Resources for Teachers and Students on Mother Teresa
Prepare: Mother Teresa won the Nobel Peace Prize
in 1979. Her biography
and the text of her Nobel
laureate lecture can be found on the Nobel site.
Mother Teresa wrote an
original essay for the Architects of Peace project.
In it, she explored the need to care for the poor in order
to achieve peace.
Explore: Mother Teresa wrote very little during
the course of her ministry. A woman of action, she preferred
to lead by example, spending as much time as possible with
the poor people to whom she'd dedicated her life. A short
documentary where she explains her relationship
to the poor can be viewed free of charge over the internet,
courtesy of the Nobelprize.org.
Write: In her Architects of Peace essay, Mother
Teresa stated that "nations put too much effort and
money into defending their borders." She argues that
the world would be a more peaceful place if such funds went
into the defense of the poor in terms of providing them
with food, clothing and shelter. Is this a realistic argument?
Using internet and library resources, attempt to discover
what percentage of the International Gross Domestic Product
is dedicated to defense spending, as opposed to the percentage
invested in poverty relief. Compose a short, two-to-three
page paper highlighting the results of your research, and
a hypothesis, if possible, about the relationship between
defense spending and efforts to eliminate poverty.
Mother Teresa described a "simple path" to peace,
saying that the fruit of silence is prayer, the fruit of
prayer is faith, the fruit of faith is love, the fruit of
love is service, and the fruit of service is peace. Were
she here to help develop this lesson plan, she might tell
us simply to follow the path.
Additional Resource: Less than two years after her
death, Pope John Paul II authorized an investigation to
look into the possibility of canonizing Mother Teresa as
a saint. Such a rush towards canonization is without precedent
in the Catholic Church in modern times, since a five-year
waiting period is a standard before investigations can be
begun. Mother Teresa was beatified, a step in the canonization
process, on October 19, 2003. The Vatican website maintains
pages commemorating the beatification
ceremonies, including a biography, the text of the
papal homily, et cetera.
Biography of Mother