Saint Teresa: an inspiration on campus

Ellie O'Donoghue , Staff Writer

Theology teacher Dr. Stephen Matuszak, who met Mother Teresa, holds a picture of her.
Photo/Ellie O’Donoghue
Theology teacher Dr. Stephen Matuszak, who met Mother Teresa, holds a picture of her.

Mother Teresa’s canonization occurred in St. Peter’s Square, a vast 6,143 miles away from Scottsdale, yet the NDP community felt the impact of her entrance into sainthood.

NDP Theology teacher Dr. Stephen Matuszak, who saw Mother Teresa speak in Arlington, Virginia, described his experience: “She was so small, but I felt an incredible presence in her, the presence of God.”

In her speech, Mother Teresa spoke about poverty in the slums of Kolkata, India, and the spiritual hunger that is present in the United States.

“She saw Christ in every person, and saw that each person had incredible dignity, she found God in each person,” said Dr. Matuszak, “the things she did, I could never do, but I can imitate her love and her prayer.”

At NDP, Mother Teresa has inspired the meaning of Christian service.

“Our Christian service is based on Matthew 25, which is serving those who are poor and have a disadvantage, we have learned from and been inspired by Mother Teresa to do this service for others,” said the Director of Christian Service Mrs. Leslie Gjerstad.

Only 20 years after her death, Pope Francis declared Mother Teresa a saint on Sunday, Sept. 4, at the Vatican.

Around 12,000 people came to Rome to celebrate the canonization of Mother Teresa, including 1,500 homeless people, who were fed free pizza at lunch to commemorate Mother Teresa’s work with the poor.

Pope Francis, who also had a great love for the poor was “the perfect person” to canonize Mother Teresa, according to Dr. Matuszak.

Her great popularity and love from all around the world catalyzed her canonization process.  It can take anywhere from five to 50 years after a person’s death to be considered for sainthood, and Mother Teresa was canonized in 20.

“Even before she died, everyone thought she was a saint because she was so incredibly filled with God’s love,” said Dr. Matuszak.

The only wait was for proof of two miracles performed posthumously.

According to an online Indian news site, The Indian Express,  the first miracle was on Monica Besra, a tribal woman in West Bengal, whose stomach tumor was cured by praying with a picture of Mother Teresa.

The second miracle was on Marcilio Haddad Andrino, a man from Brazil, who miraculously healed from multiple abscesses in his brain after putting a relic of Mother Teresa near his head and praying to her regularly.

Both these miraculous have been reviewed by doctors and the healings have been found to be unexplainable, and thus, miraculous.

During a Theology class a week prior to her canonization, NDP senior Mallory Walker brought Mother Teresa’s canonization to the attention of the class.

“She deserves it,” said Ms. Walker. “She spent her precious life devoting her time towards doing the menial tasks that no other human being would ever voluntarily do.”