Kolkata: Sister Nirmala, who succeeded Mother Teresa as superior general of the Missionaries of Charity, died here on Tuesday, sources at the catholic religious order’s global headquarters of Mother House said. She was 81.
Nirmala became the second head of the Missionaries of Charity after her predecessor Mother Teresa stepped down from the post in March, 1997.
Nirmala held the post till March 24, 2009, after which she was succeeded by Sister Prema.
“She was sick for quite some time. She passed away at 12.05 a.m. today (Tuesday) at the convent where she used to stay in Sealdah,” a source at the Mother House said.
Sister Nirmala was given India’s second highest civilian order Padma Vibhushan in 2009 for her services to the nation.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee condoled Sister Nirmala’s death. “Saddened at the passing of Sister Nirmala, who headed Missionaries of Charity after Mother Teresa. Kolkata and the world will miss her,” she posted on Twitter.
LETNICA, KOSOVO, Sept 04, 2016: The world will watch as Mother Teresa – a woman whom the world has come to know as a humanitarian and founder of the Missionaries of Charity, will be canonized by the Catholic Church on September 4.
A small community in Kosovo is celebrating this momentous occasion and remembering the role their congregation played in inspiring the young woman to a life of devotion, where once she spent time in her youth.
To the world, Mother Teresa came to be known as the mother of the poor and the needy, a symbol of a life of service to mankind. She began her charity work in India, where she was sent in 1929 by her religious congregation, the Loreto Sisters of Dublin. But she embraced her calling in the small Kosovo village of Letnica. Then a young woman of 18, she lived in Kosovo, where her family had resettled from her native Macedonia.
Let us imitate Mother Teresa who made works of mercy the guide of her life and the path towards holiness.
A devout Catholic from an early age, she would later reveal that it was in the Church of the Blessed Lady in Letnica that she decided to adopt a life of religious devotion.
The church today serves a community of 500 Catholics, in a village populated mostly by Albanians, with a small Croatian minority. The congregation is headed by Father Marjan Lorenci.
“This is where Mother Teresa felt the holy calling, after she arrived here from Macedonia, from Skopje. She came here because God brought her here with her family, and it is here that she heard God’s word. This is where she took her steps on the path to serve God, and what’s more important, to serve her fellow man,” Lorenci said.
For the local community, the canonization is a source of pride and a chance to share the famous missionary of Albanian origin with the world. Kosovare Xhoni, a member of the congregation, feels privileged.
Thiruvananthapuram, August 31, 2016: Mother Teresa’s appeal is universal- cutting across caste, creed and religious barriers, every individual can seek inspiration from her life, work and sacrifice, the head of the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of India(CBCI) has said.
“Her appeal is universal. Her life is a role model worth emulating, cutting across caste, creed or religion. Her sympathy and empathy for the poorest of the poor is what made her great and on September 4, her name and fame will reach greater heights,” Cardinal Moran Mar Baselios Cleemis Catholicos, 57, popularly called Old Cleemis, said.
In a chat with IANS, just before his departure to the Vatican to take part in the canonization rituals, Old Cleemis, who is the head of the Syro Malankara Catholic Church here, said he was delighted to be a part of the celebrations.
“Definitely, it’s a moment of personal joy that I am taking part in the canonization of the Mother, whom I have met,” he added.
Mother Teresa, a nun who dedicated her life to helping the poor, will become 'St. Teresa of Calcutta' on September 4 pic.twitter.com/Tdm96Wy483
Cleemis was part of the celebrations in 2014 when two native saints, Kuriakose Elias Chavara (Chavara Achen) and Sister Euphrasia (Evuprasiamma), were canonised.
He never had the opportunity to meet the two, but he proudly recalled his meeting with Mother Teresa. As a young theology student, he had briefly interacted with the Mother when she came to Kottayam in 1980 for the Golden Jubilee celebrations of the Malankara movement.
“She undoubtedly was the star of the moment and won the hearts of everyone through her gentle behaviour,” recalled Cleemis, who himself created a record of sorts by becoming India’s youngest cardinal in 2012.
Currently, Indian Catholics have three native saints. Besides the two canonizations in 2014, Sister Alphonsa was the first Indian to be canonised in 2008.
Cleemis also pointed to great the honours that Mother had been conferred with- the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979, Bharat Ratna in 1980 and now this, the crowning glory, when she will be elevated as a saint.
“The greatness of the Mother is the way she took care of the poor and downtrodden by showing them mercy. The orphans should know that they are not alone as she has laid the path for many to follow and many have already taken up her cause,” Cleemis said. (IANS)
There are no great things, only small things with great love. Happy are those.
– Mother Teresa
Kolkata, August 26, 2016: Days before she is declared a saint by the Vatican, special masses and prayers marked Mother Teresa’s 106th birth anniversary celebrations here on Friday.
Candles were lit and the nun’s grave at Mother House- the global headquarters of her Catholic order Missionaries of Charity- was decorated with flowers as the sisters and other eminent persons sang hymns, read from the Bible and recalled her celebrated life.
Mother Teresa is set to be canonised by Pope Francis at the Vatican on September 4, a day ahead of her 19th death anniversary.
Similar programmes were organised at the other homes run by the Missionaries of Charity.
The four-day Mother Teresa International Film Festival (MTIFF), which would feature 23 foreign and Indian films made on or inspired by the Nobel laureate, was inaugurated during the day at the state government-run auditorium Nandan.
Paying homage, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee tweeted: “My deepest respect on the birth anniversary of Mother Teresa.”
Superior General of the Missionaries of Charity, Sister Prema, who is already in the Vatican, said in a message that the order was looking forward to the celebrations of the Mother’s sainthood with great joy.
“It will be a moment when gathered around Mother we shall have an experience of universal family of the children of the one Heavenly Father. The difference of caste, creed, colour, rich, poor will not prevent us from rejoicing together in the honour bestowed on Mother,” said Sister Prema.
Underscoring that the sainthood to be bestowed on the Mother would inspire the people in Kolkata as also all over the world to follow her example of humble services for everyone, she said: “Mother is with God and as she promised us she continues to light the light of hope and peace in everyone’s heart.” (IANS)