The day Mother Teresa visited

Mother Teresa has been declared a saint for her work with the poor in India. However, I came across a little nugget that I did not know… Mother Teresa also visited “my neck of the woods” to help the poor.

I was born and grew up in Southeastern Kentucky, spending the first 19 years of my life in Hazard, Kentucky. I actually lived in what I somewhat-affectionately called sub-Hazard, outside of the city… about 20 minutes away in Busy, Kentucky.


Having spent almost two decade in rural Kentucky, I had no idea that Mother Teresa passed through. I guess I was too busy playing with my G.I. Joes. Even so, the now Saint Teresa visited twice… once in 1982 and again in 1988.

Mother Teresa shook the hands of a well wisher upon her arrival in Jenkins, Ky., June 19, 1982. She was there to open her first Missionaries of Charity convent in Appalachia. Photo by Charles Bertram | Staff

Mother Teresa had established a Missionaries of Charity convent in Jenkins, Kentucky. Most of the convents she had established were in larger cities, but here she was in Jenkins… a city that currently has population of about 2,200.

“For me it’s the people I look on, not the place,” Mother Teresa told reporters when the house was opened. “It is not the numbers. In Calcutta it may be thousands; here it may be two people.”

According to Wikipedia, Missionaries of Charity care for those who include refugees, former prostitutes, the mentally ill, sick children, abandoned children, lepers, people with AIDS, the aged, and convalescent.

I can’t help but thing what an amazing day it would have been to meet Mother Teresa at age 7… or 13… or at any age. It would be something to remember forever.

Having read about Mother Teresa’s visit, I am reminded we are one human race and we should help our fellow man whenever possible. I am also reminded that great and newsworthy things can happen in small towns. I am reminded that life is for living.

I am ready for my next adventure.

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