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Officials ‘rejected’ saint

Mother Teresa was “rejected” by the Northern Irish Church hierarchy, according to Laura McDaid at the BBC.

The Blessed Mother arrived in Belfast in 1971 to offer her assistance to those affected by the Troubles. Mother Teresa set up a convent in the heart of Belfast where young people gathered to find safety.

But, according to Fr Des Wilson, who worked with Mother Teresa, some Church officials resented her presence as they did not want Belfast to be seen as a “charity case”. Fr Wilson said: “From their perspective, missionaries were sent by us to other countries – we didn’t need missionaries coming here. There was a perception that they brought shame on us because their presence suggested we couldn’t deal with our own problems.”

After “hurtful” treatment, the nuns made the decision to leave Belfast. Fr Wilson said he pleaded with Mother Teresa and the Sisters to change their minds but to no avail. “She said: ‘Des, there are 32 other dioceses who are asking us for help, who need us to come. We can’t continue to stay in a place where we’re not wanted.”

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