The Coldwell Banker Elite Lecture
On November 17, 2021, in 213-0 vote, the U.S. Catholic bishops assigned September 5 as the feast date to St. Teresa of Kolkata, the founder of the Missionaries of Charity. Since 1972, the Missionaries of Charity have served in the United States, and Mother Teresa has long been revered in a significant number of U.S. dioceses, which made her a candidate for inclusion in the U.S. calendar. What did Mother Teresa bring to the United States and the world? Was she a revolutionary or reactionary? If she was a revolutionary, then what are the “revolutions” of Mother Teresa, and which among those revolutions will take priority in celebrations of her feast day? If there is one thing that Mother Teresa brought to the world, it was the “revolution of tenderness” she showed to people, giving them the possibility to see beyond themselves. For Mother Teresa, tenderness was not weakness; instead, it was fortitude. Through her life and mission, Mother Teresa showed people the paths of solidarity and humility. Her revolution of tenderness has the potential to change people, enhancing their gratitude and rejuvenating their love of neighbors. The lecture will focus on the overarching theme of Mother Teresa’s legacy: her transformative revolution of tenderness.
Speaker: Ines A. Murzaku
Ines Angeli Murzaku is Professor of Religion at Seton Hall University in New Jersey, Director of Catholic Studies Program and the Founding Chair of the Department of Catholic Studies at Seton Hall University. She earned a doctorate of research from the Pontifical Oriental Institute in Rome part of the Pontifical Gregorian University Consortium and has held visiting positions at the Universities of Bologna and Calabria in Italy and University of Münster in Germany. Her research has been published in multiple articles and eight books, including Mother Teresa: Saint of the Peripheries.
Dr. Murzaku was the vice-president of the Association for the Study of Nationalities (ASN) and a United Nations accredited representative for the organization Christians Associated for Relationships with Eastern Europe. She is a regular commentator to media outlets on religious matters. She has worked for or collaborated with the Associated Press, CNN, Voice of America, Relevant Radio, Catholic World Report, National Catholic Register, The Record, Vatican Radio (Vatican City), and The Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN-Rome).