As Catholics, we have a tendency to refrain from sharing about our personalrelationship with God. However, this is something we feel needs to change! Webelieve sharing our faith with others and being witnesses to how God has workedin our lives, can only help to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ!
In order to help facilitate this sharing, we will be featuring conversion stories and personal testimonies about how God has impacted the lives of our parishioners.
First off, I want to thank all of the Corpus Christi parishioners for their prayers and support towards my summer mission trip to India. I could not have done it without you. I am so blessed to have had this opportunity and grateful for the many lessons I learned while partaking on this journey.
Many people are aware of my passionate devotion to Mother Teresa. It is she who taught me to see the face of Christ in everyone I encounter, especially the poorest of the poor. She has also taught me to always have trust in Jesus which has brought me so much peace in the most difficult moments.
I spent the majority of my trip in Kolkata (Calcutta) which is where Mother Teresa first began her works of service for those suffering in streets. I served daily at Prem Dan (Hindi for "Gift of Love") which is a home for the dying destitute. The patients who are there have been abandoned from hospitals are literally left todie in the streets.
At Prem Dan, the Missionaries of Charity sisters and volunteers from all over the world come to serve these precious people in need. Not only are the patients receiving a roof over their head, clothing to wear and food to eat, but they are receiving much more. The volunteers give special attention to each patient by rubbing lotion on their legs, clipping their nails, putting coconut oil in their hair and other small acts of kindness. Unfortunately, in India, these patients are considered "untouchables" and "outcasts", so it means a lot to them when to receive tender love fromthe sisters and volunteers.
I want to share with you a meditation by Mother Teresa that is very similar to my experience:
A girl came from outside of India to join the Missionaries of Charity. We have a rule that the very next day, new arrivals must go to the Home for the Dying. So I told this girl: "You saw Father during Holy Mass, with what love and care he touched Jesus in the Host. Do the same when you go to the Home for the Dying, because it is the same Jesus you will find there in the broken bodies of our poor."
And they went. After three hours the newcomer came back and said to me with a big smile — I have never seen a smile quite like that — "Mother, I have been touching the body of Christ for three hours." And I said to her: "How--what did you do?" She replied: "When we arrived there, they brought a man who had fallen into a drain, and been there for some time. He was covered with wounds and maggots, and I cleaned him and I knew I was touching the body of Christ" (Mother Teresa; GG, 56-57).
Jesus said, "Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me" (Matthew 25:40). With that being said, the greatest lesson I learned was to treat everyone I encounter as Jesus.
Even though I only spent one month in Kolkata, I feel that I can call this city a home away from home. Through the bustling city of crowds, honking taxis and poverty, I felt I was where I belong. I would go back in a heart-beat if I had the opportunity. As much stantly remind myself of what Mother Teresa said, "Calcutta is everywhere," meaning, we do not need to go far to serve those inneed.
Right before I left for India, I had graduated from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication with a bachelors in journalism and public relations. When I returned home from India, I began my first full time job at St. Vincent de Paul doing community and media relations. I thank Jesus for providing this wonderful opportunity.
You were in my prayers during my mission trip. I had the chance to pray at Mother Teresa's tomb every day and kept you all close to my heart during that time. Thank you again for your prayers and support. I appreciate you tremendously. Know that I am still praying for you all and wish you all the very best.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, cause of our joy, pray for us. St. Teresa of Calcutta, pray for us, Amen.BACK TO LIST