Tabernacle Choir Honored with Mother Teresa Award

“Tabernacle Choir Honored with Mother Teresa Award,” Liahona, Apr. 2007, N2–N3

Tabernacle Choir Honored with Mother Teresa Award

The late Mother Teresa once said, “The world is hungry not only for food, but also for beauty.” In November 2006, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir was presented with an award named in her honor, recognizing “the achievements of those who beautify the world, especially in the fields of religion, social justice, and the arts.”

“This is the only choir that has touched the entire world with its beauty,” said Dan Paulos, director of the St. Bernadette Institute of Sacred Art, which bestows the Mother Teresa Award. “There are a lot of choirs out there, but none so remarkable. It’s a gift of God, and it should be shared with the world.”

Choir members were honored in a simple ceremony following the weekly broadcast of Music and the Spoken Word on Sunday, November 19, 2006. The Very Reverend Joseph Mayo, Rector of the Cathedral of the Madeline, presented the award to Mac Christensen, choir president, and Craig Jessop, music director, who accepted it on behalf of the choir.

“We are honored to accept this award named after this saintly woman, Mother Teresa,” noted Scott L. Barrick, choir general manager.

The Institute developed the award program to “rightfully acknowledge spiritual accomplishments in this secular world.”

The statuette is a modernized representation of Mother Teresa. Laureates are nominated by the public at large and are selected by the Board of Directors of the Mother Teresa Awards.

The all-volunteer choir consists of 350 men and women representing many different backgrounds, professions, and ages. The choir has become world-renowned through its many recordings, tours, and weekly TV and radio broadcasts.

Previous recipients of the honor include Pope John Paul II, Maya Angelou, Nelson Mandela, and Jimmy Carter.

The Very Reverend Joseph Mayo, right, presents the Mother Teresa Award to Craig Jessop, left, and Mac Christensen after the Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s Music and the Spoken Word performance on Sunday. (Photograph by Jeffrey D. Allred, courtesy Deseret Morning News.)