09/05/2007, 00.00
INDIA

Across India, rich and poor remember Mother Teresa

Nirmala Carvalho
Celebrations in Kolkata (Bengal) in Gujarat and in Karnataka. The Missionaries of Charity’s commitment against abortion. The Archbishop of Bangalore defends Mother Teresa against accusations of proselytism.

Kolkata (AsiaNews) – Hundreds of people gathered at the tomb of Mother Teresa at the Missionaries of Charity’s Mother House, Kolkatta from early morning, to pray to Blessed Teresa on her Feast Day (ten years after her death).

 Special prayers were held at the tomb of Mother Teresa which were attended by hundreds all religions, caste and creeds, in a special service the Archbishop of Kolkatta, Lucas Sirkar, urged the authorities to speed up the process of a canonisation; “Our expectation is that she be soon declared a saint because she lived as a saint.  Saints are not only for themselves. Saints are for others, the church and all mankind”.

 At Shishu Bhavan, Kolkatta the house where the MC welcomes abandoned children, orphans and babies saved from abortion, dawn mass was celebrated.

Mother Teresa consistently battled against abortion, asking mothers to “gift” her their unwanted children.

“I think – she said in ’94 – that the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion….if we can accept that even a mother can kill her child, how can we tell people not to kill one another?”.

Fr. Bosco, the priest who celebrated mass in Shishu Bhavan, tells that after the celebration the flock of children dressed in festive costumes sang for Mother Teresa “the happiness of these little ones is infective – he adds – they bring such joy to us”.

 In Bhadra, near Ahmedabad (Gujarat), many people gathered in the square dedicated to Mother Teresa to offer Shraddhanjali, a special tribute in her honour.  Gujarat is infamous for the bitter religious and ethnic tensions which prevail there.  The MC’s opened their first mission there in ’75.  Today they have a home which hosts orphans, children of single mothers, lepers, disabled, the dying and the abandoned.

 “We have 415 leprosy patients in Surat”- says Sr. Meena the local Superior – “Many of them have been cured but do not have any place to go”.

In Bangalore (Karnataka), in another children’s home (Shishu Bhavan), Msgr. Bernard Mores, the Archbishop, unveiled a statute dedicated to the blessed. 

“Mother Teresa  –he told AsiaNews – became a mother to all because of her special Love for the poor  without any thought of herself.  In Indian society today, with the increasing anti-Christian sentiments and violence against Christian Missionaries, certain segments of society- are spreading false propaganda that her charitable works were only an allurement to conversion. This is totally a perverted vision of the work and compassion of Mother Teresa for the poorest of the poor.

 Mother Teresa never ever sought to convert any one through her tireless service: her own desire was to give dignity and love to the unfortunate brethren. Mother Teresa had great respect for all religions and had many friends among the people of other religions. Yet she never compromised her own faith. Wherever she went, she went as a "missionary," as a Catholic nun, and she was accepted and respected as such”.

 

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