09/05/2022, 12.19
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Calcutta remembers Mother Teresa 25 years after her death

by Nirmala Carvalho

Archbishop D'Souza celebrates Mass with the Missionaries of Charity. 'In recent years the challenges and poverty have increased but the answer has always been the primacy of charity'. A new centre opened today in Park Street for children living on the street who cannot go to school.




Calcutta (AsiaNews) - On the day of her liturgical feast, the 25th anniversary of Mother Teresa's death on 5 September 1997 was commemorated today in Calcutta. As announced by the superior Sr. Mary Joseph the sisters remembered their foundress with a day dedicated entirely to the service of the poor, in the style of the saint of the last.

But as happens every day, the first moment for the Missionaries of Charity was the celebration of the Eucharist. On this occasion, presiding over the celebration in the chapel of their Mother House was the Archbishop of Calcutta, Mgr Thomas D'Souza, who at the end of the celebration - together with the sisters - prayed at Mother Teresa's tomb.

'Has anything changed,' Mgr D'Souza asked himself in his homily, 'for the Missionaries of Charity since 1997? The answer is no. The primacy of charity continues to be the guiding principle. In our archdiocese, and especially in the city of Calcutta, their whole-hearted and free service to the poorest of the poor continues in Kalighat or Premdaan, Shantidaan or Dayadaan, Jeevandaan or Shishubhavan, as in the houses of the Missionaries of Charity brothers at Nabojivan in Howrah, or at the Gandhi Ashram in Titagarh, and in those of the contemplative fathers and sisters. The same model is present all over the world. Challenges and poverty have increased but the answer has always been the primacy of charity or love'.

The archbishop also pointed to the coincidence with Teachers' Day, which is being celebrated in India today. St. Teresa of Calcutta,' he recalled, 'was also a teacher, and the words coming from a Mother's loving heart have touched and transformed the hearts and lives of people from all walks of life, especially the poor.

"On this day," D'Souza concluded, "let us thank God who is love, who sent his only-begotten Son into the world, who taught us to love one another. We thank Jesus for his loving presence in the Eucharist, which gives us the strength to live this love in the service of the poor. We thank the Holy Spirit for his constant guidance and inspiration that makes us live the primacy of charity.  We thank St. Teresa of Calcutta for her unique example of love to the end for the poor and those rejected by our society. We thank Sr Mary Joseph and her Missionaries of Charity for keeping the fire of charity burning through service to the poorest of the poor'.

Archbishop D'Souza also laid a garland of flowers on the statue of St Teresa of Calcutta that stands in the archbishopric courtyard. Just today in Calcutta, the Missionaries of Charity started a new centre in Park Street for children living on the street who cannot go to school. "We will offer them a bath, change of clothes, a glass of milk, biscuits and teach them to draw and write," they explained.

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