Greeting by Mica Vranizan, Student Body President:
Sometimes it is easy for us to turn away from those who need us most. It is so easy for us to ignore the poorest of the poor and pretend that they are not there. It is so easy for us to look past the sick and the dying, and assume someone else will help them. It is so easy for us to pretend that prejudice and oppression do not exist and that they are not our problem. It is so easy for us not to volunteer our time to help the poor, the sick, and the oppressed and leave it for someone else to do.
On behalf of each and every one of the students here at St. Paul’s, I would like to thank you. Thank you for being a person who does not turn away from the poor, the sick, and the oppressed. You have dedicated your life towards helping those who some consider beyond help. You are an inspiration to us all. Welcome to St. Paul’s and thank you so much for being with us today.
Words of Mother Teresa:
(NOTE: Due to the poor sound and her low voice, and to someone coughing near the video recorder, it was hard to capture everything that she said.)
Let us ask Our Lady to give us a heart so beautiful, so pure, so immaculate, so full of love and humility that we may be able to see Jesus in the Bread of Life, to love him as she loved him and serve in him the distressing disguise of the poorest of the poor. +
I am very happy to be with you and to share with you the joy of loving. …Two young people … came to our house and they gave me a lot of money, and I said, “Where did you get so much money?” And they said, “Two days ago we were married. But before marriage we decided there would be no party wedding clothes, we would not have any feast. We would give you the money.” And I was very surprised and so I asked again, “But why? Why did you do like that?” Because that is not done… ..,Marriage is a big day, a big day. And they said, ”Mother, we love each other so much that we wanted to share the joy of loving with people you serve.” … the joy of loving…. And this is something so beautiful….. a beautiful act of love… They had accepted to be married with no feast, … because they loved each other so much and they wanted to share the joy of loving with those that have nothing.
And this is something very, very beautiful .. and this is what we know we have all been created. …. God has created us to love and to be loved. It is very important to remember that Jesus came to give us that love … God love us and that he wants us to love one another as He loves each one of us.
God bless him for having Sisters,… (she gestured to the assembled girls) … to have such a beautiful school … so many children … many, many blessings. …. Some persons will have nothing. God had given you his care, his love …. so that you can share that joy of loving with others who have not got.
So that the favor of His love be in our own families first …. The family that taught us to pray. …And the family that prays together, stays together. And if you stay together, naturally you will love each other as God himself has loved us. And this is my prayer for you.
You know that our Sisters especially give wholehearted and free service to the poorest of the poor, those who have nothing… who have no… medical … And we have them all over the world, everywhere… Now there are Sisters in 97 countries,…. And I hope someday… God may be calling you also …. If one of you thinks God is calling you, just call me, and I will come get you. (laughter)
Something beautiful for God….
…. There is so much pain, so much hunger, ….And so let us pray for God’s blessing for more Sisters to give them love and care … We have little schools for … we have schools for crippled children, and maimed, and so on …. And it is something so beautiful …
We have so many young people… but you cannot come now, but when you grow up and you are ready to start working… ….so many young people are coming to Calcutta and working with the Sisters to serve the poorest of he poor. Something so beautiful to see … that generous…. they make big sacrifices.
Pray that one day maybe God may give you that … here in your own country also … We have places here for children ,,, you will be able to love and care …. together sharing the joy of loving and then …
I have seen something very beautiful ….In Bangladesh … they are coming very close to death …… hundreds and hundreds of people are just dying …. [doorbell] .. Some people … they all started coming, bringing us things to go to Bangladesh. … A little boy came and he said, “Mother Teresa, take my clothes, and send them to the children there.“ The only clothes he had he had on … and he wanted me to take these clothes, his clothes, and send them to the poor children in Bangladesh… This is the beautiful spirit of generosity …
I want you to feel that love for each other, love each one here .., love each other here … and in that love…. share …
And always remember to love like that…. need to pray. Prayer makes a clean heart…and a clean heart makes … the fruit of prayer is a deepening of faith, and the fruit of faith is love, and the fruit of love is service, and the fruit of service is peace. Works of love are always works of peace. … You are so young, …. …doing the works of love so that they become works of peace. Keep that love and peace in your school. And then from there you can spread it all over the world. Then you will be able to share that joy of loving with those who have nothing….
I will pray for you that you grow in the genuine love of God … the love of God that we share … the love from your parents, from your teachers … and you will pray for us …
God bless you all.
Sister Maureen O’Brien:
There is something very special that our students have each year, Mother, and it is a Christmas Candelighting service. It is a custom wherever our Sisters teach, we’re Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and wherever we teach, we plan on a Christmas candlelighting.
Many years ago, one of our Sisters wrote a special hymn for this occasion, and she wrote it for girls’ voices in three parts and without accompaniment.
Our freshmen, who are right over here, Mother, never heard it ‘til last week. And they did not know you were coming today, but they are doing a wonderful job.
So this morning we practiced a little, and I think our student body would like to share this gift of song with you, a song that I think you will love, so, ladies, and Sister Karen will direct.
Jesus, Light of the all the world,
O lovely child of Mary.
Come, with thy light, thy love and grace
And make my heart a holy place.
Light of the world, Light of the world,
O light divine.
As Mica has said so beautifully, it is an honor and a privilege for us to have Mother Teresa with us. We thank her for calling us to be women who love more, more fully than we do this day, and to pray each day that the Lord will touch our hearts and enable us to love others more deeply, more generously.
As Mica said so beautifully, your own example to us calls us, and we shall not forget that, Mother. And thank you for your Sisters who are right here in our midst who continuously call us to be aware of those who need our help.
As your sisters have reached out around the City, they have blessed us. And one of the things they have done is they have sometimes met a young woman that they thought should be here.
And so now I would like you to meet a present that your Sisters brought to our school several years ago, and I’d like to invite Deng to bring up a gift of flowers for your chapel, Mother, for your Sisters. This is Deng Tang whom your Sisters brought to us. (Deng presents yellow roses to Mother Teresa and greets her. Mother Teresa blesses Deng.) She is indeed a blessing to us and to your Sisters.
Now, how many girls are going to spend some time thinking about what Mother Teresa has said to you? Put your hands up if you’re going to spend some time.. … and don’t put it up if you’re not going to. Okay…. It looks like we have a winner here.
One thing I asked her this morning, I asked if she would pray for our school, so that our school for girls, our school which takes in so many girls who would otherwise not be in a Catholic school will have a chance to stay on studying about their faith, and growing in the kind of love and forgiveness that this community has offered to one another. So with her prayers behind us, we are here forever, right? And her Sisters have already been praying for us.
So again, we want to thank you for coming and for spending this time with us.
Let us ask Our Lady in a very special way: Mary, Mother of Jesus, protect our school.
(All repeated this prayer.) Mary, Mother of Jesus, protect our school.
Mother told me that she is going to put a Miraculous Medal here that makes our school stay.
(Mother put a miraculous medal at the base of the statue of Mary that was behind her.)
So we thank her from a very busy day to come here and be with us.
Ladies, you can greet Mother on her way out. Let me take those flowers – Mica will take those flowers. Mother has brought each of you a Miraculous Medal, from her to you.
(The students crowd around Mother Teresa as she makes her way out of the cafeteria.)