By Father Christopher Kubat
One of my favorite stories of St. Mother Teresa is about an emaciated man she picked up off the streets of Calcutta. After carrying him to the infirmary, while picking maggots off the rotting flesh of his extremities, the sick man started cursing Mother Teresa. When he asked why she was doing this to him, she explained that God commanded it.
After he asked her who God was, she stated that he knew good and well who God was. After asking for further clarification, she stated, “My God is love.” It was then he asked for baptism. Shortly afterwards, he expired.
Perhaps six months ago, I called one of my classmates from Mount St. Mary’s Seminary, Father Darin May, of the Diocese of Wichita.
After the usual customary chit chat he explained that after almost 20 years ordained, he was wishing to do a six-month sabbatical. There are a number of sabbatical opportunities across the globe, some of which are in Rome, where Italian gelato abounds. Father May further stated he wanted to do something different. He wanted to serve the poor.
It was then that I explained we were planning to open a center to better serve the homeless population in the downtown, and near-downtown area, under the patronage of St. Mother Teresa. I also mentioned we have handcrafted, homemade gelato at Gianna’s Java & Gelato.
After obtaining the blessing of Bishop Conley, Father May made a quick trip to Lincoln, had a tour of the center, a taste of gelato, and said he was all in. After Father May met with the Most Reverend Carl Kemme, the bishop of Wichita, he was assigned to Catholic Social Services to work in the St. Mother Teresa Center for six months. The center has shower and laundry facilities, a place for people to sit and eat lunch, and most importantly, a chapel with the Blessed Sacrament, where they can encounter our Eucharistic Lord.
Just a few weeks after Father May’s arrival, I paid a visit to the center. While chatting with Father May, I noticed a young man with an interesting haircut sitting down to eat lunch. It was obvious he had already met Father May because he looked over at us and said to Father May, “Father, I really need to talk to you. I need your advice … I need to figure out my life.”
It was evident that the seeds that Father May had planted in his soul were already sprouting.
Please pray for the success of the St. Mother Teresa Center. If you want a visit and tour, please do not hesitate to email me. Who knows… the Holy Spirit may even be calling you to volunteer at the center. And, if you play your cards right, there may be some gelato in your future.
St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta, pray for us!