Mother Teresa’s Postulator Says New Film’s Creators Made "grave errors"

Mother Teresa around the year 1994. | L'Osservatore Romano.

The chief promoter of St. Teresa of Calcutta’s cause for canonization says a new film about the beloved saint is hampered by “grave errors” in how its producers approached the life of the celebrated nun.

Father Brian Kolodiejchuk, the director of the Mother Teresa Center and the postulator of the cause of beatification and canonization of Mother Teresa, said in a Sept. 28 statement before the release of “Mother Teresa and Me” that its creators committed “several crucial errors” in portraying the doubts St. Teresa experienced in her life even as she devoted herself to living out the Gospel in her care for the sick and poor.

“Mother Teresa and Me” tells the story of Kavita, a young woman who finds herself with an unexpected pregnancy. Battling whether or not to get an abortion, she returns to her hometown in India where her now very old nanny shares the story of Mother Teresa’s first days working in the streets of Calcutta. Learning how Mother Teresa faced many doubts after no longer being able to hear the voice of Jesus, Kavita is inspired.

The film’s writer and director, Kamal Musale, claimed on the film’s website, before it was revised, that the film’s portrayal of Teresa is “more true to life” because of its treatment of how she “lost her faith” and apparently “never recovered from it.”

“During [an] approximately 12-year period, Teresa goes through a complete change, from the intensity of her epiphany to the disillusionment and the realization that her connection with God is lost,” Musale said.


Yet, Kolodiejchuk has criticized this characterization of St. Teresa as inaccurate.

“Unfortunately, the producers of the film appear unaware of Mother Teresa’s own interpretation of her darkness, or the significance it had for her life and vocation,” Kolodiejchuk said.

“As her own writings attest, one of the most profound things about Mother Teresa is that she never ‘lost her faith,’ even amid desolation and uncertainty. Her personal letters speak of her ’unbroken union [with God]’ during her darkness and observe that ‘my mind and heart is habitually with God,’”

“She describes the ‘doubt’ in which she lived ‘for the rest of her life’ as, instead, a trial of faith — an experience well-known in the Catholic mystical tradition,” Kolodiejchuk said. 

The priest argued that, rather than demonstrate a loss of her faith, St. Teresa’s doubts “illustrated the depth of that faith, and her confidence that Christ would not abandon her.” 

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“She even states that, ‘I will hear his voice’, and ‘I know this is only feelings — for my will is steadfast bound to Jesus.’”

Citing his own personal experience with the saint, Kolodiejchuk said the film “does not accurately capture the woman who captured the world with her steadfast, joyful love of God and neighbor; one of the most loved and admired women of the 20th century.” 

“We still must wait for a nondocumentary film that adequately portrays the ‘real and relatable’ St. Mother Teresa,” he said, “since a misrepresentation is unjust to her and to those who wish to know her in all her beauty and fullness.”

The film is set to premiere for a one-night-only release on Oct. 5 in 800 theaters around the United States. It was produced by Curry Western Movies out of India along with Switzerland’s Les Films du Lotus. 

Musale, the film’s director, has also directed the films “Millions Can Walk” and “Bumbai Bird,” among others. 


Daniel Payne is a senior editor at Catholic News Agency. He previously worked at the College Fix and Just the News. He lives in Virginia with his family.