Local News

Mother Teresa: Worldwide Symbol to Many

Posted September 11, 1997

— She dedicated her entire life to others and, as a result, she became a worldwide symbol of love, faith, strength and hope.

The loss of Mother Teresa is being felt tonight by millions, but her legacy is still very much alive. WRAL-TV5'sDavid Crabtreeis in Calcutta, India, a city where Mother Teresa left an indelible mark.

The nun known for her good works around the world was simply called "mother" in her beloved city of Calcutta. What was it about the teeming city that appealed to her. Crabtree asked that of several people. One was Catholic Relief worker Bill Canny who said it is a city of hope.

It is hard to believe, for some, that hope could exist in the overcrowded poverished of Calcutta. But there is no doubt that hope thrives in Mother Teresa's house, where the Sisters of Charity live.

Mother Teresa was known for her love that seemed to encompass everyone, but children were particularly close to her heart. There are currently about 150 infants in the orphanage she founded, and the odds are good many of them will be adopted. Some were abandoned. Others were given up by young unwed mothers. Still others were brought to the orphanage because their parents had no money to keep them fed.

The sisters care for the infants, the smiling and the unsmiling ones. Many of the children require special care, and they are not left out. Orphanage volunteer Ella Williams says the children get more than just the basics.

Most of the children now in the orphanage will not remember Mother Teresa, but as they grow, they will undoubtedly learn to love the memory of the woman who bothered to learn the meaning of giving.

The tribute to Mother Teresa has begun. Generals draped the Indian flag over her body Thursday, as about 100 nuns from her order murmured prayers. A five-minute ceremony in a Calcutta church is part of the preparations for her funeral on Saturday. The Indian military will maintain an around-the-clock vigil over her body until her funeral.

The funeral of Mother Teresa will be broadcast live on WRAL-TV5. CBS coverage begins early Saturday morning at 12:30. Dan Rather will be live in Calcutta. And Crabtree will continue filing reports live from India.

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