That’s what happened at Corrymeela’s Summerfest.

When Mother Teresa of Calcutta came to Northern Ireland’s Corrymeela community for its summer festival last month, her presence confirmed the community’s international standing as a center for peace and reconciliation in a troubled land. Corrymeela was formed by mostly Protestant students from Queens University in 1964. It has since expanded to embrace people of different denominations in the difficult work of bridge building.

Mother Teresa came to talk to audiences at the Corrymeela “Summerfest” at picturesque Ballycastle, 60 miles north of Belfast on the County Antrum coast overlooking the North Sea channel and Scotland. A collection of Christian workshops and meetings, Summerfest was much like the biennial Kirchentag of the churches in West Germany. The four days of meetings at Corrymeela showed the diverse concerns of the Corrymeela community: from prison reform and denominational schooling throughout the island, to the work of bridge building at home between Protestants and Roman Catholics, to the needs of the Third World.

Some 500 people attended each day and there was an especially big audience for Mother Teresa. Her talk on the Lord’s Prayer greatly impressed listeners. It was not so much what she said as the way in which she said it. She spoke of love and forgiveness and the need for prayer, and for trust in God. She told how she cared for dying people in Calcutta. “I took one man off the street and gave him shelter. He said to me that he had been forced to live like an animal but in our place of shelter he would die like an angel,” she said. Mother Teresa spoke with the authority of someone who has lived out the Lord’s command, “Love your neighbor.”

That command is very ...

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