Friday November 15, 2019
Home India Road to Saint...

Road to Sainthood Started in Small Kosovo Church: Mother Teresa to be canonized by Catholic Church on September 4

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

0
//
Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta and father Ante Gabric SJ | by zatletic. Image source: Flickr

he 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.

Follow NewsGram on Twitter

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.

Follow NewsGram on Facebook

“I was born and raised here, and I am very proud to have received my religious teachings at the same church where Mother Teresa first felt her calling,” Xhoni said.

Father Lush Gjergji, who first met Mother Teresa in 1968 and has written extensively on the Nobel laureate, says Letnica was always in her itinerary every time she visited Kosovo.

“The one place which she always visited was Letnica; it was her spiritual sanctuary,” said Gjergji, who serves as vicar of the Kosovo Archbishopric.

ALSO WATCH:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rxQUq-mt3qQ

Mother Teresa visited Kosovo five times after she became a nun. But it is her charitable work around the world that garnered her international fame and the adoration of millions.

On September 4, the Catholic Church will formally declare her a saint, immortalizing a life of dedication that got its first inspiration in a church in a small Kosovo village. (VOA)

 

Next Story

Pope Francis Urges Bishops to Boldly Shake Up Status Quo as they Chart Ways to Better Care for Amazon

On hand for the service were indigenous people from several tribes, some with their faces painted and wearing feathered headdresses

0
Pope Francis, Bishops, Amazon
Indigenous peoples, some with their faces painted and wearing feathered headdresses, stand by Pope Francis as he celebrates an opening Mass for the Amazon synod, in St. Peter's Basilica, at the Vatican, Oct. 6, 2019. VOA

Pope Francis urged bishops on Sunday to boldly shake up the status quo as they chart ways to better care for the Amazon and its indigenous people amid threats from forest fires, development and what he called ideological “ashes of fear.”

Francis opened a three-week meeting on preserving the rainforest and ministering to its native people as he fended off attacks from conservatives who are opposed to his ecological agenda.

Francis celebrated an opening Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica on Sunday with global attention newly focused on the forest fires that are devouring the Amazon, which scientists say is a crucial bulwark against global warming.

On hand for the service were indigenous people from several tribes, some with their faces painted and wearing feathered headdresses, as well as more than 180 South American cardinals, bishops and priests, who donned green vestments like the pope.

Pope Francis, Bishops, Amazon
Francis opened a three-week meeting on preserving the rainforest and ministering to its native people as he fended off attacks from conservatives who are opposed to his ecological agenda. Pixabay

They traveled to Rome from the region for three weeks of debate at a special synod, or meeting, that has become one of the most controversial of Francis’ papacy.

Among the most contentious proposals on the agenda is whether married elders could be ordained priests to address the chronic priest shortages in the region. Currently indigenous Catholics in remote parts of the Amazon can go months without seeing a priest or having a proper Mass.

Another proposal calls for the church to identify new “official ministries” for women, though organizers have made clear that priestly ordination is off the table.

Francis’ conservative critics, including a handful of cardinals, have called the proposals “heretical” and an invitation to a “pagan” religion that idolizes nature rather than God. They have mounted an opposition campaign, issuing petitions and holding conferences to raise their voices.

Also Read- Tesla Cars to Have Farting, Goat Noise as Honk Sounds, Hints Elon Musk

Yet in his homily, Francis urged the Amazonian bishops to go boldly forward, urging they be “prudent” but not “timid” as they discern new ways to protect the environment and minister to the faithful. He drew a distinction between the “fire” of missionary zeal and fires that aim to carve out the rainforest for agricultural uses.

“The fire set by interests that destroy, like the fire that recently devastated Amazonia, is not the fire of the Gospel,” he said. “The fire of God is warmth that attracts and gathers into unity. It is fed by sharing, not by profits.”

He prayed that God’s “daring prudence” would inspire the bishops to bold action to protect the region.

“If everything continues as it was, if we spend our days content that ‘this is the way things have always been done,’ then the gift vanishes, smothered by the ashes of fear and concern for defending the status quo,” he said.

Pope Francis, Bishops, Amazon
Francis celebrated an opening Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica on Sunday with global attention newly focused on the forest fires that are devouring the Amazon. Pixabay

In many ways, Francis opened the synod last year, when he traveled into the Peruvian Amazon and demanded that corporations stop their relentless extraction of timber, gas and gold.  Meeting with native families in steamy Puerto Maldonado, Francis declared that the Amazon and its indigenous peoples are the “heart of the church” and demanded that governments recognize their rights to determine the region’s future.

The seeds of the Amazon synod, however, long predate that visit and even Francis’ landmark 2015 encyclical “Praise Be,” in which he denounced the profit-at-all-cost business interests destroying the rainforest.

The pope, when he was the former Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina, drafted the final document of the 2007 meeting of South American bishops in Aparecida, Brazil, which identified the Amazon and its indigenous peoples as threatened by global economic interests and deserving of the church’s utmost attention.

Scientists say the vast rainforest’s lush vegetation absorbs heat-trapping carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The moisture given off by its trees also affects rainfall patterns and climate across South America and beyond.

Also Read- Global Restructuring Plan not Country-specific: HP Inc

While the numbers of fires burning in the Amazon declined sharply last month, parts of the rainforest burned at a pace in July and August unseen since 2010. That fueled global worries about climate change, put the Amazon fires on the agenda of the Group of Seven summit hosted by French President Emmanuel Macron and directed environmental outrage at the pro-development stance of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro.

Bolsonaro has repeatedly said he wants to promote economic development in the Amazon and regularize small-scale illegal mining. He has also strongly criticized foreign countries for meddling with what he sees is a domestic Brazilian matter. (VOA)