Mother Theresa founded the Missionaries of Charity in 1950, in response to guidance from Jesus Christ to serve the poorest of the poor through love. The Missionaries of Charity is an order of the Roman Catholic Church that reports directly to the pope. There are five congregations of the Missionaries of Charity; The Active and Contemplative Sisters, Active and Contemplative Brothers and the Fathers. There are also two divisions open to lay people from all religious paths; The International Movement of Co-Workers and the Lay Missionaries of Charity. These divisions make it possible for anyone to join the Missionaries of Charity.
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Review and meet all qualifications. Applicants must be high school graduates and a members of, or be willing to become a member of, the Roman Catholic Church. An applicant must also be mature, be guided by right intention, have a healthy body and mind, be open to learning (especially English and the language of the country you serve in), a cheerful disposition and practice sound judgment and common sense. (Reference 2) (Reference 6)
Take four perpetual and public vows as a member of the order: Chastity, poverty, obedience and wholehearted, free service to the poorest of the poor. These vows are a lifetime commitment. (Reference 2)
Contact the nearest Missionaries of Charity to attend a two week "Come and See' experience. This will allow you to visit the homes where the active Sisters, Brothers and Fathers live and work. Entrance into the Missionaries of Charity as a Sister, Brother or Father is a total and wholehearted commitment not just to the vows, but also to a way of life.
For Eastern U.S.A and Eastern Canada:
Bronx, NY 10451
For Central U.S.A. and Central Canada:
Missionaries of Charity
3629 Cottage Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63113-3539
For Western U.S.A., Western Canada, Mexico (Tijuana):
Missionaries of Charity
164 Milagra Drive
Pacifica, CA 94044
Contact information for South America, Central America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Oceania can be found on the home page of Mother Teresa's website.(Reference 1)
Tips and warnings
- The Lay Missionaries and International Co-Workers or Volunteers are divisions of the Missionaries of Charity that are open to men, women and children of all nations, cultures and religions and have no entrance qualifications. All members are required to take four private vows of conjugal chastity (chastity within marriage), poverty, obedience and wholehearted and free service to the poorest of the poor. (Reference 4)(Reference 5)
- The Mother Theresa of Calcutta Center's website, where all of this information is located, is a little difficult to navigate because none of the pages have direct URLs. What you need to do is go to the home page, then in the navigation bar on the left, scroll down until you find the link 'The Family She Founded', here you will find access to all contact information and details about each division.
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