MOSAIC Fall 2016 - Page 9

“When Joseph and I ‘lost’ our child in the Temple, in the city of Jerusalem, we were afraid and sad.” The Answer Becomes Clear My third time of acquaintance with Mother Teresa came through Fr. Edward Farrell, who was on the faculty of Sacred Heart for seventeen years, 1961-1978. Through chance or perhaps through God’s mysterious ways, Father Farrell was traveling in 1972 from Chicago to Detroit by plane and happened to have a seat assignment next to Mother Teresa. Thus began, although unofficially, Mother Teresa’s connection with Detroit. When Cardinal John Dearden, archbishop of Detroit, invited me to consider working with Fr. Bohdan Kosicki as vicaress for religious, I was “surprised by the Spirit,” to use one of Father Farrell’s book titles. This invitation was new and unfamiliar ground for me but provided me with “amazing graces” and untold rich experiences. One of those experiences was the opportunity to participate in a discernment process. Mother Teresa entered my life once more. Cardinal Dearden had invited me and several other archdiocesan directors to gather for lunch with Mother Teresa in his Palmer Park home. This was to be the beginning of a discernment process about the canonical establishment of the Missionaries of Charity within the Archdiocese of Detroit. The following week, Cardinal Dearden and I continued the conversation in his office. We quietly wondered what God’s will was for the sisters and the archdiocese. Psalm 27 became our prayer at that moment. The Lord is my light and my salvation . . . Hear, O Lord, the sound of my call . . . “WE QUIETLY WONDERED WHAT GOD’S WILL WAS FOR THE SISTERS AND THE ARCHDIOCESE. PSALM 27 BECAME OUR PRAYER.” Though an army encamp against me, tory was another great woman, Rosa Parks, my heart will not fear . . . awaiting a parishioner to walk her over to Show me O Lord, your way . . . the church. Following that prayer, we were able to I never met Dr. King. I never met Doroverbalize a description of what we could thy Day. At St. Agnes I met Rosa Parks! expect of Mother Teresa in Detroit. She That day, I felt immensely blessed to have was stubborn; my Irish ancestors would walked with two great women who had at have called her “bull headed.” In the con- heart my own deep, caring, and loving detext of God’s work, we could say that she had a single, clear vision, “STAY WITH US [JESUS], AND THEN WE focused and unafraid, SHALL BEGIN TO SHINE LIKE YOU SHINE; “though an army encamp against her, she . . . THE LIGHT O JESUS, WILL BE ALL will not fear.” FROM YOU, NONE OF IT WILL BE OURS.” The woman who -FROM A PRAYER RECITED EACH DAY BY ST. TERESA OF CALCUTTA earlier sat with us at the lunch table was a tyrant, a blessed tyrant for mercy and com- sires for the people of Detroit. passion, who sees Jesus in everyone. In A year before, in May1978, Father Farthe words of the psalmist, “She waits for rell was appointed pastor of St. Agnes Parthe Lord with courage;” she was a stout- ish. There he continued his pastoral care hearted tyrant. and spiritual direction of the Missionaries The cardinal knew his answer: “Yes, we of Charity. Several seminarians performed will invite Mother Teresa to the archdio- their weekly apostolic experience with the cese.” The canonical process began. On Missionaries. They accompanied the sisJuly 23, 1977, the Missionaries of Charity ters in home visits to sick and abandoned were born in Detroit. people in the neighborhood. Mother and Rosa Parks—In One Day! Their first home was the former convent of the IHM sisters next to St. Agnes Parish in Detroit’s Virginia Park neighborhood. On the day the Missionaries moved in, hundreds of visitors gathered around the parish and in the church for a liturgy to welcome the sisters. Many hoped to get a glimpse of this woman about whom they had read and heard, Mother Teresa. She had already left the convent for the church when a group of about fifty people pounded on the front door of the rectory, demanding to see Mother Teresa: “Let us in. Let us see Mother Teresa.” I think they doubted my words when I told them that she was already in the church. My determination was as strong as theirs; they believed she was in the rectory and I insisted she wasn’t. Finally they listened when I told the mob to go to the church and they disassembled. The surprise for me that day was that when I locked the door and walked through the rectory to the church, I saw sitting quietly in the living room of the rec- Two Seminary Visits That was not the end of my encounters with Mother Teresa. She visited Sacred Heart Seminary—twice. In the summer of 1979, when the parishioners of St. Agnes were enjoying their annual parish picnic on our seminary grounds, they were joined by Father Farrell, Mother Teresa, and several friends of the Missionaries of Charity. Later on in the week, Mother appeared again on the seminary grounds to visit Father in his office. She was a joyful, happy, and “thirsty” tyrant for Jesus. She knew Jesus was “her kind of Tyrant,” in love with her and all of the human family. This account ends where it began—in the heart of Jesus: “Stay with us [Jesus], and then we shall begin to shine like you shine; . . . the light O Jesus, will be all from you, none of it will be ours.” Sr. Mary Finn, HVM, a member of the Home Visitors of Mary religious community, has served on the faculty of Sacred Heart since 1969. shms.edu 7