Volunteer Tourism Expected to Surge Where Mother Teresa Visited

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WILKES-BARRE TOWNSHIP -- Parishioners of St. Joseph Marello in Pittston walked into church with an extra pep in their step, excited knowing Blessed Mother Teresa is now expected to be canonized.

“I am thrilled about it. I pray to her every night,” said Anita Panzetta of Pittston.

Newswatch 16 was in Mahanoy City in June 1995 when Mother Teresa visited there. She was known for helping the poor.

Now, some travel agencies like Sundance Vacations expect a surge of people to flock to Vatican City for the canonization. But if you can't make the trip, there are other ways you can connect to and honor Mother Teresa with volunteer tourism.

“Whether you're helping in a village or you're helping in a hospital or just volunteering, you're really just giving back to that community and that creates the best memories of all,” said Valerie Burke of Sundance Vacations.

Burke expects volunteer tourism to grow even more over the next couple years around the places Mother Teresa visited, like some poor communities in Mexico.

"I think it's a great opportunity to be re-inspired. Life is challenging enough and we all need those people who are better than ourselves, who call us to be better human beings,” said Fr. Thomas Looney, Congregation of the Holy Cross.