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New documentary on Mom Teresa premieres on the Vatican

VATICAN CITY (RNS) — A brand new documentary depicting the life and legacy of Mom Teresa, the Albanian-Indian nun canonized in 2016 who was identified for her charitable and religious work with the poorest in society, premiered on the Vatican movie show on Wednesday (Aug. 31). 

The creators of the movie, “Mom Teresa: No Higher Love,” hope it would rekindle the religion of younger individuals in the present day and encourage a missionary spirit in anticipation of the 25th anniversary of the saint’s dying on Sept. 5.

“The Holy Father hopes that the movie will make accessible the zeal for evangelization particularly for the younger era and promote the will to comply with the Lord who liked us first,” learn a Vatican letter addressed to Patrick Kelly, the Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus, which sponsored the film.

Similar to the movie, “Pope Francis is wanting into the long run and into reaching new generations,” Kelly stated throughout a information convention presenting the film on Wednesday. The Knights of Columbus, a U.S.-based charitable group, labored carefully with the Missionaries of Charity, Mom Teresa’s non secular order, to create the documentary.

Poster for “Mom Teresa: No Higher Love.” Courtesy picture

Whereas Mom Teresa was thought-about a celebrity nun up till her dying in 1997, Kelly stated many younger individuals getting into non secular orders in the present day haven’t any residing reminiscence of her. The documentary traces the highlights of the sister’s life, interlacing them together with her legacy — proven by the work of the Missionaries of Charity serving the poor world wide.

The manufacturing group traveled to many distant areas of the world to create the movie, from the remoted communities of the Amazon jungle, to the ghettos of Nairobi, Kenya, to the Venezuelan immigrants within the refugee camps of Tijuana, Mexico.

“Mom Teresa and her sisters go to essentially the most hellish locations and convey mild, love and the mercy of God,” stated Cardinal Seán O’Malley, archbishop of Boston and adviser to Pope Francis. O’Malley stated that as a seminarian, when he met the now saint within the Sixties, “we had been conscious that we had been within the presence of holiness.”

Her life, he added, could be a witness in in the present day’s society that “a drop of mercy in an ocean of distress makes a distinction.”

Born in 1910 in Skopje within the Ottoman Empire, now the capital of North Macedonia, Mom Teresa grew up in a Catholic household amid the turmoil of the Balkan Wars. After becoming a member of the Sisters of Loreto in Eire, Teresa determined to journey to Calcutta (now Kolkata) in 1929, as she had lengthy desired to turn out to be a missionary.

The documentary reveals never-before-seen archival footage and interviews with bishops, nuns and laypeople who had been touched by her life and ministry.

“It’s stunning to see the work of Mom, the work that’s service, that bends right down to the least and the final. A service that brings God’s presence, his love and compassion, but in addition brings pleasure for many who give and for many who obtain,” stated Sister M. Miryam Thérèse, the regional superior of the Missionaries of Charity, on the information convention.

Mom Teresa felt a divine calling to cater and minister to the poorest of the poor and ultimately adopted that voice to the misery-filled streets in India. By 1948, the nun was well-known for serving to the dying and struggling in Calcutta, whereas carrying a easy cotton sari, worn by the poor in India, which might ultimately turn out to be the behavior of her followers, the Missionaries of Charity.

Lepers, orphaned kids, the sick and the dying, all discovered refuge within the properties created by Mom Teresa to look after them. The documentary reveals that her work continues in the present day, with the sisters of her order caring for the religious and bodily wants of the outcasts.

Mother Teresa in an undated photo from "Mother Teresa: No Greater Love." Courtesy image

Mom Teresa in an undated picture from “Mom Teresa: No Higher Love.” Courtesy picture

Identified for being camera-shy, Mom Teresa disliked sitting for interviews and portraits whilst her fame grew. A direct order from the Vatican was required for her to take a seat down for an interview with BBC’s Malcolm Muggeridge, which in 1971 resulted in a e-book and documentary that skyrocketed the tiny nun to worldwide stardom.

The documentary reveals Mom Teresa successful the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 and establishing a particular relationship with St. John Paul II, who would ship her in his stead from Beirut to Moscow to face the advanced realities of the Chilly Conflict throughout his papacy.

Whether or not on behalf of pregnant girls with drug addictions, individuals affected by AIDS or gangsters within the outskirts of Chicago, Mom Teresa is seen within the documentary combating towards prejudice and hatred. “Every one among them is Jesus in a distressing disguise,” she tells the digicam with a smile.

“Mom Teresa was a religious big and an incredible saint of the century, but in addition an incredible saint for our time,” stated David Naglieri, who directed and produced the movie.


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As Mom Teresa’s fame grew, so did the criticism. Her place towards abortion and contraception has been controversial for abortion-rights advocates, whereas others argued the state of her services for the dying was insufficient.

British creator and journalist Christopher Hitchens was amongst her most adamant critics, calling her a hypocrite who was extra excited by selling the gospel than serving to the poor. The Rev. Brian Kolodiejchuk, the postulator for Mom Teresa’s canonization trigger, known as such claims “improper or misrepresented” on the information convention.

The documentary doesn’t shrink back from representing the deep religious disaster that Mom Teresa underwent throughout her 66 years serving the poor, when she questioned the presence of God and despaired over the struggling on the planet.

Mother Teresa surrounded by other Missionaries of Charity nuns in an undated photo from "Mother Teresa: No Greater Love." Courtesy image

Mom Teresa surrounded by different Missionaries of Charity nuns in an undated picture from “Mom Teresa: No Higher Love.” Courtesy picture

Her ministry impressed the work of 5 branches of the Missionaries of Charity who now run 764 charity properties across the globe. The documentary takes care to painting the work of its nuns encouraging the poor in New York’s Bronx borough or cuddling a macrocephalus youngster in Kenya.

John Paul II beatified Mom Teresa in 2003 and she or he was made a saint in 2016 by Pope Francis, who described her as “a mannequin of holiness” to the hundreds gathered within the sq..

“I feel Mom is asking all of us to proceed what God has carried out in her by us,” Thérèse stated. “She asks us to be open to obtain this love of God and provides this love by our service to the poor.”


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