“In a time when indifference to another’s suffering seems so widespread, there was one person, in our time, who was not indifferent. Mother Teresa had eyes that saw, a heart that felt and hands that reached out to help,” Cardinal Oswald Gracias of Bombay described St. Teresa of Calcutta at a Holy Mass in Mumbai on Sunday evening to celebrate the canonization of the ‘Saint of the Gutters’.
Six bishops and the priests of Bombay Archdiocese joined Cardinal Gracias at the altar for the Sept. 25 Mass held on the grounds St. Francis Xavier Church, Vile Parle.
The Mass and celebratory event that followed was attended by the priests, religious and lay people of Bombay Archdiocese, with guests form Kolkata, formerly Calcutta, Mother Teresa’s adopted hometown.
Pope Francis canonized Mother Teresa on Sept. 4 in the Vatican, and since then dioceses, parishes and communities around the world have been celebrating her sainthood.
In her testimony on St. Teresa’s life, Sr. Suma, the Superior of the Missionaries of Charity in Mumbai, noted that it was on that day, Sept. 25, 1928, that her foundress, at age 18, heeding to the Lord’s call, left her home in Albania to join the Loreto nuns in Ireland, in order to come to India as a missionary.
The cultural programme included choir with Indian playback performing a soulful rendering of the hymn, ‘Whatsoever you do…’ A heart-warming wheelchair Bharat Natyam by the children of Ashadaan, was followed by a ‘life-like’ skit by the children of St. Francis Xavier’s parish, which demonstrated key moments in St. Teresa’s life and ended with the testimonies from the two miracles which confirmed her sainthood.
A moving song by three blind girls from Ashadaan held the audience in thrall with their beautiful voices and harmonization – their musical eulogy to Mother Teresa brought tears to everyone’s eyes.
The programme also included a testimony from Mr. Thomas who had the privilege of assisting Mother Teresa in the building of her homes in Kolkata and Mumbai.
A short film on Mother Teresa directed and produced by the Catholic Communication Centre of the Archdiocese was screened, and proved a fitting end to the commemoration of Mother Teresa.
Cardinal Gracias then shared his thoughts on the event, commenting on how the presence of Mother Teresa could actually be felt! He shared further vignettes from Mother’s life and urged everyone, once again, to follow this wonderful model in our time – her mission and even more, her deep faith. He congratulated the Missionaries of Charity for ‘their Saint’ and commended the other religious institutes for their inspiring work among the more distressed in society, urging them to follow the path of sainthood, as well.
The relic of Saint Teresa of Calcutta relic was then brought in procession by the Missionaries of Charity, for the faithful to venerate.
Source: Vatican Radio
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