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.