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A monument to Mother Teresa, the saintly nun whose life was devoted to caring for the poorest of the poor, was dedicated Sunday at a Niagara Falls site near the spot where she spoke during a visit in 1982.

Bishop Henry J. Mansell of the Buffalo Catholic Diocese dedicated the impressive monument on the grounds of St. Mary of the Cataract Catholic Church after a Mass celebrating the 150th anniversary of the parish.

In addition to Mother Teresa, the monument is dedicated to "the women religious and contemplatives who serve throughout the world."

St. Mary's is at 259 Fourth St., next to the Niagara Falls Convention and Civic Center, where Mother Teresa gave the Niagara University commencement address 15 years ago.

Monsignor William J. Stillwell, pastor of St. Mary's, said the parish commissioned the monument after the death of the 87-year-old nun Sept. 5 in Calcutta, India.

"We had been thinking about it for some time," he said. "We decided to do it in conjunction with our 150th anniversary because of what she did for the poor and to inspire people."

An inscription on the monument recalls Mother Teresa's words: "I realized that I had the call to take care of the sick and the dying, the hungry, the naked, the homeless -- to be God's love in action to the poorest of the poor."

The 10-foot-tall monument, made of African granite set on a base of gray brick, has a carving of Mother Teresa's face executed by Michael Gomez, owner of Lincoln Granite and Marble, Lackawanna.

"This is probably the only thing like this in Western New York," Monsignor Stillwell said.

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