09/04/2017, 12.32
INDIA
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Sister Medard in Mumbai: Mother Teresa's spirit lives in our service to the poor

by Nirmala Carvalho

The Missionary of Charity who worked side by side with Mother managed adoption procedures at the Nirmala Shishu Bhavan children's center. More than 7,000 couples enjoyed the gift of parenthood. Work "wherever there is poverty. That poverty which is not only material, but derives from loneliness and unwantedness. "

Mumbai (AsiaNews) - Mother Teresa's spirit did not die with her 20 years ago, but "continues to serve the Missionaries of Charity. A service of love for the poorest among the poor”, says Sister Medard of the Missionaries of Charity of Mumbai.

On the eve of the day commemorating the death of the Saint from Calcutta, AsiaNews met with one of her sisters. Sr manages adoption procedures at the Nirmala Shishu Bhavan children's center in Mumbai, located on Church Road, Vile Parle West. The work of Mother Teresa's sisters, she adds, extends "everywhere there is poverty, in some places, there may not be material poverty, but there exists the poverty of terrible loneliness and unwantedness, through all this we continue to quench Jesus’ Thirst For Souls.”"

Today is also the first anniversary of her canonization, which took place last year in the Vatican. Tomorrow, , a liturgical ceremony will take place in all the houses of the missionaries in memory of the Mother. The title of the commemoration is "Saint Teresa of Calcutta, virgin and founder". Msgr. Angelo Gracias, auxiliary bishop, will preside over the Eucharist in Mumbai. Mass will take place at 7am (local time) at the church of Saint Francis Xavier.

Sr. Medard worked closely with Mother, whom she first met in London at the award of the Tempelton Prize [1973, ndr]. After that meeting, the nun decided to join the Missionaries of Charity.

Speaking of Mother Teresa's example of love, the religious remembers an episode:  In 1976, Mother Teresa met the President Luis Echeverria of Mexico, to open a house in that country. Sr Medard MC who went with Mother Teresa told AsiaNews, that the President told Mother, that religious habits were not permitted to be worn in the country, to which Mother promptly responded, “My dear President, what religious habits, this is a saree- and we are accepted all over the world with this dress, if you want us in Mexico, you have to accept our saree”. The religious dress was accepted and today we have many houses in Mexico”.

In the abandoned Maharashtra homestead home, Medard was the one who handled the adoption practices. Thanks to her work, about 7,000 couples have known the gift of becoming parents. "But recently, she says, the Missionaries of Charity have decided to stop adoptions [in a protest against the government's guidelines that allow adoption to same sex or divorced couples]." Now the religious cares for children she calls "special": the house in Mumbai welcomes 29, Asha Dhan in  Byculla 450 more.

The Missionaries are also active in bringing relief to those affected by the flooding caused by the heavy monsoon rains. "We distributed food portions (10 kg of rice, dhal (red lentils, sugar, oil) and also packed snacks, biscuits and sweets to more than 200 displaced people”- concludes the nun. “Our sisters have come from Calcutta all that is needed for health care. In this way we take care of the poor, who are the ones who suffer most in these calamities. "

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