Mother Theresa Says You Must Stay Home?

Mother Theresa Says You Must Stay Home? March 18, 2019

This morning I was taking a quick look through Nancy Campbell’s very quiverful blog Above Rubies and found this purported Mother Theresa quote. Nancy’s blog, if you are unfamiliar with  it, repeats certain themes continually, stay home and have babies, be happy about it, use a tablecloth, set the table, use a vase, and so forth, world without end.

What I found immediately curious about the quote is that it mentions that only mothers can love the right way. Saying that this is what women are meant for kind of puts her own position as lessor. As in why would she be a nun if the role of a mother was a higher calling. There’s just something about the quote that seems “off”, based upon what we’ve heard by Mother Theresa.

Funny how these Quiverfull types love to say how sinful and deceived Catholics are right up until they can find some Catholic theology that supports their ideas. Quoting a nun while denigrating the entire role of a nun.

I have heard of Mother Theresa saying that if you wanted to change the world to go home and love your family, without any mention of jobs or liberation, just not this exact quote that Nancy is promoting here.

Think what you will about Mother Theresa. I’ve heard arguments for both sides, sinner, or saint, or some measure of each. History will have to judge which she is because I just don’t know.

Here’s what I do know. Googling Nancy’s quote above does not bring up a source. It does not bring it up anywhere as a quote from Mother Theresa. I cannot find that exact quote anywhere, just links to other writers and other blogs but not one Mother Theresa reference. Maybe I overlooked the quote, but I don’t think so. There’s this one that is slightly close:

“What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family.”
Mother Teresa

I have seen this one paraphrased and rewritten several times now.

Knowing who Mother Theresa was and where she resided, among of the poor of India I have a very hard time believing she would be against any action that enabled a mother to help, support and love her family.

I don’t know where Nancy’s quote came from, but I know if Nancy were truly worried about the poor, in India, or anywhere else, she wouldn’t judge how the poor mothers go about supporting or raising their families. Her understanding of Quiverfull motherhood does not translate or relate well to other cultures or races. It’s almost entirely a thing only in white Christian circles in the U.S.A. and getting smaller all the time.

This advice of Nancy’s is so strangely time-warped it seems almost quaint.


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About Suzanne Titkemeyer
Suzanne Titkemeyer went from a childhood in Louisiana to a life lived in the shadow of Washington D.C. For many years she worked in the field of social work, from national licensure to working hands on in a children's residential treatment center. Suzanne has been involved with helping the plights of women and children' in religious bondage. She is a ordained Stephen's Minister with many years of counseling experience. Now she's retired to be a full time beach bum in Tamarindo, Costa Rica with the monkeys and iguanas. She is also a thalassophile. She also left behind years in a Quiverfull church and loves to chronicle the worst abuses of that particular theology. She has been happily married to her best friend for the last 32 years. You can read more about the author here.

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