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Hills reflect on Mother Teresa

By Frank Flegel


REGINA — Recently canonized St. Mother Teresa’s influence on the Hill family has had a positive impact to the benefit of disadvantaged Regina children. The Mother Teresa Middle School (MTMS) opened its doors in September 2011 with 17 students entering Grade 6. All are now in Grade 11 at different schools in Regina and at Athol Murray College of Notre Dame in Wilcox, Sask.

Paul Hill, chair and CEO of the Hill group of companies and chair of the MTMS board of directors, with his wife, Carol, told a Sept. 6 gathering at Holy Cross Church the story of meeting Mother Teresa and how her influence led to the establishment of MTMS in Regina.

He said the group was so impressed that they asked how they could help her work. She essentially told them she didn’t want their money but to go to go back to their own community, identify a need and fill it. The eventual result was the initiative by the Hills to establish the MTMS school in Regina.

Hill noted that the concept had expanded to Winnipeg, where the Gonzaga School accepted its first students in September. He also described how a Hill business partner on a visit to Regina was convinced by Hill to visit Wilcox, about a half-hour drive south of Regina.

“He told me he had a dream about Mother Teresa the night before he went to Wilcox. When he saw a statue of Mother Teresa in the cafeteria he was inspired to build a new girls’ dormitory.” The Mother Teresa Dormitory opened in 2000. “These are the kind of things Mother Teresa inspired,” said Hill.

Carol Hill told a couple of different stories about Mother Teresa, one of which was meeting her in Australia in 1986. She was scheduled to speak there but was having difficulty in obtaining a visa in time for the date. A prominent businessman managed to pull some strings and get her into Australia. He then offered to drive her to the airport and he was surprised to hear Mother Teresa ask what she could do for him. Somewhat taken aback, he managed to ask her to teach him how to pray.

Paul stated how fortunate he and Carol have been in meeting two people who are now saints. There was one other person present who had met John Paul II and Mother Teresa: Gerry Moen, who as former national chair of Co-workers of Mother Teresa met them in Rome in 1978.

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