Walkers honor Mother Teresa

September 20, 1997


Staff Writer, Charles Town

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - Mother Teresa died on the other side of the world, but the diminutive nun's life moved those in Jefferson County to hold a candlelit walk in her honor Friday night.

"This is such a special occasion to pay tribute to someone who did God's work, which we all should be about," said Dora Yates, 53, of Charles Town, as about 50 people walked down Liberty Street singing the hymn "Amazing Grace."

"I'm glad to be a part of it," Yates said.

Mother Teresa died Sept. 5 in Calcutta, India, of heart failure. She was known internationally for her charity work with the poor and needy.


Cesarina Capriotti Wysong, 59, of Charles Town, said she called around to area churches to find out if any were holding programs in Mother Teresa's honor.

When she could not find any, she went to the Charles Town Council and got approval to organize Friday night's walk.

"It just seemed like I couldn't let her death pass without someone doing something," Wysong said. "She helped so many people."

Katie Rendeiro, 17, of Charles Town, said she took Mother Teresa as her patron saint even though sainthood has not been granted yet.

"I really respected Mother Teresa and I'm here to show that respect," Rendeiro said.

She and her family met Mother Teresa in Moscow when her father was stationed with the U.S. Embassy there in 1991.

"That was the most impressive person I've ever met in my life," said John Rendeiro, who worked in security with the State Department. "She talked about what's important in life. She was just very profound. She talked about how this life is temporary and that we should never forget what lies in store for us and to love one another."

Margaret Hart, 40, walked with her daughter, Megan, 7.

"I'm Catholic, but I think even if I wasn't Catholic I'd come out to this because I feel Mother Teresa was such a role model and such a giving person. I thought this would be a nice tribute to her," Hart said.

"What she does crosses sectarian boundaries and really is a universal inspiration," said Kevin Barry, 43, of Charles Town.

"I feel that an individual who contributed as much as Mother Teresa has deserves to be recognized by all of us," Barry said.

Several of the walkers carried photos of Mother Teresa. Others held their lit candles or carried banners of the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic service organization. The walk was led by a man carrying a large cross.

The march ended at St. James Catholic Church, where the tribute continued with musical performances and speeches.

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