“Find your own Calcutta”

Mother Teresa Saint

By Maria Shriver / Architects of Change / Social Change Spotlight / September 3, 2016

This picture of Mother Teresa sits in a frame in my childhood bedroom in Cape Cod. I looked at it a lot when I went back there this past month.

My mother idolized Mother Teresa and the missionaries of charity who followed her to work among the poorest of the poor. My mother was inspired by her faith, her commitment and her service on the front lines of humanity. She visited her in Calcutta and even invited her to our home when I was a young woman, imploring me to sit with her. My mother told me, “One day this woman will be a saint.” Needless to say I thought she was dreaming. She wasn’t. On Sunday, September 4, 2016, Mother Teresa will be canonized.

She was indeed a woman of great service and faith, but she also struggled with that faith — making her even more human and fascinating to me. Her work continues to this day. She never made any money, never had a social media account and never thought about her brand. She just followed her heart, and in doing so, others supported her and followed her around the world.

One of my favorite comments from her was when someone said to her, “I want to come work with you in Calcutta.” She responded, “Find your own Calcutta.”

There are places all over the world where each of us can be of service. We just have to open our eyes, our minds and our hearts. There are saints in progress all among us. Maybe you are even one. God bless Mother Teresa. She mothered, and in doing so, changed not just her life but the lives of millions.

A saint among us. Bravo!

author imageMaria Shriver is a mother of four, a Peabody and Emmy Award-winning journalist and producer, a six-time New York Times best-selling author, and an NBC News Special Anchor covering the shifting roles, emerging power and evolving needs of women in modern life. Since 2009, Shriver has produced a groundbreaking series of Shriver Reports that chronicle and explore seismic shifts in the American culture and society affecting women today. Shriver was California’s First Lady from 2003 to 2010 and, during that time, she spearheaded what became the nation’s premier forum for women, The Women’s Conference. Shriver’s work is driven by her belief that all of us have the ability to be what she calls Architects of Change — people who see a problem in their own life or the community around them, then step out of their comfort zone and do what it takes to create the solution. Like her page on Facebook or follow her on Instagram.


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