Women’s Day, 8 March, Mother Teresa's Sisters restoring the dignity of marginalised women
The Missionaries of Charity run a home for poor women, the poorest, most marginalised and vulnerable women in Cuttack Bhubaneshwar. For Archbishop John Barwa, the nuns are “a powerful witness of faith, service, commitment and dedication.”
Mumbai (AsiaNews) – “The mission to restore the dignity of 150 women at Mother Teresa's house, in Cuttack Bhubaneshwar, all poor, vulnerable, and marginalised, is the best celebration of Women's Day,” said Archbishop John Barwa of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar speaking to AsiaNews.
Mother Teresa's Sisters run a home for poor women, the poorest, most marginalised and vulnerable women. “Caring for women is our daily celebration of life, caring for them is our celebration of Women's Day,” Sister Phulibia MC told AsiaNews.
“This is a house for destitute women. Our celebration of Women's Day is our daily celebration of Women's Day as such. We are committed to lovingly serve poor women 24 hours a day,” Sister Phulibia explained.
This means “doing the daily chores of bathing them, feeding them, washing their clothes, dressing them, healing their wounds, cleaning their wounds, bandaging their wounds, doing physiotherapy for them. All these activities are ongoing.
“We have about 130 destitute women, plus staff. Their age varies. The oldest is about 80. Some of them are not able to feed themselves. After feeding them, we wash their dishes, their mouth. So for us our celebration is to take care of them.”
Last Wednesday, Archbishop John Barwa received Mother Prema, MC, superior general of the Missionaries of Charity. “Mother Prema was visiting the communities of MC nuns in Bhubaneshwar, and came to see me at the Archbishop’s House,” he told AsiaNews,
“I told Mother Prema that the Sisters of Mother Teresa are a powerful witness of faith, service, commitment and dedication. I thanked her and the regional superior for their selfless service to the last, the least and the lost of Odisha, for their loving service and compassionate care, without discrimination of caste or creed.”
“I organised a meeting of the eight priests from the Curia of the Archdiocese of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar to meet Mother. Father Mrutyunjaya Digal, Father Laxmikant Pradhan and Father Dibyasingh Parichha recounted their experience of persecution (August 2008) Mother Prema was very moved by their experience.”
Mother Prema encouraged my priests. “This is your experience, your witness of faith, I have only heard of it and I thank you for all that you have been through. You have lived the faith. Rest assured of my prayers.”
Mother Prema thanked Archbishop John and the clergymen “for the encouragement and service to our communities of the Missionaries of Charity in the diocese, for the kindness shown to the Missionaries of Charity and for working together to build the Kingdom of God.”
Fr Dibyasingh Parichha, priest and lawyer from the Kandhamal district, discussed with Mother Prema the issue of missionary justice, which is very demanding but successful in some cases.”