10/19/2023, 14.07
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Gaza, Mother Teresa's nuns under bombardment: 'Where will these people go?

by Nirmala Carvalho

After the deaths from the explosion at the hospital, there is also great concern at the convent of the Missionaries of Charity, which is not far away and has taken in 600 people who no longer have a home. "In our homes there are disabled children and bed-ridden elderly people". In Jerusalem, the Indian Commissioner of the Holy Land celebrated Mass at the Sepulchre praying to "the Prince of Peace" for them.

Jerusalem (AsiaNews) - "In our convent we also felt the effects of the explosion at the al Ahli hospital, we are close to the affected area. The people we host are afraid that it could happen to us too," recount the Missionaries of Charity, the nuns of Mother Teresa of Calcutta, present in Gaza for 50 years. They share their plight with AsiaNews through our contact with Fr. Francis Xavier, Franciscan, Indian Commissioner of the Holy Land.

"I celebrate the morning Mass at the Holy Sepulcher and the nuns of Mother Teresa also participate," he says. "In their convent in Jerusalem, there are two Indian nuns, one European and one local. Yesterday, after this celebration, in the Old City, I came to me and asked for help, telling us how extremely serious the situation in Gaza is."

“We are not worried about ourselves - they told Fr. Francis Xavier - but for disabled children and elderly people bedridden with bedsores. And also for the 600 people who took refuge in our convent after losing their homes in recent days due to the bombings. Where will they go now?”.

“At the moment there are three nuns living in the convent - continues the Indian Franciscan - while two others are away for other activities related to their ministry. The superior of the convent is a nun from Orisa. Despite being a very courageous woman, she is afraid that the next bomb could fall on their convent or on the church of the Holy Family which is located next door."

“Even if my body is in Jerusalem - concludes the Indian Commissioner of the Holy Land - my heart and my mind are in Gaza. May the Prince of Peace give peace to this Earth."

Mother Teresa's nuns have been present in Gaza since February 1973. A presence marked from the beginning by sharing the suffering of this tormented land: they arrived in the Strip a few weeks after the killing of the then parish priest of the Latin community, Fr. Hanna Al-Nimri. It was their turn to clean up the bloody walls.

Despite the countless difficulties due to the many wars and the blockade imposed on Gaza for years, the Missionaries of Charity are a fundamental presence in the parish of the Holy Family.

In their reception homes for children and vulnerable adults they welcome 70 people. But in addition to offering spiritual assistance in the small Catholic community of Gaza, they visit hundreds of homes of the poor, needy and sick.

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