We believe that our shared responsibility is to feed the hungry, clothe and shelter the poor, and care for the sick. So it is with that belief we serve our local communities through agent-led service projects and company-wide charitable giving.
Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu was born into an Albanian family on August 26, 1910. Her father owned a business trading goods within the community. Both of Agnes’ parents were very committed to their local church, with Agnes’ mother being very involved and active. As a result, Agnes felt called to a life of devotion at a very early age and desired to become a missionary. Tragically, her father passed away of a mysterious illness when she was only eight years old. As a result, she became very close to her mother, and that relationship proved to be overwhelmingly influential.
Like her mother, Agnes became very active in her church by participating in singing in the choir and serving in many charitable causes helping the poor. And it was in that season of life and on a church pilgrimage trip when Agnes was 12 years old that her life was changed forever due to a profound and intimate spiritual encounter.
When Agnes turned 18, she committed to becoming a nun with her deepest longing to be a missionary. During this time of devotion and service, she was inspired by the life and works of Marie-Francoise-Theresa Martin, a French nun known as “The Little Flower of Jesus.” And as a result of that influence, Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu chose to change her name to none other than Mother Teresa. Yes, THAT Mother Teresa.
A year later, she traveled to Darjeeling, India, where she made her first profession of vows. And in 1944, while traveling on a train from Calcutta to the Himalayan foothills, she felt the Divine nudge to dedicate her work to aiding Calcutta’s sickest and poorest people. So, after a year of lobbying within her order, she was granted permission to leave the convent and began her journey to Calcutta.
There, Mother Teresa began her mission of aiding “the unwanted, the unloved, and the uncared for.” The rest is history. Mother Teresa died on September 5, 1997. And at the time of her death, her “Missionaries of Charity” membership numbered over 4,000 and counting, along with 610 foundations in more than a hundred countries. She was canonized on September 4, 2016, as Saint Teresa of Calcutta by Pope Francis.
There is no better inspiration regarding Fathom’s 7th Guiding Principle, Charity, than the life example of Mother Teresa. And along that line, I want to encourage us toward giving to our communities with a few famous quotes from Mother Teresa. It is my hope these quotes, along with the exhortations provided, will guide us in our personal and team efforts to serve our own “Calcuttas”:
- “Faith in action is love. And love in action is service.” There is no better way to demonstrate our love for our communities than through serving them.
- “Never worry about numbers. Instead, help one person at a time and always start with the person nearest you.” You cannot imagine how simply making a difference in one person’s life can make a difference in so many others.
- “Calcuttas are everywhere if only we have eyes to see. Find your Calcutta.” Bloom where you are planted. There are needs everywhere. Even where you live and work.
- “Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.” Take to heart and act upon the proverbial saying, “If not you, who? If not now, when?”
Written by William “Billy” Nunez
Director of Culture, Fathom Realty
Florida State Broker