Local doctor who met Mother Teresa says she inspired him to start a global health movement

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Mother Teresa, a Catholic nun who devoted her life to helping the poor, was declared a saint on Sunday.

Several churches around the city are celebrating her lifetime of work for the sick and the poor, which touched many lives and inspired one local doctor to follow in her footsteps.

“Eventually, she just pulled back the curtain, walks out and there she is. You could sense something great, something much bigger. Physically, her stature was not big at all. Although, you could sense a great spiritual presence,” said Dr. Chuck Dietzen, reflecting on when he met the saint.

Meeting with Mother Teresa is a moment Dietzen says he will never forget. His heart was beating uncontrollably when the five-foot tall Saint sat next to him during their meeting in Calcutta in 1997.

“She struck me as just being something larger and more powerful,” said Dietzen.

He says it was a life changing 20 minutes that inspired him to follow Mother Teresa’s footsteps and start a global health movement, called Timmy Global Health.

“I turned and I bowed down and I kissed her hands. I just thought, these hands have done what I hope mine do…which is heal many people and lift many people up and give them hope,” said Dietzen.

Timmy Global Health trains doctors to go meet the medical needs of the poorest of the poor around the world.

“She said never, ever abandon your patients. Please stay there and give them hope, particularly when you have nothing to heal them. You need to be present and give them hope,” said Dietzen.

The news of Mother Teresa’s canonization does not come as a surprise to Dietzen, who still uses the Saint's advice to guide his daily life.

“I think that we all knew that she was a living Saint and so the idea of being canonized is just the final stamp,” said Dietzen.