Mother Teresa of Calcutta successor, Sister Nirmala, dies

MC, NJ Viehland

MC sisters join Lament service in Paco Church, Manila,2013. – NJ Viehland Photos

Sister Nirmala Joshi, who had succeeded Mother Teresa as the Superior General of the Missionaries of Charity in 1997  passed away around midnight June 23. She was 80.

The nun has been suffering from a heart ailment, The Indian Express reported.  Her remains will be kept at the Missionaries of Charity headquarters in Kolkata until her funeral on June 25 afternoon.

The Missionaries of Charity under Sister Mary Prema Pierick’s lead since 2009 continue to care for the homeless and dying in Kolkata. The congregation that began as a small community with 12 members in Calcutta currently has over 4,500 Sisters running orphanages, AIDS hospices, charity centres worldwide, and caring for refugees, the blind, disabled, aged, alcoholics, the poor and homeless and victims of floods, epidemics and famine in Asia, Africa, Latin America, North America, Europe and Australia.

After Pope Paul VI granted in 1965 Mother Teresa’s request to expand her congregation to other countries it established its first house outside India in Venezuela. Others followed in Rome and Tanzania, and eventually in many countries in Asia, Africa, and Europe, including Albania.

The first home of the Missionaries of Charity in the United States was established in the South Bronx, New York. In the USA, the Missionaries of Charity are affiiated with the Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious, a body of female religious, representing 20 percent of American nuns.

By 1996, the congregation was operating 517 missions in more than 100 countries. Today, more than one million co-workers and donations from ordinary people reportedly support the group.

In the Philippines mission, 53 foreigners and 50 Filipinas are among some 138 members a Catholic Directory published by Claretian Publications reports.. Six are contemplative sisters. Some 116 Filipinas are serving abroad, and the rest care for sick and malnourished children and destitute adults in centers located in five archdiocese and eight dioceses around the country.

 

 

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Day of Lament and Hope in pictures

Consecrated women in this white and blue sari filled many pews in San Fernando de Dilao church in Paco on Saturday, Nov. 16 where Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle led the special liturgy for the Day of Lament and Hope to reflect on recent calamities in the country and pray for victims and survivors.

Members of Missionaries of Charity, which is among those whose houses of charity were ruined by Typhoon Haiyan in Palo archdiocese, Leyte filled many pews on the Day of Lament and Hope service led by Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila in San Fernando de Dilao Church, Paco, Manila Nov. 16. NJ Viehland Photo

Members of Missionaries of Charity, which is among those whose houses of charity were ruined by Typhoon Haiyan in Palo archdiocese, Leyte filled many pews on the Day of Lament and Hope service led by Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila in San Fernando de Dilao Church, Paco, Manila Nov. 16. NJ Viehland Photo

The service began with the procession of the crucified Christ and installation of the crucifix at the altar of the candle-lit church packed with people, some of whom had to stand outside. Reflections, readings and songs referred to this experience of Jesus and the meaning and impact of his suffering on the salvation of the world.

Manila archdiocese's Day of Lament and Hope for victims and survivors of recent calamities in the Philippines set by Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila on Nov. 16 began in San Fernando de Dilao Church, Paco, with the procession of the crucified Christ. NJ Viehland Photo

Manila archdiocese’s Day of Lament and Hope for victims and survivors of recent calamities in the Philippines set by Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila on Nov. 16 began in San Fernando de Dilao Church, Paco, with the procession of the crucified Christ. NJ Viehland Photo

Tagle on reaching the altar went down on his knees with his knees then lay face-down on the floor with his servers for some minutes of quiet and stillness in the church.

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle (center in white) lay prostrate before the altar after the procession of the cross during the 'Day of Lament and Hope' closing service at San Fernando de Dilao Church in Paco, Manila Nov. 16, 2013 for people who were killed, those who survived successive calamities in the country this year.- NJ Viehland Photos

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle (center in white) lay prostrate before the altar after the procession of the cross during the ‘Day of Lament and Hope’ closing service at San Fernando de Dilao Church in Paco, Manila Nov. 16, 2013 for people who were killed, those who survived successive calamities in the country this year.- NJ Viehland Photos

Youth sitting in front of the altar in the candle-lit San Fernando de Dilao church, Paco where Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila led the archdiocese's Day of Lament and Hope prayer service for victims and survivors of recent calamities in the Philippines. By NJ Viehland

Youth sitting in front of the altar in the candle-lit San Fernando de Dilao church, Paco where Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila led the archdiocese’s Day of Lament and Hope prayer service for victims and survivors of recent calamities in the Philippines. By NJ Viehland

Maryknoll Missioner Fr James Ferry, long-time vicar of religious in Manila archdiocese [extreme right] and Fr Erwin Balagapo of Palo archdiocese, Leyte joined the service capping the Nov 16 Day of Lament and Hope, a day of prayer and fasting set by Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle in Manila for victims and survivors of recent calamities in the country, and for all Filipino people. By NJ Viehland

Maryknoll Missioner Fr James Ferry, long-time vicar of religious in Manila archdiocese [extreme right] and Fr Erwin Balagapo of Palo archdiocese, Leyte joined the service capping the Nov 16 Day of Lament and Hope, a day of prayer and fasting set by Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle in Manila for victims and survivors of recent calamities in the country, and for all Filipino people. By NJ Viehland

Fr Erwin Balagapo returned from Rome where he was studying and went straight to Tacloban City on a military plane after arriving in Manila to scan the situation in the archdiocese and help with spiritual needs of people. At the prayer service, he shared his reflections on his experience of that visit to his devastated archdiocese. 

Father Erwin Balagapo of Palo archdiocese, Leyte after returning from the ravaged province shared his reflections at the liturgy for Manila archdiocese's Day of Lament and Hope set by Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle on Nov. 16 at San Fernando de Dilao church, Paco for fasting and prayer for victims and survivors of recent calamities in the Philippines. By NJ Viehland

Father Erwin Balagapo of Palo archdiocese, Leyte after returning from the ravaged province shared his reflections at the liturgy for Manila archdiocese’s Day of Lament and Hope set by Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle on Nov. 16 at San Fernando de Dilao church, Paco for fasting and prayer for victims and survivors of recent calamities in the Philippines. By NJ Viehland

Psalms and Santo Nino highlighted the prayer service for the Day of Lament and Hope led by Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila Nov. 16 in San Fernando de Dilao church, Paco. By NJ Viehland

Psalms and Santo Nino highlighted the prayer service for the Day of Lament and Hope led by Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila Nov. 16 in San Fernando de Dilao church, Paco. By NJ Viehland

[Part 2, More to follow]

Calcutta is everywhere in the world – Mother Teresa

By: N.J. Viehland

In a recent interview with Indian priest Father Ivan Vas of the Society of the Divine Word (SVD) who is in Manila studying at UST, he offered Mother Teresa of Calcutta as a model of Christian discipleship.

Radical discipleship “calls us to leave everything and follow the way Jesus lived as a young man,” which is not happening today among Religious men and women in his country, Father Vas said.

“When people go to church, they want to see how the priest and religious [have] followed the Master, and they are waiting to hear or experience those testimonies,” Father Vas said citing the example of Mother Teresa.

He explained, “She saw people without health care, without food, and she just started the work. Seeing this, people come for help, and also to help,” adding, “No wonder that the Missionaries of Charity do not encounter problems with vocations and volunteers.”

This documentary on Mother Teresa shows me “Calcutta is everywhere in the world”, how she responded and why, and what drove Father Vas to say what he did about her.

Missionaries of Charity at Arzobispado de Manila for Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle’s birthday 2012. / N.J. Viehland Photo