"Mother Teresa: Her Life, Spirituality, and Message" will be presented at the University of Redlands, one day only, Wednesday, May 13 from 1 to 2 p.m. and from 5 to 8 p.m. in the Casa Loma Room. The exhibit includes a viewing of the documentary, "Mother Teresa," shot over a five-year period of her life as she traveled across the globe with her message of peace, love and charity.
This event is free and open to the public.
The exhibit, from the Mother Teresa of Calcutta Center, illumines the life and work of 1979 Nobel Peace Prize winner Mother Teresa, considered by some to be one of the greatest humanitarians in history. It is presented at the University in conjunction with the inter-generational May Term course, "Compassion," taught by Dr. Fran Grace, which explores what it means to live a life of compassion through biographical models (such as Mother Teresa, Ghandi, Nelson Mandela, and the Dalai Lama), compassion teachings of the world's religions, and first-person investigation of compassion practices.
"Students apply the compassion teachings of each exemplar in their service at various community sites such as hospitals, animal shelters, and battered women shelters. During this May Term, students are serving in a medical facility for children with severe disabilities, Totally Kids. Some of the children have been dependent on medical machinery their whole life," Grace said.
"When the college students go to Totally Kids for the first time, they are nervous. They say things like, 'I'm afraid they won't like me.' or 'I don't know if I can do this - it's so sad.'
"Then they learn Mother Teresa's teachings-'Do small things with great love' and to treat each person as 'Christ in his distressing disguise.' These statements evoke the students' own inner essence of love, which dissolves the feeling of separateness. They reach out to the children with warmth and love. Many students are not Christian, yet they find Mother Teresa's message of loving one another to be universal. From her life's work, they learn that there are many outward conditions that cannot be changed. But in such cases, the power of love alleviates the pain of loneliness and despair," Grace said.
Mother Teresa was born in 1910 in Skopje, the current capitol of the Republic of Macedonia. As a young Loreto nun, she taught in India for 17 years before she received her "call within a call" to serve "the poorest of the poor" outside of the convent walls. She went bravely into the slums of Calcutta to care for those considered "unwanted": the dying, blind, aged, disabled, sick, lepers, and orphans. Over time, others started to join in her work.
In 1950, she founded the Missionaries of Charity, a new Catholic order of nuns devoted to caring for the poorest of the poor. In 1985, while in New York, she spoke to the 40th United Nations General Assembly and opened one of the first homes in the U.S. to care for those suffering with HIV/AIDS.
Mother Teresa received numerous international awards for her service to humanity, including the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979. When she died in 1997, the Missionaries of Charity were spread throughout the world: 4,000 members, 610 foundations in 123 countries, on all seven continents.
For more information, contact the Meditation Room at 909-748-8345.