Sr. Mary Joseph: 'At stations to seek out the poor to remember Mother Teresa'
Kolkata (AsiaNews) - Monday, Sept. 5, marks the 25th anniversary of the death of Mother Teresa of Kolkata (1910-1997), the foundress of the Missionaries of Charity, an icon of a life devoted entirely in the name of the Gospel to serving the poorest of the poor in India. The woman who crossed impossible frontiers in the name of charity, was proclaimed blessed by John Paul II in 2003 and a saint by Pope Francis in 2016. Even today, her witness remains alive in the most forgotten peripheries of every continent through the work-often hidden-of religious women in white saris edged in blue. To honour this we publish this message from the superior of the Missionaries of Charity, Sr. Mary Joseph from Calcutta, in which she tells how their communities will live mark important anniversary.
Many have asked us how we will celebrate the 25th anniversary of Mother Teresa's death.
In prayer and discernment, we have decided to celebrate it in the way that, perhaps, she herself would have wanted. In honor of this 25th anniversary of Mother around the world our sisters will go out in search of the poorest of the poor on the streets, in the stations...wherever they are alone and abandoned.
Here in Calcutta we have two communities each made up of four sisters who go around the streets every day with packed food, clothes, to meet the poor where they are. Those who are very sick are taken to our homes to be cared for in their basic needs, such as being able to take a bath, have a change of clothes, a good meal or -- if necessary -- hospitalization.
On Park Street, in one of our communities, we are opening a space for children who live on the street without being able to go to school. We will offer them a bath, change of clothes, a glass of milk, cookies and teach them to draw and write. We will start this very activity on September 5, 2022.
The poor are always in our midst to love and serve them, different political situations have never affected this work of ours.
In Calcutta we have homes for the abandoned men and women we have picked up from the streets. Our homes are overflowing right now. We are looking for ways to rehabilitate these people. With the help of social workers we are trying to track down their families and reunite them if they accept it. In our homes we take care of children and adults with physical and mental problems. In many of our homes we have patients suffering from leprosy and tuberculosis who continue to be abandoned by their families because of this.
Whether in India or abroad, our sisters regularly visit families, especially the elderly and shut-ins, those in prisons and hospitals, the most abandoned and lonely, bringing new hope to their lives. Immediate emergency aid to victims of various natural disasters has always been our priority. Outside India, too, we have homes where we care, both materially and spiritually, for the poorest of the poor, those most rejected by society, those living on the streets, alcoholics... Night shelters and soup kitchens are open for those most in need, alongside the night apostolate in which sisters bring food rations to those who would end their day hungry.
Mother Teresa often reminded us that "we cannot do great things, but only small things with great love." Please pray for us that we will carry on this legacy of the beloved Mother and Foundress show: to do all the good we can out of love for God and our brothers and sisters, without looking at caste or creed, wholeheartedly offering them our free service.
God bless you
Sr. Mary Joseph
Superior general of the Missionaries of Charity
by sr. Mary Joseph