Mother Teresa is one of the most iconic Catholic figures and humanitarians of the 20th century. She dedicated her life to serving the poor and needy around the world. But before becoming a nun and Nobel Peace Prize recipient, Mother Teresa was just an ordinary student trying to get an education. So where did she go to college?
Mother Teresa’s Early Life
Mother Teresa was born Anjezë Gonxhe Bojaxhiu in 1910 in Skopje, Macedonia (now the capital of North Macedonia). Her family was Albanian Catholic. At the age of 18, she decided to become a nun and set off for Ireland to join the Sisters of Loreto.
Mother Teresa at Loreto Abbey in Dublin
In 1928, Mother Teresa arrived in Ireland and settled at the Loreto Abbey in Dublin. This is where she would receive her first formal education and become a nun. The Abbey was associated with schools and had their students attend nearby colleges.
So while Mother Teresa didn’t attend college in the traditional sense, she received her educational training from this religious order. She learned English and studied to become a teacher at Loreto schools.
Teaching and Travels
After about six months in Dublin, Mother Teresa was sent to Darjeeling in India. She taught geography and catechism at St. Teresa’s School at the Loreto convent. She took her first vows as a nun in 1931 and continued teaching.
In 1937, Mother Teresa took her final vows and became Mother Teresa. She taught at Loreto schools across India for nearly 20 years. She was appointed as the principal of a Loreto school in eastern Calcutta in 1944.
Calling to Help the Poor
During her years of teaching, Mother Teresa become disturbed by the poverty and hunger she saw on the streets of Calcutta. This led her calling to leave the Loreto order and instead work directly with the poorest of the poor. She received permission to leave in 1948 and strike out on her own.
The rest is history. Mother Teresa went on to found the Missionaries of Charity order in 1950 and dedicate her life to serving impoverished communities. She became one of the most famous humanitarians and a symbol of compassion. And it all started back in that little Loreto Abbey where she received her formative education as a nun.
So while Mother Teresa didn’t attend college in the traditional undergraduate sense, the Loreto Abbey provided her first foundation as both a nun and educator. This pivotal education paved the way for her life’s calling serving the “poorest of the poor” around the world.
Frequently Asked Questions About Mother Teresa’s Education
Where was Mother Teresa originally from?
Mother Teresa was born Anjezë Gonxhe Bojaxhiu in 1910 in Skopje, Macedonia. Her family was Albanian Catholic.
What inspired Mother Teresa to become a nun?
At age 18, Mother Teresa felt a calling from God to serve others. This led her to leave home for Ireland and join the Sisters of Loreto convent.
What order did Mother Teresa originally join?
Mother Teresa first joined the Sisters of Loreto in 1928 when she arrived in Ireland. She spent time at their abbey in Dublin where she learned English.
Where did Mother Teresa live and study when she first arrived in India?
Mother Teresa was sent to Darjeeling, India shortly after arriving in Ireland. She lived and taught at St. Teresa’s School at the Loreto convent in Darjeeling.
Did Mother Teresa receive any official degrees or higher education?
No, Mother Teresa did not receive any traditional higher education or college degrees. Her education came from the Loreto order.
What subjects did Mother Teresa teach at Loreto schools?
As a Loreto nun, Mother Teresa taught geography and catechism at their schools before becoming a principal.
How long did Mother Teresa teach at Loreto schools?
Mother Teresa taught at various Loreto schools across India for nearly 20 years between 1929 – 1948.
What inspired Mother Teresa’s call to service outside the Loreto order?
Witnessing extreme poverty on the streets of Calcutta led Mother Teresa to feel called to leave Loreto and work directly with the poor.
What order did Mother Teresa start in 1950?
After leaving Loreto, Mother Teresa founded the Missionaries of Charity order in 1950 to specifically serve impoverished communities.