Letter from the Superior General
of the Missionaries of Charity Sisters
to Co-workers, Sick and Suffering Co-workers,
Lay MC and Volunteers
Sr. M. Prema, MC
5th May 2012
My dear Co-Workers, Sick and Suffering Co-Workers, L.M.C.S and Volunteers,
I wish you a joyous Easter Season and a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of Life.
Easter is a season of great joy and hope, a time of new beginnings, of God's forgiveness and love. And how much we are in need of such good news in our families, neighborhoods, schools and workplaces. How much we need to hear it first in our own hearts.
In one of His appearances after the Resurrection, Jesus asked Peter (who had miserably failed his Master three times by denying Him), "Do you love Me?" With that, Peter realized that he was still loved by Jesus. He stopped gazing at his own wounds and failures. He knew he was a sinner, but he chose to cease gazing upon his own wounds, and instead to gaze upon the wounds of his Lord so as to discover there the glory of the cross, the victory of Life over death. (Benedict XVI paraphrased) This decision to look at the wounds of Jesus rather than at his own freed him to love those entrusted to him.
When our Mother, Mother Teresa, was starting her work for the poorest of the poor, she too ceased gazing at her own fears and fixed her gaze instead on the Heart of Jesus, surrendering herself completely in His hands. She was then freed to become the mother of souls.
May each one of us, whatever our age, nationality, health, abilities, social status or religion, receive this grace of ceasing to gaze upon our miseries, failures and wounds and fixing our gaze rather on the Heart of God. We will thus be freed to love with God* s love our families, friends and all those with whom we come in contact.
you do with us and for us in our service of the poor, and above all for praying for us. Please pray for our sisters who are engaged in relief work in north Kerala, India, assisting the victims of land and water pollution caused by the use of a pesticide. Hundreds of people are now suffering from cancer, blindness, infertility, congenital deformities and other diseases. Please continue to pray for all the materially and spiritually poorest of the poor around the world.
I commend to your prayer also, the repose of the soul of Rev. Father Lawrence Abello S.J., probably known to those of you who have spent time in Kolkata. Fr. Abello died on 22 January 2012 of a malignant brain tumor detected three months earlier. Father Abello was a selfless and tireless priest who used his God-given gifts of the intellect to present the Truth clearly to all. He drew many people to God by his very life of simplicity, honesty, courage and dedication.
Let us together thank God for the gift of Jesus' Resurrection; for the love, joy and hope He has poured into our hearts. You and your families are in my prayer.
25 November 2012
Feast of Christ the King
My dear Co-Workers, Sick and Suffering Co-Workers, L.M.C.S and Volunteers,
••Our dear Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta brought to the world, especially to India, a very practical means of evangelization, a witnessing model. She became the most effective missionary in a land where Christians are less than of the population. Mother Teresa witnessed Jesus everywhere."
Cardinal Baselios Cleemis Thottunkal Archbishop Major of Trivandrum for Syro- Malankars
I wish you a fervent season of Advent, the abundant gift of love and peace of the newborn Saviour at Christmas and a grace-filled New Tear 2015. I thank God for the many graces and blessings He has given to each one of you and through your witness of life and loving service to your families and the poor.
During the Synod of -Bishops on the "Mew Evangelization * from the 7th to 28th of October I was deeply touched by the love which was expressed by the Synod Fathers for our M.C. vocation. At the Inauguration Mass Holy Father explained that the "Hew Evangelization is directed principally at those who, though baptized, have drifted away from the Church and live without reference to the Christian life, that they may rediscover the faith. Faith is the source of graces which brings joy and hope to personal, family and social life."
On the 11th of October at the opening Mass of the "Tear of Faith" the Cardinals and Bishops processed solemnly to the altar in St. Peter's Square commemorating the opening procession at the Vatican II Council 50 years ago. The ardent desire to bring the Good Hews of Christ's salvation to the people was held in common with the representatives from the Orthodox Churches, the Anglican and the Christian Churches who had been invited to participate in the Synod. Several times our Mother and her work were mentioned to highlight her evangelizing radiance.
On the 26th of October I got the chance to share the following intervention on behalf of the Missionaries of Charity in the Synod Hall.
"Our Mother Teresa is known for the work done for the poor. Hot all are immediately aware of the aim of our work, that is, 'to bring souls to God and God to souls. When asked by the Minister of Social Work about the difference between his work and her work, she responded: You do it for something, we do it for Someone.' From the beginning of the Congregation Mother knew that the work would need much deep fervent prayers and many penance. With a confident faith and in a spirit of loving trust, total surrender and cheerfulness she had only one desire to quench the thirst of Jesus for love and for souls. Contemplating Jesus on the Cross she knew and taught us how to live our vows of poverty, obedience and charity. Our vocation is not the work, but to belong to Jesus and as Jesus told Mother, 'Your vocation is to love, suffer and save souls
In many countries the sisters take medicine to interior villages where Jesus is not yet known. The very sick ones are admitted in our homes where they receive the treatment mostly for tuberculosis. During their stay with us the poor share in the prayers of the sisters. They hear the Word of God, are present for Holy Mass and Eucharistic Adoration. They learn about God's merciful love for them and to pray the rosary. Their deepest questions about life receive an answer. At their return to their village they spread their experience of Jesus to their families and neighbors.
They received the gift of faith, through the witness of the religious life in the Church, a Church that prays, that lives in community of different cultures and nations and where love is put into action.
In Kolkata volunteers cone from many countries to share in the service of the poor in our homes. They come from all walks of life with very different expectations. These young people are invited to participate in the Holy Mass at 6 o'clock in the morning* After their service where they have touched Jesus in the poor, they return to Motherhouse to adore Jesus in the Eucharist at 6 p.m.
Usually a priest is available for confession. Lately we have an increasing number of Chinese volunteers* One day a young woman approached Mother beaming with joy: I have found Jesus in the home for the dying. A young man shared his experience in these words: 'I had come to change Kolkata; now I see that Kolkata has changed me.' In Temen, Afghanistan, Syria, Gaza, Iraq and other Muslim countries we live among the people, serve their sick and handicapped poor and make personal contact with the families to support them in their immediate needs.
Our Mother spread the Kingdom of the Immaculate Heart by offering a Miraculous Medal to every person she met. We go two by two, rosary in hand and Our Lady opens the doors and the hearts of the poor for Jesus to enter. Please pray for us that we may make the Church fully present by our love for Jesus and the poor wherever Sod has sent us.
I thank Your Holiness and you dear Bishops for earing lovingly for the spiritual needs of our sisters in your dioceses."
My dear Co-Workers, Lay Missionaries of Charity and volunteers, I am deeply grateful for the gift of each one of you, your prayers, sacrifices and services* May Our Lady teach you to believe in God's unconditional and unfailing love. May she give you her pure heart to say "yes" to Jesus in whatever form He chooses to come to you. Allow Jesus to live in and through you His life of infinitely tender, compassionate and merciful love for your family and the poor, this will bring great joy to the Heart of Jesus, who has been born to save us.
I experience the strength and support of your prayers and sacrifices for me personally and the work God has entrusted to the Society. I keep you in my prayer during this season of grace.