Father Vijay Mohan Reddy had the opportunity to meet Mother Teresa three times. In their final encounter, she was visiting his seminary in Pune, which is near Mumbai (Bombay). Mother Teresa asked him, “Brother, why do you want to become a priest?” Then, she entrusted him with a powerful message:
- First, be human.
- Take care of the orphans and the elderly.
She asked him “Will you do that for me, brother?” And he responded yes. These words stayed close to Father Vijay, and he prayed throughout his priesthood to find a way to pursue this vocation.
In 1999-2001, Father Vijay received his first parish assignment in India. There was a lack of education in the area, and he recognized a need to serve the poor in order to break the economic cycle that had depressed the area. This was an opportunity to make his vision a reality.
In 2002, Father Vijay went to America to find support for his vision. He first arrived in Massachusetts and made his way to Kansas City, Missouri. He met Father Jerry Sheeds of Sacred Heart parish in Gardner, Kansas and connected with parishioner Russ Lane. Father Vijay shared his vision with Russ for building a place to serve the poorest of the poor in India. Together, they traveled to India in 2005 to visit Father Vijay’s parish and began planning a path to turn his vision into reality.
Upon returning to the U.S., Russ partnered with Father Vijay to raise funds to build the Mother Teresa Charitable Trust. They raised enough donations to secure and purchase the land and start construction of the building.
In October 2010, the building was officially ready for occupants. The Mother Teresa Charitable Trust opened to care for the orphan children and the elderly in the surrounding villages. The Mother Teresa Charitable Trust currently cares for more than 40 orphan children and 40 elderly people on a daily basis.
The Mission of the Mother Teresa Charitable Trust is to serve the poorest of the poor in South Central India, regardless of religious preference. It is a place where the orphan children and the elderly can coexist and have their spiritual, medical and physical needs met. Our goal is to bring prayer, faith, love, service and peace to the orphan children and abandoned elderly.