A new documentary on Mother Teresa’s life was presented at a press conference held in Vatican Radio’s Marconi Hall on Wednesday, 31 August. With the title, “Mother Teresa: No Greater Love”, the film was produced by the Knights of Columbus in partnership with the Missionaries of Charity, in anticipation of the 25th anniversary of the Saint’s death on 5 September. Pope Francis, who was unable to attend the premiere on Wednesday evening in the Vatican’s Filmoteca, addressed a letter to Supreme Knight, Patrick Kelly, expressing his enthusiasm for the endeavour. “Thank you for all the efforts made to capture the life of this saint whose life and testimony have borne much fruit”, the Holy Father wrote. He expressed his hope that the documentary “will do much good to all those who watch it and arouse the desire for holiness” as well as “make accessible the zeal for evangelization, especially for the younger generations”. Mr Kelly gave the Holy Father a copy of the documentary at the General Audience.
Filmed over a span of one year across five continents, the documentary was made possible thanks to the unprecedented access granted by the Missionaries of Charity, which David Naglieri, director and producer of the documentary, said was a great privilege for him. “The Missionaries of Charity are not publicity seekers. They’re not going out and seeking film makers and celebrities or anybody to come into their homes and watch what they do. They do it privately. They do it for Jesus. And they made this rare exception for the Knights of Columbus and our film crews”, he said. The film recounts Mother Teresa’s entire life, including the more difficult moments revealed most recently during the Cause for her Canonization, as well as the enormous impact of the Missionaries of Charity then and now. Like Pope Francis, Naglieri also expressed his wish that the film will inspire young people born after the Saint’s death, who were not exposed to her presence in the world, Catholics and non-Catholics alike.
Cardinal Seán O’Malley, O.F.M. Cap., Archbishop of Boston, who participated in the press conference, shared his personal memories of Mother Teresa. He recalled the first time he met her in the 60s in a large, mostly empty university hall. At the time, he said, he did not know who she was but she had an enormous impact. In later years when he was serving in a poor Diocese in the West Indies, he wrote to Mother Teresa asking for her assistance. She promptly sent her Sisters on more than one occasion.
“Mother Teresa: No Greater Love” will be released in over 900 theatres in the United States on 3-4 October.