12/15/2009, 00.00
BANGLADESH

Dhaka: at Christmas the sisters of Mother Teresa, close to poor Muslims and Hindus

by William Gomes
Thanks to the work of the Missionaries of Charity, the Siamese twins Trishna and Krishna were operated on in a specialized centre in Australia. A Muslim woman prays to give birth to a female. Hindu faithful: it is the only place where they help you without asking anything in return.

Dhaka (AsiaNews) - The faithful of different religions, the poor with no food or work, seriously ill patients seeking assistance including Trishna and Krishna, the conjoined twins successfully operated on in Australia. Many people come to the sisters of Mother Teresa in Bangladesh in search of solace or a grace, such as a young Muslim mother, who for Christmas is asking to get pregnant with a female child.

Bangladesh is a nation of 143 million inhabitants with a large majority of Muslims (90% of the population). Christians are only 0.3% of the total, but the work of the Missionaries of Charity is recognized and appreciated by many.  

Sister Mary Olivet, the regional superior of the MC, still remembers the story of Trishna and Krishna, the conjoined twins abandoned by their parents. "We welcomed them and treated them with love – she says - because it is our duty in the apostolate, following in the footsteps of Mother Teresa." The girls were operated on successfully in Australia and are now undergoing a slow phase of hospitalization. The nun follows their progress, still in critical stage, "regularly" and prays that "everything goes well”.

The Sisters of Mother Teresa draw pilgrims of all religions, seeking help, comfort or grace. Sultana Parbin, female Muslim mother of two children, tells her story; "Recently I saw a program dedicated to Christmas and a TV service on the twins, Trishna and Krishna. I decided to visit the Missionaries of Charity, because I hope to receive from God a gift for Christmas: to give birth to a female. "  

Shishu Bhavan, the nun’s Mother House, is situated on Avenue Islampur, Dhaka, and is home to many orphaned or abandoned children. A delegation from India visited the facility, with Christmas gifts for children. Even spouses Cindy and John McCain, presidential candidate of the United States in 2008, at the sisters’ invitation appealed for a child of only three months who is in need of medical care. Thanks to the McCain’s interest, now Bridget is hospitalized in the United States. "She is doing very well - confirmes the superior of the Missionaries of Charity - and we pray every day for her."

Among the many people who would like to thank the nuns, there is also Shikha Rani Das, a Hindu woman. "I am very poor, my husband has no work - she explains - and 9 December my father died. I've called the Missionaries of Charity to help in the preparation for Christmas. Jesus Christ is my God too". With the help of a local priest, she found a small job and wants to spend Christmas with the sisters: "It is the only place - she stresses - that help you without asking for anything in return."

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