UNION COUNTY, TENN. - On one Union County church's fifth anniversary, Pope Francis canonized Mother Teresa as a saint.
The local church is also named after the activist and religious figure.
“We are just excited to honor her, and the best way to honor her is by being good Christians," said Father Steve Pawelk, who founded Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, a church of humble beginnings.
“This little congregation began five years ago with 26 people in my carport,” Pawelk said.
Now, the church has more than 100 families who enjoy two masses each Sunday--one in English and one in Spanish. Pawelk says a new title for Teresa warranted a new name for his church.
"We're dropping the "Blessed," and adding the "Saint," Pawelk said.
The church will also adopt the most recent spelling of the city, Kolkata making the official new name, "Saint Teresa of Kolkata."
The church's parishioners try to embody the values that Saint Teresa held closely.
“We’ll look to this woman and be reminded that it’s all about the poor, her service, it’s all about God’s call to serve the poor, to serve the marginalized," said Marcus Keyes.
The masses on Sunday were dedicated to the new saint.
"Today our masses are simply honoring her memory and her presence," Pawelk said.
He says Saint Teresa is a saint whose teachings reach far beyond Catholicism.
“This is a saint for everyone," he said. "Every Christian, every non-Christian, to see the face of Christ and to serve the poor and all we meet.”
(© 2016 WBIR)