Dear Friends ~
Today we talk about Mother Teresa from age 12 thru age 18
Remember we learned last week that Mother Teresa was born with the name Agnes.
Agnes was fascinated with missionaries from an early age, and by 12 she knew that she would commit herself to a religious vocation.
When she was 18, Agnes left home and joined the Sisters of Loreto in Rathfarnham, Ireland.
Agnes attended a convent-run primary school and then a state-run secondary school. As a girl, she sang in the local Sacred Heart choir and was often asked to sing solos. The congregation made an annual pilgrimage to the Church of the Black Madonna in Letnice, and it was on one such trip at the age of 12 that she first felt a calling to a religious life.
As Agnes turned 18, she found her true calling as a nun and left home for good to enrol herself at the Institute of the Blessed Mary Virgin, also called Sisters of Loreto, in Ireland. It was there that she first received the name Sister Mary Teresa after St Therese of Lisieux. After a year of training, Sister Mary Teresa came to India in 1929 and initiated her novitiate in Darjeeling, West Bengal, as a teacher at St Teresa’s School. She learned the local language of the state, Bengali. Sister Teresa took her first religious vows in May 1931. Thereafter, she was assigned duty at the Loreto Entally community of Calcutta and taught at St Mary’s School.
Picture of ~ St Therese of Lisieux ~
Back to Mother Teresa ~
One of Mother Teresa’s first assignments was to teach, and eventually to serve as principal, in a girls’ high school in Calcutta. Although the school was close to the slums (terribly poor sections), the students were mainly wealthy. In 1946 Mother Teresa experienced what she called a second vocation or “call within a call.” She felt an inner urging to leave the convent life (life of a nun) and work directly with the poor. In 1948 the Vatican (residence of the pope in Vatican City, Italy) gave her permission to leave the Sisters of Loretto and to start a new work under the guidance of the Archbishop of Calcutta.
To prepare to work with the poor, Mother Teresa took an intensive medical training with the American Medical Missionary Sisters in Patna, India. Her first venture in Calcutta was to gather unschooled children from the slums and start to teach them. She quickly attracted both financial support and volunteers. In 1950 her group, now called the Missionaries of Charity, received official status as a religious community within the Archdiocese of Calcutta. Members took the traditional vows of poverty, chastity (purity), and obedience, but they added a fourth vow—to give free service to the most poor.