DALLAS - North Texas Catholics celebrated Mother Teresa's canonization with a thanksgiving mass.
Pope Francis declared Mother Teresa of Calcutta a saint Sunday, calling her a generous dispenser of divine mercy during her canonization mass at the Vatican. That mercy is poured out in North Texas by members of her order, the Missionaries of Charity, serving the poor in Dallas.
"She was always welcoming rich or poor with a smile," said Sister Graciella.
Sister Graciella lived with the Saint Mother Teresa for years in India. She said never saw her wearing a new dress or slippers and remembers her teaching to give until it hurts.
"The more you have, the less you give. The less you have, the more you give," she recalls.
Sister Graciella is just one of the nuns who knew her at the mass of thanksgiving at St. James Catholic Church in East Oak Cliff Monday night.
The mass is on the anniversary of her death 19 years ago, in 1997.
Sister Mercy, here from India, was taught by Saint Mother Teresa.
"I said, 'If she could do so much, where am I? I'm not doing anything for God.'"
That's the lesson Simson Elakattu, of Flower Mound, wants his children to learn.
"She always put everyone above her and she was okay with that. She willingly did that, so it's okay to think of others before you think of yourself sometimes," Elakattu said.
Assistant Bishop Greg Kelly of the Dallas Catholic Diocese led the mass Monday, in hopes of reminding people they have the same Holy Spirit in their hearts.
"How do we imitate, how do we fulfill the mission that Jesus has given us with the same kind of Generosity and courage and perseverance that she showed?"