Few, however, can claim to have been personally influenced by Mother Teresa.
The Rev. Sam Mason can.
Mason, who recently became assistant to the rector at Trinity Episcopal Church, 1011 Vt., spent four months when he was in his early 20s volunteering to work with Calcutta’s poor and dying, alongside the nun who has since been beatified by the Catholic Church.
"I was a goofy, country bumpkin when I met her. I bent over and said, ‘Hi, I’m Sam Mason from Baldwin, Kansas, and I’m here to help.’ And she said, ‘Well, that’s nice,’ and patted my cheek," says Mason, 37.
Mason was in India at the end of 1989 and the early months of 1990, witnessing the kindness extended to those who sought end-of-life care from the Sisters of Charity, the religious order founded by Mother Teresa.
The experience changed him, propelling Mason along the path toward becoming an Episcopal priest.
"You kind of have to walk the walk if you’re going to talk the talk. I realized I was a very good Episcopalian but a lousy Christian. I had a really juvenile faith," Mason says of his early 20s.
"I realized I had to mature in my walk with God and start believing the things I was professing." [Full Story]