Group makes unexpected detour to visit dying mother, ditching bewildered caravan in Rome.
There aren't many people who can get away with kidnapping a soon-to-be-saint, but Father Jim Kean managed it.
Technically, it wasn't kidnapping — he was following his passenger's orders — but when one the passengers is Blessed Teresa, alarm bells are sure to ring when you suddenly turned down a narrow Roman alley as the other cars in the caravan wiz by.
It was the late 1980s, and Father Kean was a member of the Brothers of the Word, a community in Rome affiliated with Blessed Teresa's Missionaries of Charity. Father Kean had the honor of driving the order's founder from place to place "about eight times," Catholic News Service reported.
During one of their trips, "I was driving Mother Teresa, and there was a priest beside me telling her about this mother who was terminally ill," recalled Father Kean, a U.S. priest based in Pontiac, Mich. "Mother asked if we could go visit this village, so I turned rapidly down a side street, ditching the rest of the convoy."
In an era before cellphones, the rest of the cars must have been confused; did a 22-year old U.S. seminarian just kidnap Mother Teresa in Rome?
The three stopped at the village just outside of Rome, where Blessed Teresa visited the dying woman. Her comforting face brought a smile to the woman, who was graced to have a future saint in her home, Father Kean recalled.