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Mother Teresa Canonization Ceremony

Mother Teresa Canonization Ceremony
Albanian Cultural Garden in Cleveland
September 4, 2016

The Albanian Cultural Garden hosted a canonization ceremony for Blessed Mother Teresa on Sunday September 4, 2016. "Many people don't know Mother Teresa was Albanian," said Cleveland Councilwoman Dona Brady, one of the founders of the garden and leader of the ceremony. Albanian-American Councilwoman Brady also served as mistress of ceremonies for the event.

Dona Brady

Dona Brady


The Albanian Garden was the 29th ethnic garden to be dedicated in the 100-year-old-Cleveland Cultural Gardens. The dedication of the garden in 2012 was attended by Albanian President Bujar Nishani, Albanian Ambassador Gilbert Galanxhi and Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson. The ceremony included three musicians who were adopted as children from one of the orphanages of Mother Teresa. See photos and videos of the 2012 Albanian Garden dedication.

The Albanian Garden is centered around a 7-foot bronze statue of Mother Teresa.

7-foot bronze statue of Mother Teresa in Albanian Cultural Garden in Cleveland


Mother Teresa of Calcutta, ethnic Albanian, Nobel Peace Prize winner and founder of the Missionaries of Charity who dedicated her life to helping India's poor, was canonized as Saint Mother Teresa by Pope Francis. "We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean, but the ocean would be less because of that missing drop" - Mother Teresa

Mother Teresa statue inscription


Blessed Mother Teresa (1910-1997) was not a physically imposing figure. Standing just over 5 feet, she was slight in stature, yet her arms seemed endless. And she put them to use: Often she was seen cradling sick newborns or embracing the poorest of the poor in Calcutta. To those who loved this holy woman of God, her road to sainthood was unsurprising. Her canonization has put the "Saint of the gutters" back into the international spotlight.

Mother Teresa in Albanian Cultural Garden in Cleveland


Her middle name, Gonxha, means "little flower" in Albanian. Even before blossoming into her life as a religious sister, young Agnes Bojaxhiu showed signs of passionate devotion to Christ. Early on, she began celebrating her birthday on the day of her baptism, August 27. Who could have predicted that this "little flower" would go on to serve the poorest of the poor thousands of miles away?

Captivated by stories of missionaries, Agnes left her family home in Skopje in 1928 at the age of 18 to join the Sisters of Loreto. "Be so kind to hear my sincere desire," she humbly wrote to the Loreto Mother Superior. "I want to join your Society, so that one day I may become a missionary sister, and work for Jesus who died for us all." Needing to learn English first, the young postulant spent six weeks in Loreto Abbey in Dublin, Ireland. She set sail for India on December 1, 1928, to give her life to service.

Mother Teresa opened wide the doors of mercy and charity for the poorest of the poor in Calcutta. It was her life's calling-what she considered to be an order from God. Mother Teresa directed her Missionaries of Charity to serve "the hungry, the naked, the homeless, the crippled, the blind, the lepers, all those people who feel unwanted, unloved, uncared for throughout society, people who have become a burden to the society and are shunned by everyone."

Learn more about Mother Teresa

Cleveland Councilwoman Dona Brady served as Mistress of Ceremonies and welcomed the large crowd to the Albanian Garden. She told how the new saint was of Albanian heritage and how the Albanian Cultural Garden features a large statue of Mother Teresa.

NOTE: All the images below with a white arrow in the middle are videos. (The other images are just photos) You can click on the white arrow to watch the video of whatever is descibed. Make sure your speakers are on and you can make the video full screen once it begins by clciking the icon in the lower right corner.



Dona Brady

Dona Brady

Dona Brady and statue of Mother Teresa


Adem Meta, Chairman of the Albanian American Association, translated the welcoming remarks by Cleveland Councilwoman Dona Brady into Albanian. He also thanked Dona for her help with the Albanian Cultural Garden.

Adem Meta and Dona Brady

Adem Meta and Dona Brady



Adem Meta

Adem Meta

Adem Meta and Mother Teresa statue

Sheila Crawford, President of the Cleveland Cultural Gardens Federation, spoke about all the Cultural Gardens in particular the Albanian Garden.



Sheila Murphy Crawford

Sheila Murphy Crawford

Sheila Murphy Crawford and Mother Teresa statue

Asim Datta was born and raised in Calcutta (Kolkata) India. He spoke about Mother Teresa of Calcutta and sang a song that was sung at her canonization in Rome earlier in the day. The song was a favorite of Mother Teresa and was written and set to music by Rabindra Nath Tagore, 1913 recipient of Nobel Prize for Literature.



Asim Datta

Asim Datta

Asim Datta


Sister Kathleen Ryan, administrator for the Cleveland Catholic Diocese, has helped many new arrivals from Albania get settled in Cleveland. She spoke about the influence of Mother Teresa.



Sister Kathleen Ryan

Sister Kathleen Ryan

Sister Kathleen Ryan and Mother Teresa statue


Sister Judith Ann Karam, CSA, FACHE Congregational Leader, Sisters of Charity of Saint Augustine, spoke about Mother Teresa of Calcutta and the Sisters of Charity.



Sister Judith Ann Karam

Sister Judith Ann Karam

Sister Judith Ann Karam and Mother Teresa statue

Bishop Roger Gries, O.S.B., Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus, gave some reflections of the Catholic Church's canonization of Saint Mother Teresa as declared by Pope Francis. He shared 5 rules to live by that we can learn from Mother Teresa. Bishop Gries also told a story of how when Mother Teresa visited New York she was taken to a large shopping mall. Her reaction? She exclaimed, "I never knew there were so many things out there that I do not need."



Bishop Roger Gries

Bishop Roger Gries

Bishop Roger Gries and Mother Teresa statue


At the end of the ceremony a single white dove was released (and coincidentally planes from the Cleveland Air Show flew over). Dona Brady rang the bell as is now tradition.



Dona Brady ringing the bell

Dona Brady ringing the bell


People gathered to place flowers at the base of the statue and take photos.



Flowers at base of Mother Teresa Statue in Albanian Cultural Garden in Cleveland


A reception at the Rockefeller Greenhouse followed the ceremony.

Cake for Saint Mother Teresa


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Enjoy these other photos from the Albanian Cultural Garden ceremony for the canonization of Mother Teresa.

Mrs Meta, Bishop Gries, Dona Brady and Adem Meta

Mrs Meta, Bishop Gries, Dona Brady and Adem Meta


Mrs Meta, Bishop Gries, Dona Brady and Adem Meta


Sheila Crawford, Sister Ryan, Bishop Gries, Dona Bradt, Sister Karam and Adem Meta

Sheila Crawford, Sister Ryan, Bishop Gries, Dona Brady,
Sister Karam and Adem Meta


Sheila Crawford, Sister Ryan, Bishop Gries, Dona Bradt, Sister Karam and Adem Meta


Bishop Roger Gries being interview for a Bengali station by Piya Roy

Bishop Roger Gries being interview for a Bengali station by Piya Roy


Dona Brady being interviewed

Dona Brady being interviewed


Sister Kathleen Ryan and Dona Brady

Sister Kathleen Ryan and Dona Brady


Sister Kathleen Ryan and Dona Brady in front of Mother Teresa statue


Dan Hanson with statue of Mother Teresa

Dan Hanson


Jim Craciun and Dona Brady

Jim Craciun and Dona Brady


Placing flowers on the statue

Placing flowers on the statue


Posing with Mother Teresa Statue in Albanian Cultural Garden in Cleveland


Posing with Mother Teresa Statue in Albanian Cultural Garden in Cleveland


Bishop Roger Gries speaking


Dona Brady speaking


Part of the large crowd

Part of the large crowd


Dona Brady with Mother Teresa statue

Dona Brady

Congratulations to Councilwoman Dona Brady and the Cleveland Albanian community as well as the Cleveland Indian, Irish and Catholic communities for this fitting tribute to 'Albania's Gift to the World' Saint Teresa of Kolkata.

Saint Teresa of Kolkata, Pray for Us.

Mother Teresa statue


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