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  • » 03/15/2016, 14.08


    Card Toppo: The Church in India and throughout Asia rejoices for Mother Teresa’s canonisation

    card. Telesphore Toppo

    The archbishop of Ranchi speaks about the decree Pope Francis signed this morning, telling AsiaNews about his deep personal friendship with the founder of the Missionaries of Charity, which began in 1978 when he was appointed Bishop of Dumka. He also speaks about the future saint’s work on behalf of nature and the environment, as evinced by her determination to live in poverty.

    Ranchi (AsiaNews) - This morning Pope Francis signed the decree for the canonisation of Mother Teresa of Kolkata, deciding that the founder of the Missionaries of Charity will be declared a saint on 4 September in Rome. 

    AsiaNews presents Card Telesphore Toppo’s memories.  In them, the archbishop of Ranchi describes how, as a young bishop, he had the privilege of driving the Mother in his car.

    "I was feeling timid sitting next to someone like her,” he writes. When he asked her, “where do you get the strength to do all that you are doing? Her reply came with the speed of bullet: Jesus in the Eucharist.”

    Mother is the Image of God’s Mercy and in this Jubilee of Mercy, the Universal Church and Church in India and Asia are overjoyed and grateful.

    My personal association with Mother began when I was appointed Bishop of Dumka in 1978 and I wrote a personal note to Mother Teresa inviting her Missionaries of Charity to open a house in our diocese. Mother Teresa was most prompt in sending her daughters/sisters and, since 1978, I have shared a deep personal friendship with Mother Teresa.

    The canonisation of Mother will be a great missionary impetus to Asia and also the Universal Church. We offer joyful gratitude to God for the inestimable gift that India gives to the Universal Church and the Global Community- Our Mother Teresa of Kolkata.

    Mother Teresa's life was driven by a passion to build lives through forgiveness, healing, giving them respect and through making them true human beings in the image and likeness of God.

    Mother Teresa was very conscious of Ecology and her duty towards nature and wanted it to be included in her life. Her insistence on poverty in life is a fine illustration of this.

    When Mother Teresa was around 13 or 14 years old, she was listened to talks by two Albanian Jesuits working in the Kolkata mission, that included Ranchi, - who on their return home to Albanian on a visit- gave talks to school children in an effort to promote missionary vocations and to raise funds for their mission. One of those who heard them was a teenage school girl called Agnes and as she listened attentively to one of the missionaries who told about what was happening among the Tribals in Ranchi, and she decided to come to India to work among Ranchi Tribals.

    When I was a young bishop, one day I had the privilege to take Mother Teresa in my car. She was accompanied by three of her Missionaries of Charity Sisters. From them I came to know that Mother Teresa had worked till past midnight re-organizing their community. She was sitting next to me in the front seat and naturally I was feeling timid sitting next to someone like her. But being a true Mother she told me to sit comfortably. This gave me courage. I said: ‘Mother I was told that you worked very late last night. You are not young any more. From where do you get the strength to do all that you are doing? Her reply came with the speed of bullet: JESUS in the Eucharist.’

    We exult for the Joy of the Merciful Father in this Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy!

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    See also

    27/01/2016 15:48:00 VATICAN
    Pope: "Mercy cannot remain indifferent in face of the suffering of the oppressed"

    During the general audience, Francis said that "The Lord’s mercy renders man precious, as a personal richness that belongs to Him, which He guards and with which He is pleased.” What is more, “in this Year of Mercy, we can also do the work of being mediators of mercy with works of mercy to come close, to give relief, to create unity. So many good things can be done.”

    14/05/2016 18:14:00 JORDAN
    Amman, Pope Francis’ "Garden of Mercy" offers work to Iraqi refugees

    The work commissioned by the Pope was financed with money collected in the Holy See's pavilion at Expo 2015. It aims at providing work and dignity to the thousands of displaced Iraqi people and to become a place of encounter and interreligious dialogue. Patriarch Twal: the "seeds of good" planted by Bergoglio "in the fields of the world."

    03/04/2016 11:52:00 VATICAN
    Pope Francis:The Gospel of mercy, an open book to be written with concrete acts of love

    On Divine Mercy Sunday, Francis asks all the faithful to become "living writers of the Gospel" by practicing the spiritual and corporal works of mercy, "the hallmarks of the Christian life”. To be "apostles of mercy" by touching and soothing the wounds "also present today in body and soul of so many brothers and sisters". The Church is "the bearer of peace" of the Risen One, a peace "that does not divide but unites."

    10/08/2016 11:50:00 VATICAN
    Pope: At the Holy Door, Jesus says "Arise!". "With my heart healed I do works of mercy"

    At the general audience in the Paul VI Hall, Pope Francis compares the miracle of the widow of Nain to the change every person undergoes passing through the Holy Door. "Drawing towards the Door of Mercy, everyone knows they are drawing close to the door of the merciful heart of God, of Jesus". “This is the door where the suffering of humanity encounters the compassion of God". From a change of "heart" to the "hands" that perform "acts of mercy". Holy Doors are both "inward" and "outward bound".

    17/02/2016 16:00:00 INDIA
    Maharashtra: the diocese of Amravati appeals against farmers’ "genocide"

    The state is known for its high rate of suicide among farmers. The local diocesan social development agency helps farmers overwhelmed by debt. Within the diocesan territory, Catholics number only 7,000 out of a population of 11 million. The bishop makes an appeal to Christians in the Year of Mercy because “Your generous contribution will immensely enable us to empower” people.

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    The tears of Chinese bishops. A portrait of Msgr. Zhuang, bishop of Shantou

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    Card. Joseph Zen

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