On Exhibit – March 25, 2010 - April 3, 2011
At a time when meaning and achievement in life was too often defined by what one has, Mother Teresa of Calcutta rose to the heights of global recognition and respect by giving everything away. The Knights of Columbus Museum is hosted the American premiere of Mother Teresa: Life, Spirituality and Message, in observance of the 100th anniversary of the sainthood candidate’s date of birth on August 26, 1910.
The diminutive nun was a giant among international humanitarians. Her life’s mission and that of the Missionaries of Charity, the religious order she founded, was to provide “wholehearted, free service to the poorest of the poor.”
Her outreach included refugees, AIDS victims, lepers, former prostitutes and addicts, the mentally ill, sick and abandoned children, the aged, and physically handicapped. Her community of religious sisters, brothers and priests run schools for street children, soup kitchens, orphanages, homes for women, hospices for the dying, providing service regardless of religion or ethnicity.
Among Mother Teresa’s many honors were the Nobel Peace Prize (1979), the Presidential Medal of Freedom (religion, 1985) and the Congressional Gold Medal (humanitarian and charitable activities, 1997). She was also the inaugural recipient of the Knights of Columbus’ highest honor, the Gaudium et Spes Award (Christian faith and service, 1992).
The exhibition, which runs from March 25, 2010 - April 3, 2011, is a historical presentation, chronicling Mother Teresa’s life from childhood to beatification by the Catholic Church. It includes biographical information, artifacts such as her sari and other religious and personal articles, as well as a full-scale replica of Mother Teresa’s convent cell (room) in her Calcutta convent.
Both during her lifetime and after her death, the Knights of Columbus has supported the work of her religious order financially as well as providing printing services for the spiritual support of her religious order and its members. Knights also have supported and volunteered in her order’s North American soup kitchens.
Mother Teresa addressed the assembled employees of the Knights of Columbus in the Order’s New Haven headquarters in 1988. Details of her close relationship with the K of C are also included in the exhibit.