Yesterday was my first Mother’s Day without my Mother since her passing last September 15 and yet I know that despite her passing from this plane of life that she is still here wonderfully touching my own ascension and I feel deeply connected to her.
On Thursday night past, I walked through the door of The Inn on Capelin Bay in Calvert, Newfoundland, a small community 50 minutes from St. John’s on what is called the Irish Loop. My own property is also on the Irish Loop but inland, not on the Coast. I happened upon it by accident and wanted to open a conversation with the Inn Keeper to possibly partner with him to send visitors from and to Hometel on Signal Hill.
Willingness to grow is important. In this case being willing to get out of my truck and meet the owner outside of the Inn as he was talking with his guests as they headed out to explore.
Kevin invited me in – and once entering, I knew I was in a sacred place. A place dreamed of by Kevin ever since he was 17, when his grandmother said that one day this house will be yours and you will do something special with it.
Over the next few hours, Kevin showed me his passion project.
I then chose to stay also. After all there were still a few beds available at the Inn. After bringing in my bags, Kevin’s guests had returned and Kevin’s cousin Father Gary had dropped by also.
Kevin’s guests were from London England, yet living and working in Toronto. Father Gary was living in London, England although his work took him different places.
Mother Teresa is someone whose life has touched me deeply. When asked, how she did what she did every day – working and serving the poor in the streets of Calcutta, said that “I simply see Jesus Christ everyday in all of his distressing disguises”. This lesson has lived in me a long time.
During our conversation, I heard Father Gary say that many years ago, I worked with Mother in her mission in Calcutta. What? I must say I was dumbstruck. The conversation did not stay there, it was more a conversation about India and how despite Calcutta not being as it once was, the level of extreme poverty was still great and imposing.
All I could muster up to say that night was that I needed to shake the hand a man who once worked with Mother Teresa. I did not even get his picture. Shortly after Kevin left with Father Gary and I was left to reflect on this extraordinary evening.
The next day I spent the morning with Kevin as he shared more about his Inn and his expectation of delivering service with extraordinary love which I believe was an act of worship of his Grandmother Minnie Walsh and his Aunt Harriet. He has three rooms in the Inn – named Minnie’s Room, Harriet’s Room and Kevin’s Room. There will be always room at his Inn – even if he cannot provide a bed – this Inn Keeper will go to great lengths to ensure that those needing a bed, get one.
Yesterday though I know I needed more of a conversation with Father Gary. I had so many things to ask him. I also felt the need to say thank you. Thank you for his willingness to be of service.
I reached Father Gary through Kevin around 8pm last night as I had come into my own Inn – The Country. Not simply a vacation rental – no this place is also sacred and a big part of my life’s mission.
I asked to hear more about his mission work in India. He told me that he served for 4-6 months in 1991. And would you get to spend time with her? He said that whenever she was in India that Mother would do mass and then spend some time with them as they had tea. She would gather them together and teach.
He was always struck by how simply she lived. She taught the same way. She said that through our ordinary acts done with extraordinary love, that we each everyday had the opportunity to work toward Sainthood. That every small act done for another was “You did it to me” – using her five fingers to explain Jesus’s message of serving others.
Nearing the end of his time in Calcutta, Mother told him that she was going to Albania. Albania, an Atheistic Country was emerging from the fall of Communism. She wanted to have a Priest go with her. Father Gary told her that she would need to write to his Bishop in Newfoundland and she promptly got the address.
Coming back to Newfoundland, Father Gary needed to go to hospital to recover from Typhoid which he contracted in India. His Bishop came to see him and told him that he had a letter from a friend of Father Gary’s. Father Gary said he could not imagine who it would be from. The Bishop revealed that the letter was from Mother Teresa asking if Father Gary could come to Albania to serve with her. The Bishop commented, “How can I say no to her?”.
Father Gary’s trip to Albania was supposed to be for one year. That was 25 years ago, and today he is still serving the Albanian communities in London, Ireland and Belgium. Serving the poor; serving the refugee communities; serving Mother; serving God.
At the end of our Church service yesterday morning, Pastor Matt said that Mother Teresa would say that she simply was a pencil in the Hand of God. That as a pencil she did not choose what to write. That all the pencil could do was to be willing to serve.
Father Gary said that Mother would say that we need to pour our whole selves into this day – and serve simply yet with extraordinary love.
I wonder who my Mom is going to bring into my life next?
Have a blessed day – be a pencil; art brush; voice; hockey stick; server; teacher; sponsor; friend; instrument in the hand of God today.
With great love,