Sunday, February 14, 2010

Interview with Kate Wicker about "Mother Teresa and Me"

"Today I'm honored to share an interview with Donna Marie Cooper O'Boyle (pictured left), a wife, mom, author, and speaker who is committed to encouraging others to seek holiness in the context of a happy Catholic family.

Donna Marie's most recent book, Mother Teresa and Me: Ten Years of Friendship, recounts the lessons learned from a ten-year relationship with the humble nun from Calcutta who is known for serving the poorest of the poor.

When I was in seventh grade, a close friend of mine led me to fell in love with the wisdom of Mother Teresa. Later in life I first felt an authentic call to motherhood while commuting on a train to work and reading A Simple Path. Coincidentally, I discovered after reading Donna Marie's book that Mother Teresa received her "call within a call" - her first inspiration to start the Missionaries of Charity - while sitting aboard a train as well.

While my devotion to Mother Teresa has been long-lived, the magnitude of her works and her life have often made her seem aloof and unreachable to me. What Donna Marie's book did for me was to make Mother Teresa real. The book includes snippets of personal correspondence with Mother Teresa as well as photographs of the saint-in-the-making with Donna Marie's children. While Donna Marie's book focused on this one pious woman, it serves as a reminder that the entire "great cloud of witnesses" in which we call saints are not impassable, holy people who are just "out there." They are people we can turn to in our struggles and in our joy for inspiration. They are people who have stumbled under the weight of their crosses just as we do. They are people who wrote letters and hugged children and asked for prayers on their behalf. They are true friends in Christ.

I took advantage of a recent weekend on the road and read Mother Teresa and Me in two days. As is true with all of her books, Donna Marie's words encourage, inspire, and reaffirm the value of traditional motherhood. (Go, Moms!) But what sets this book apart is that it takes an intimate look into the life of a small woman who made a big difference not only in the lives of the people she served but in the world.

Now from Donna Marie:

Donna Marie, I am so honored to have you over here at my little corner of cyberspace. Thanks for sharing your time and talents with us all. Now please tell us a little bit about your relationship with Mother Teresa.

I met Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta in Washington DC a little more than 22 years ago at the Missionaries of Charity convent. My spiritual director at the time, Father John A. Hardon S.J., invited my family down to see him at Georgetown University where he taught theology. We had a lovely visit and were then encouraged by Fr. Hardon to visit the patients at the “Gift of Peace” home at the Missionaries of Charity convent. We visited the terminally ill AIDS and cancer patients there and observed the loving care given to them by the nuns. The nuns invited us to come back the next day for Mass at their private chapel. We were told that Mother Teresa would be attending one of their Masses. I had no idea up until that point that she was even in the country!

What prompted you to write Mother Teresa and Me?..." Continued here at Momopoly.

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