Local Catholics remember Mother Teresa

KUSA - Pope Francis declared Mother Teresa a saint Sunday morning in front of a crowd of thousands in Rome -- 19 years after her death.

Although she might always be known as "Mother," her newly bestowed title is Saint Teresa of Calcutta.

For those unable to make the trip to the Vatican, the Denver Archdiocese held a special celebration honoring the newest saint at St. Joseph’s Church.

It's not something seen on many Sunday's anymore, but groups of people gathered outside the Denver church to get inside long before the bells rang. It was all to honor a woman as humble as they come.

"To celebrate the mass for the canonization of St. Mother Teresa," said 9-year-old Kyle Hottambach.

JoAnne Mestas met St. Teresa of Calcutta in the late 1980s and proudly showed off the photo of the two women smiling.

"It was like heaven on Earth," she said.

Every pew and every aisle were filled with people for the celebration mass. Some gathered outside the doors to listen to Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila's message.

"She would be completely embarrassed by all the goings-on today for her canonization," the archbishop said.

Sister Damascene, member of the Missionaries of Charity, worked with Mother Teresa in Calcutta. She said at the time, she didn't know how popular Mother Teresa was across the globe. What she did know is the woman she looked up to asked a great deal of the nuns.

"Mother always tell us, 'If you're not going to be holy, it's a waste of time. Better go home,'" recalled Sister Damascene. "For me, I can say she lived what she taught."

Archbishop Aquila saw Mother Teresa many times, he said like most people it was on the news. Although it was for just a few minutes he spoke with her in Rome.

"There was a real gentleness about her, a real goodness about her and a real joy and peace about her that was just palpable and one could sense her holiness and her goodness," he said.

That goodness was not just for Christians, said Sister Damascene, but anyone she could help.

"In India, the people say she's "the living saint." That's what the people call her. The non-Catholics, the Hindus, they call her "the living saint."

"So many people, even of different religions, admire her," parishioner Mary Sullivan said. 
St. Teresa of Calcutta visited Denver twice in the late 1980s and announced she would send nuns to Colorado from the Missionaries of Charity, the order she founded. Four nuns from India are currently living in Denver and working with homeless women in the area.


Copyright 2016 KUSA


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