must also close their convent and leave. Fr. Wittmann, their pastor approached Caroline’s mother and father if he could train her and two other former students for the teaching profession so that education for girls could continue. Her parents consented to this proposal. Caroline was not particularly interested in this work, but she found the strength to speak a courageous “yes”. The seed of her vocation began to germinate in the heart of young Caroline Gerhardinger because of that yes. It led to the foundation of the School Sisters of Notre Dame in 1833. The unfolding story of our congregation had its beginnings in that yes in Caroline and to many new beginnings to this day. Let us listen to the history of the unfolding story of where the School Sisters of Notre Dame have ministered. We recall Mother Theresa’s words: Wherever divine providence calls us, there we are most ready to go. (#3623)
Two sisters read the list of countries with corresponding years where we have ministered. At the end of the list invite a moment of silence and then ask if there are any words that come to mind after hearing this story of unfolding history.
SSNDS Around the World
Truly International in Outreach
Reflection: How are we/am I called to live the spirit of Mother Theresa?
Mother Theresa’s generous and courageous response to the needs of the time were rooted in her deep prayer life, her strong and intimate relationship and communion with her God. Her mission and God’s mission were one. We know that many a night, she spent in prayer, kneeling behind the altar in the Parish Church . Her oneness with God, listening to what was God’s desire and will for her and her young congregation, moved her to action, travelling through much suffering and dangers, reaching out into the farthest corners of the earth , responding to the urgent needs, especially of the orphans, the poor, the neglected, believing society could be transformed through Wholistic Education.
Mother Theresa …. Woman of Faith by Sister Delia Calis, SSND
Words of Mary Theresa of Jesus Gerhardinger
“O Jesus, I am wholly determined to follow You alone.” (3)
“If we want to follow Jesus, we must make the spirit of Jesus our own.” (3006)
“I cannot describe my interior peace. Now I am in Jesus. You may do what You want with me; I can trust You.” (1)
“What the future will bring is in God’s hand”(5226)
“In the activity of Martha, let us not forget the deep piety of Mary; at the right time, let us also rest at the feet of Jesus. From His Sacred Heart, we must breathe in the life of love, seeking strength and vigor for our work and pleading for His blessing.” (1862)
“Always seek to enkindle your love anew with the love of Jesus in holy Mass and Communion.” (4554)
“If the cross presses heavily at times, hasten to the Blessed Sacrament, to Jesus, the crucified. Pray and tell Him of your needs and cares, and you will never leave without light, consolation, and help.” (714)
"With the dear Lord, what we do is less important than how we do it. Through a good intention and a pure motive, everything becomes divine service.” (5203)
“Let us serve the Triune God all our lives with joy, obeying God, loving God above all things.” (714)
Those who are free in God will always remain joyful and alive. Since they fulfill the will of God, they never lose anything but gain, even though, to all appearances or according to human opinion, they lose everything. (2)
Wherever divine providence calls us, there we are most ready to go. (3623)
To her sisters, sometimes a continent distant from her, at other times gathered around her, Mother Theresa gave a grace-filled blessing:
Everyone - Mother Theresa’s Blessing poem by S. Maura Eichner
Mother Theresa: Her Blessing
May the God of peace be with you –
calms the heart that hammers fear
Her prayers for us. The hope she knew.
She is our prophet of fidelity, true
to the triune single voice: now, here.
May the peace of God be with you.
She spoke rarely of the Thabor-glory view.
Her creed was everyday: The Lord near.
Vision for us. A love she knew.
She lives in her letters: light breaks through
the script: be one in heart. My dear ones, hear:
May the God of peace be with you.
Breaking bread to share, she, too,
learned the miracle of loaves, her clear,
testament to us . The faith she knew.
Mother Theresa, serenely magnetized to
the will of God, still speak your dear
words: The God of peace be with you.
Your prayer for us. The love you knew.