Mother Teresa's canonization holds special meaning for St. Louis family

A St. Louis man explains why he will travel to St. Peter's Square for the sainthood ceremony of Mother Teresa.

Faith in the midst of challenges is nothing new for John Foppe, executive director of Society of St. Vincent DePaul of St. Louis. Born without arms, he skillfully operates his desk phone,  iPhone and keyboard with his feet.

“My wife and I had difficulties conceiving,” said Foppe. “Christine had a battle with edometriosis.”

About ten years ago, while in New Jersey, Foppe shared his story with the Missionaries of Charity, the religious order established by Mother Teresa.

“They told me that often Mother would pray with infertile couples and she'd send them away and say ‘One year from today, bring me a baby.' When they heard about our plight they said we're going to take this up in prayer for you,” said Foppe.

The photos of his 9-year-old daughter in Foppe’s office help tell the rest of the story.

Her name? Faith Teresa.

“She’s named after Mother Teresa,” said Foppe. “We believe it was the answer to prayer, our own personal miracle.”

It’s for that reason and others that Foppe and his family will take a spiritual journey to Rome, where Pope Francis will make Mother Teresa a Catholic saint.

“I really believe it is through those conditions that God works, it's through our inconveniences, our hindrances, those types of challenges in our life that even though they're painful, that God is there in the midst of those,” said Foppe, “and I think mother Teresa understood that.”


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