06/08/2012, 00.00
INDIA

For Mother Teresa sisters, praying is a "source of strength" among Mumbai's poor and sick

by Nirmala Carvalho
The Indian Catholic Church celebrates Corpus Domini next Sunday. The Archdiocese of Mumbai has tasked the Missionaries of Charity with the Eucharistic adoration. The nuns run the Asha Dan hostel in Byculla (south Mumbai), which helps children with severe physical and mental disabilities as well as women with HIV-AIDS and needy people.

Mumbai (AsiaNews) - The Catholic Church in India is set to celebrate Corpus Domini on Sunday. For the occasion, the Archdiocese of Mumbai has decided to give the Sisters of Mother Teresa the task of the Eucharistic adoration. The latter run the Asha Dan (Gift of hope), a hostel for the disabled, poor and sick.

"For the nuns, praying is a source of strength needed to pursue their very difficult work," Fr Anthony Charanghat told AsiaNews. The decision to give The Missionaries of Charity this responsibility "reflects the current trend of emphasising only the Eucharist's social dimension," said Fr Charanghat, who is the director of the diocesan weekly The Examiner.

This way the Archdiocese of Mumbai highlights what Benedict XVI said yesterday during the celebration of Corpus Domini, namely that "it is wrong to oppose the celebration and adoration," because they are "two aspects, that are connected, of the mystery of the Eucharist."

Asha Dan is in Byculla, a Mumbai neighbourhood. It is run by 12 Sisters of Mother Teresa. It has two buildings and is host to about 400 people, including children aged 2 to 8 suffering from physical and mental disabilities. Police also bring to the hostel women with HIV/AIDS and their kids, as well as others to take them off the streets.

"We feed and wash them," said Sister M. Joyal, one of the missionary at the hostel. "We change their bed sheets, wash their clothes and give them medications. We give them the same respect we would give Jesus. They are all dying, but when the time comes, they can smile because they know that God loves them."

"Christ died among the poor, the oppressed, the unwanted and the needy," said Sister Magdelita, Asha Dan's superior. "We find the strength to serve these people in prayer and daily adoration. In them, we see Jesus. Through our service, we let them be witness of God's love."

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