09/09/2017, 15.51
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The Missionaries of Charity hand out food and clothing to the poor in Bhubaneswar

by Purushottam Nayak

The liturgical memory of Mother Teresa of Calcutta fell on 5 September. Sisters brought rice, red lentils, biscuits, and clothes to 130 Christian families, an example of Mother Teresa's real love to the needy in the slums.

Bhubaneswar (AsiaNews) – On 5 September, the day of the liturgical memory of Mother Teresa of Kolkata (Calcutta), the Missionaries of Charity of Odisha (Orissa) handed out rice, red lentils, biscuits and clothes to Christians who survived the 2008 Kandhamal pogrom, in all, 130 poor families who now live in Bhubaneswar.

The Sisters of Mother Teresa also visited other slums in the state capital, bringing more food, to show the saint’s teachings who always said to go out to find the poorest of the poor.

The Archdiocese of Bhubaneswar celebrated the feast with a solemn liturgy. The local bishop, Mgr John Barwa, led the service. In his homily, he said: "Saint Teresa of Calcutta is the most secular saint of the modern era. May her intercession make us all engaged, dedicated and willing to serve the poor and needy." Some 15 missionaries and hundreds of faithful were present at the ceremony.

The Sisters of Mother Teresa arrived in Odisha in 1974. Since then, they have opened 18 homes: nine for the sick, the abandoned and the elderly, six facilities for children, and three centres for the treatment of lepers and the mental disabled. Two of the latter are in the capital: one for seniors, the sick, abandoned women, and children, and one for leper rehabilitation in Janla district.

“Our only goal is to carry on the charisma of Santa Teresa of Calcutta, our foundress,” said Sister Shamuel, superior of the community in Bhubaneswar and former regional superior in Odisha.

“All of us are influenced and motivated by her example. Her love, service and charity were directed especially towards the poor, the needy, the disadvantaged, the forgotten, those suffering from AIDS, leprosy, the sick and the dying. She was a champion of the poor."

The best way to remember her on her feast day is "to feed the hungry, dry the tears of the afflicted, and take care of the sick and the sufferers."

"Her stimulating force is among the greatest examples of service to humanity,” said Sister Alphius Kindo. "Mother Teresa was the teacher of love, commitment and dedication," added Sister Mamali Nayak.

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