“I would say she was a saint on earth and they finally put a halo on her.”
Mel Kleinschmit, a volunteer at Christ the King Catholic Church in Las Vegas, 4925 S. Torrey Pines Drive, reflected on Mother Teresa’s life and works on Sunday afternoon after her canonization in the Vatican.
Kleinschmit said Mother Teresa taught people that life is not about material things.
“Money is not the root of all evil,” said Kleinschmit. “It is the love of money that is the root of all evil. What do you put second when you put possessions and money first? God?”
Rev. Joel Aquino’s sermon reflected this message. He quoted Mother Teresa as saying: “God has not called us to be successful, but that we should be faithful.”
“She was the image of a selfless, faithful student,” said Aquino to the congregation at Mass at 3:30 p.m. near Christ the King.
He said the Sunday gospel readings spoke well of Mother Teresa’s life and the importance of discipleship.
“She devoted her life to serving men from different walks of life,” he said.
Church outreach director Jane Fransioli said several organizations in Las Vegas are trying to mimic Mother Teresa’s selfless acts, including Catholic charities in Southern Nevada, Help of Southern Nevada, and Straight from the Streets.
“There are so many programs out there that are really trying to change the lifestyles of the chronic homeless,” said Fransioli, a board member of Straight from the Streets. “It’s more than just a handout. The people in Las Vegas are very generous, I think. We are very lucky in our church. “
Straight off the street is focused on connecting chronically homeless people with housing and services.
“They are particularly concerned about the chronic homeless – those who have lost confidence in their ability to live in a normal atmosphere,” she said.
Fransioli said she believes Mother Teresa “looked at people and saw Christ” but fears that there will be a breakup where everyone is skeptical of everyone else.
“We’re going to be fenced off neighborhoods,” she said. “It’s harder these days to look at a person and see that I can actually experience this situation.”
Contact Natalie Bruzda at [email protected] or 702-477-3897. Follow @NatalieBruzda on Twitter.