Card. Gracias: Sisters of Mother Teresa killed in Yemen, witnesses to the love of Christ
The Archbishop of Mumbai’s moving testament to the for four religious killed today along with 10 civilians in a raid "for religious reasons" by armed men from Aden. Until the end, they carried out the task the Missionaries of Charity: quench the thirst for Christ through service to the needy. In the evening, Eucharistic adoration and prayer for Fr. Tom Uzhunnalil, Salesian priest kidnapped in the attack.
Mumbai (AsiaNews) - The gruesome murder of the 4 Missionaries of Charity has plunged the Church of India and Asia into deep sadness. We are grieving beacause of this tragedy, it is a personal loss for the Church in India, as Sr. Anselm was one of our very own, who sacrificed everything to serve Jesus in Aden. Despite of precarious situations, these brave and selfless Missionaries of Charity refused to leave even as fighting intensified. The Missionaries of Charity continued to quench the thirst of Jesus in Aden, through love, kindness, compassion, and selflessly .served without any consideration of their own safety, the most disadvantaged victims, through their work on humanitarian activities in hospitals, centers for the aged and the infirm and homes for poor and disadvantaged youth, they sought to risk their lives for the local people.
“How can I satiate that thirst of God?” was the daily prayer of these Missionaries of Charity in Yemen, the current fighting particularly within Aden, has made it more difficult than ever, yet like Bl Mother Teresa of Kilkatta the only desire of the 4 Missionaries of Charity was to quench that thirst for souls was done out of personal love for Jesus," kept quenching the Thirst of Christ through their service for the people of Yemen. While we grieve and mourn the snuffing off of their precious lives, we are consoled, that now as they behold the Beauty of Christ, their Blood will bring fruits of Peace for the people they served. God bless them with eternal happiness in His presence.
The Church in India and Asia also prays for the safe return of another of our children, Fr. Tom Uzhunnalil, who hails from Kerala and studied theology at the College Kristu Jyoti Bangalore, Fr. Tom sdb is a Salesian from Province of Bangalore but has worked in Yemen for several years. The Salesians of India (the province of Bangalore) have communities in Yemen.
Only four years ago, the Church celebrated the silver jubilee of the Salesian presence in Yemen, on September 7 2012 in Sana'a, Yemen's capital. This country is under the Apostolic Vicariate of Southern Arabia in the new constitution. The Salesians of Don Bosco, belonging to the Province of Bangalore, went to Yemen on the request of Msgr. Bernardo Gremoli, the then Vicar Apostolic of Arabia.
The Missionaries of Charity (MC) were formally invited by the government of Yemen to take care of lepers and the elderly. Blessed Mother Teresa accepted the invitation, provided that it also allowed for priests to enter the country to offer spiritual help to the Missionaries. And so today, five Salesians work in Taiz, Hodeidah, Sana'a and Aden. These brothers are taking care of the spiritual needs of the sisters and also a parish community in those places. The Catholic population is made up exclusively of foreign workers from India, Philippines, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, etc...
The Church in India prays for the safe return of our Fr. Tom, and tonight will offer Eucharistic Adoration for his wellbeing.
(Nirmala Carvalho, collaborated)