St. Teresa of Kolkata often featured in our pages

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Mother Teresa is seen during a visit to Phoenix, Ariz., in 1989. (CNS photo/Nancy Wiechec)

Mother Teresa visited Chicago several times in her life and established a convent here in 1983. The sisters operate a soup kitchen at St. Malachy, and Mother Teresa visited the church several times when she came to Chicago — even acting as a godmother to one of their parishioners.

Born in 1910 to an ethnic Albanian family in Skopje, in what is now part of Macedonia, Mother Teresa went to India in 1929 as a Sister of Loreto and became an Indian citizen in 1947. She founded the Missionaries of Charity in 1950. Her influence is worldwide. The order has active and contemplative sisters today. In addition, there are Missionaries of Charity Fathers, and active and contemplative brothers. In 1969, in response to the growing interest of laypeople who wanted to be associated with her work, an informally structured, ecumenical International Association of Co-Workers of Mother Teresa was formed.

Missionaries of Charity take vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, but the vow of poverty is stricter than in other congregations because, as Mother Teresa explained, “to be able to love the poor and know the poor, we must be poor ourselves.” In addition, the members of the congregations — sisters and brothers — take a fourth vow of “wholehearted and free service to the poorest of the poor.”

In Chicago, the convent for the contemplative sisters is located at St. Procopius Church at 1629 S. Allport St. while the active sisters have their convent and home for single mothers at 2325 W. 24th Place.


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