Linda Schaefer has been on a quest since 1995. She had no idea that from the moment Mother Teresa held her hands on the tarmac of the Atlanta Hartsfield Airport, that this would become her lifelong mission – to document the life and legacy of St. Teresa of Calcutta.
Her first book Come and See: A Photojournalist’s Journey into the World of Mother Teresa was published at the time of Mother Teresa’s beatification on October 19, 2003. She appeared live on CNN, BBC and Sky News. It was also the moment that she was inspired to convert to the Catholic faith.
For the next decade, Schaefer spoke for audiences throughout the United States. Although she had been in the news business for most of her career, Schaefer had minimal experience speaking for large groups. However, because of her passion for Mother Teresa, she found this new vocation a perfect conduit to inspire thousands on the life of a nun who had dedicated her life to the poor and marginalized.
Schaefer began compiling materials for future publications, which have led to the publication of her new, book Encountering Mother Teresa, to be released by Our Sunday Visitor in September 2019. The book offers up-to-date photographs of homes established by the Mother Teresa in Calcutta. It also contains rare interviews with priests, a doctor, a Protestant missionary and the eighteenth sister to join her order, the Missionaries of Charity. Schaefer attended both the beatification and canonization of Mother Teresa in Rome and photographs from both events are included in the publication.
Before meeting Mother Teresa in 1995, Schaefer’s career included working with CNN, Associated Press, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center and the Archdiocese of Atlanta. Her work has been widely published throughout the world. One of the highlights of her work as a journalist was covering the American presidential election in 1988.
Over the past eleven years, Schaefer has been on the faculty of a university in Oklahoma and most recently at a woman’s university in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. She presently resides in Oklahoma and is the mother of a 22-year-old young man.
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Linda's Latest from OSV: Encountering Mother Teresa
Linda Schaefer began her career as a journalist for CNN in 1985 but found she couldn’t abandon her first love — photography. She met and photographed Mother Teresa for the first time on June 15, 1995, while on freelance assignment for The Georgia Bulletin, the newspaper for the Archdiocese of Atlanta.
Less than two months later, Linda found herself in Calcutta, where she had the rare opportunity to document the work of Mother Teresa and the Missionaries of Charity. Linda took thousands of photographs, and through this experience she began to feel that this work might be her calling in life.
Linda attended both the beatification and the canonization of Mother Teresa, and she has returned to Calcutta twice in her quest to learn as much as possible about the saint and the work of the Missionaries of Charity. Through these experiences, Linda met and interviewed six of Mother Teresa’s closest friends, confidants, and coworkers in the vineyard of Christ. These interviews became the groundwork for Encountering Mother Teresa.
This fascinating book includes more than 200 rare and never-before-seen photos of Mother Teresa and the Missionaries of Charity. Spanning decades, these photos provide a personal look at Mother Teresa and her enduring legacy.
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