Tim Drake is an award-winning writer and former journalist and radio host with the National Catholic Register/EWTN. He currently serves as New Evangelization Coordinator for the Holdingford Area Catholic Community in the Diocese of St. Cloud, Minnesota. He resides with his wife and five children in St. Joseph, Minn.
While the Empire State Building won’t be lit up in the blue and white colors of Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity, there are many other ways that Mother Teresa’s 100th birthday – August 26 - is being honored worldwide.
Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League, who originally asked for the Empire State Building to be lighted, instead will hold a rally outside the Empire State Building on behalf of Mother Teresa on August 26.
Meanwhile, the Peace Bridge, on the Niagara River in New York, and the Hutchinson Metro Center’s two office buildings in the Bronx will be lit blue and white.
Benedictine College in Atchison, Kan. is not only lighting several campus buildings in blue, but is also naming its new nursing program building in honor of Mother Teresa. The grand opening of the Mother Teresa Center for Nursing and Health Education will take place on Aug. 26 at 12:15 p.m. Several campus buildings, including St. Benedict’s Abbey Church tower and St. Scholastica Hall tower, will be lit from Aug. 25 to Sept. 5 (the day of her death). The campus is launching its “Do Something Beautiful for God” college ministry program, will host a block party for students in honor of Mother Teresa’s birthday, and is installing an original oil painting of Blessed Teresa in the Mother Teresa Center. The college will also say a prayer for the canonization of Blessed Mother Teresa at the first home football game.
Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula, Calif. will mark the day with a memorial Mass at 11:30 a.m. and by publishing videos from her visit and Commencement Address at the school in 1982. The videos will remain online through Blessed Teresa’s Feast Day, Sept. 5.
“We will long remember the honor of Bl. Mother Teresa’s visit to Thomas Aquinas College,” says President Michael F. McLean, who noted that the saintly foundress of the Missionaries of Charity visited only three colleges during her 1982 trip to the United States. “We join the faithful everywhere in thanking God for her example of humble service to ‘the poorest of the poor,’ in whom she saw Christ in ‘His most distressing disguise.’”
The Hindustan Times reports that Indian publisher Amar Chitra Katha will publish a comic book about Mother Teresa. The 40-page comic book will tell the story of how Mother Teresa came to India and about her life serving the poorest of the poor. It’s based on stories told to ACK Media by Sister Gertrude, one of the first sisters to join Mother Teresa.
“She recalled several inspiring instances, which are lesser known and authentic,” said Reena Puri, editor of ACK Media. “She became a key source of information for us. Without her assistance, the book wouldn’t have materialized.”
A new book featuring writings from Blessed Teresa is being published. “Where There is Love, There is God: A Path to Closer Union with God and Greater Love for Others” was edited by Brian Kolodiejchuk.
In the U.S., the Mother Teresa postage stamp is being issued. Similar stamps are being issued in Austria, Kosovo, and Monaco. France is issuing four collector-edition coins, one which shows Mother Teresa with Pope John Paul II.
The Knights of Columbus Museum in New Haven, CT is hosting the American premiere exhibit of Mother Teresa: Life, Spirituality and Message,
And, the Mother Teresa International Film Festival is being held Aug. 26-29 in Kolkata, India.
The Mother Teresa Express Train will be launched on her birthday in India.
In Rome, Cardinal Angelo Comastri, archpriest of St. Peter’s Basilica, is presiding over a Mass in the Basilica of St. Lawrence in Damascus. The celebration will be preceded by the opening of an exhibition of photographs, titled Blessed Teresa of Calcutta: Life, Works, Message.
Cardinal Ivan Dias, prefect of the Congregation of Peoples, is marking her liturgical feast with a vigil of prayer on Saturday, Sept. 4, and a Eucharistic celebration on Sunday, Sept. 5.
An extensive list of celebrations and initiatives can be found online at the Mother Teresa of Calcutta Center.
“Her life and work continue to be an inspiration for young and old, rich and poor from all walks of life, religions and nations,” said Sr. M. Prema M.C., Superior General.