08/13/2010, 00.00
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Like Mother Teresa, we love Christ through His poor, Missionary of Charity says

by Nirmala Carvalho
Sister Anita Rose MC, who works in Uttar Pradesh, spoke to AsiaNews about her vocation and mission among the poorest of the poor. In remembering Mother Teresa a hundred years after her birth, she said, “Mother wanted all her daughters to be saints”.
Kanpur (AsiaNews) – On the first centennial anniversary of Mother Teresa of Kolkata’s birth, which will be celebrated on 26 August, AsiaNews continues its series of personal stories and recollections about the life of the Blessed and her witness of love and Charity for the poorest of the poor.

Sister Anita Rose, 49, joined the Missionaries of Charity in 1990. She spent two years with Mother Teresa, and this closeness inspired her, giving her a “calling within a calling”, that of loving others unreservedly. At present, she works at the Shishu Bhawan adoption centre in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh.

How is your day structured?

We get up at 4.30 am, and by 5 we are in the chapel for meditation and Mass. After that, we have breakfast and do our housework, including washing our clothes. By 8 am, we are out of the house to start our apostolate.

How can you be so happy, given such a heavy schedule?

My spouse, Jesus Christ, loves me. This gives me the strength and grace to love him through the poor. Mother Teresa always said, “I wish and want to be holy through God’s blessings.” Thus, we her daughters, maintain the spirit of the order: the calling to holiness through serving the poorest of the poor.

What do the Missionaries of Charity do in Uttar Pradesh?

There are 20 houses in Uttar Pradesh. Before coming to Kanpur, I was in Lucknow. Shishu Bhawan in Kanpur is an adoption centre and currently has 26 children waiting for parents. We also provide sowing classes for girls and young women, and we have a mobile dispensary that visits remote villages, in the interior.

How do they live?

These are very poor people. They eagerly wait for our coming. They look forward not just to the medicines and to the help we can give, but also want something deeper that we bring, namely hope and dignity for the human person. We are not preachers, but with our lives and witness, they come to understand their human dignity. We share their feelings, console them and of course treat their illnesses. To the very poor, we give rations and clothes; we also help their children with schooling by providing books, uniforms, etc. They are daily wage labourers, marginalised and poor.”

How did your vocation come about?

Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that I would become a Missionary of Charity. Everyone has his or her own calling in life. I felt called to love God and do some service for humanity. It was a calling within a calling, a deep inner call to love God through service to his poor. Even though my parents were initially reluctant to send me, God made it possible.

You lived with the Blessed Teresa in Kolkata between 1993 and 1995. How was Mother?

Before joining the Missionaries of Charity, I had heard that Mother was a living saint, but when I lived with Mother for two years, I understood that Mother was a saint: her simplicity, her humility, her trust in Divine Providence, her focus on God.

Mother wanted all her daughters to be saints. In spite of our nothingness and human failings, we seek to please our spouse and make him happy. Of course, it is not just one-way: Our spouse loves us intensely and I can feel him inside me.

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