“The call to be a co-worker is a gift of God. In the Gospel of St. John, Jesus says, ‘I have chosen you’. He has chosen each one of you to be a carrier of God's love, an instrument of His peace and compassion.”
“A co-worker is a person who puts love into living action in the service of the poor. Where? First, in the family, not neglecting them before working outside.” (Mother Teresa of Calcutta)
The Co-Workers: From the early days of the Society, the Missionaries of
Charity attracted lay people in every part of the world who wished to have some part in the work of loving service to God in the person of the needy. Out of this group grew the International Association of Co-Workers of Mother Teresa, whose Constitutions were blessed by His Holiness Pope Paul VI on 29 March 1969.
Mother Teresa asked the Co-Workers to know and serve the poor in their own families, neighborhoods, working places, towns and cities first, for “charity begins at home.” Co-Workers are also invited to work with the local
Missionaries of Charity and encouraged to come together as a group whenever possible for prayer and sharing.
The Sick and Suffering Co-Workers are those who, because of illness or
disability, are unable to share physically in the service of the poor. They share in the apostolate by offering to God their prayers and sufferings for a particular sister, brother or father.
From the beginning, the Missionaries of Charity attracted people in every part of the world who wished to have some part in the work of loving service to God in the person of the needy. Out of this group developed what is today the International Movement of Co-Workers of Mother Teresa whose way of life and activities were blessed by His Holiness Pope Paul VI on 29 March 1969.
The co-workers consist of men, women, youth and children of all nations and cultures and is also the first such group that included members of all religions. Moved by the Spirit of God, co-workers desire to love Him in their fellowman, especially in the poorest of the poor of all castes and creeds, in the spirit of Blessed Teresa and the Missionaries of Charity with whom the co-workers are spiritually affiliated.
The aim of the International Movement of Co-Workers is to satiate the infinite thirst of God
for themselves as well as for all the children of God by:
• joyful and total surrender of themselves to the will of God in their day-to-day
lives with complete and loving trust in Him;
• loving and serving Him wholeheartedly and freely in the poorest of the poor.
The least of my brethren (the poorest of the poor) are:
• the hungry – not only for food and human companionship, but also for the Word of God;
• the thirsty – not only for water, but also for knowledge, peace, truth, justice and love;
• the naked – not only of clothes but also of human dignity;
• the unwanted, the unborn child, the racially discriminated against, the homeless and abandoned – homeless not only lacking a shelter made of bricks, but also a heart that understands, that covers, that loves;
• the sick, the dying destitute and the captives – not only in body but also in mind and spirit;
• all those who have lost all hope and faith in life, the alcoholics and drug addicts;
• all those who have lost God – who feel “God was” – and who have lost all hope in the power of the Spirit.
A co-worker is one who sees the face of God in every human person
and shares personally in the service of the poor using hands to serve and a heart to love:
“Truly I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of My brethren, You did it to Me” (Mt 25:40).
SICK AND SUFFERING CO-WORKERS
Sick and Suffering Co-Workers who are unable to join in the activities in the service to the poor
may be spiritually linked with an individual Missionary of Charity
by offering their prayer and suffering for this particular sister, brother or father.
Thus the sick and suffering co-worker becomes a life-giving partner in wholehearted and free service to the poorest of the poor.
Sick and suffering Co-worker link:
Missionaries of Charity
45139 Essen, Germany
St. Teresa desired her co-workers to maintain deep family love in their own homes, and beyond that, to seek and to serve those in need in their own neighborhood, their country, and the world. She emphasized getting to know the needy and suffering personally, as it is only when we know the people that we can understand and love them. Blessed Teresa asked the co-workers to do the “little things” – the things no one else has time to do.
WAY OF LIFE:
• “Bring prayer into your family. Love begins at home. You must start there by serving your own family and those in your neighborhood.” (St. Teresa of Calcutta)
• The co-workers are also invited and encouraged to work with the local Missionaries of Charity Sisters, Brothers or Fathers nearest them as much as it is possible. Where there are no Missionaries of Charity, the group leaders of the co-workers will remain in touch with the regional superior of their own region and carry out the work of love. In countries which do not belong to any Missionaries of Charity region, group leaders will contact the regional superior of the nearest region. Group leaders will be chosen by their own groups for a term of one year each time
• Co-workers are encouraged to come together locally as a group whenever possible according to their need: for prayer, sharing and work with the Missionaries of Charity where it is possible (or by themselves where it is not possible). Those who wish are free to periodically have days of silence, prayer and meditation locally, or, when necessary, a few neighboring groups can join together.