Community of Saint Teresa of Kolkata arrives at Salimaguchha
By: Purushottam Nayak
Salimagucha, Cuttack/Bhubaneswar: Missionaries of Charity Sisters founded by Saint Teresa of Kolkata opened a new community at Salimaguchha Parish, of Archdiocese of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar on May 13 during the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima.
It is a gift to the poor, needy, marginalized and underprivileged.Salimaguchha has eight substations and 350 Catholic families in the remote area of the Archdiocese of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar. The parish was established on June 16, 1999.
“The MC Sisters have been serving the poor, needy of Salimaguchha since 2007-2008 Communal violence that shook the faith of Indian Christians,” said Sisir Sobhanayak the parish priest.
“We are proud to celebrate 100 years of Our Lady of Fatima Apparition to Lucia, Jacinta and Francisco Marto. We are fortunate to have MC Sisters amidst us, the congregation which stands first in the service of humankind in the world,” said Ranjan Singh a youth president.
Children, youth and the faithful prayed devoutly to God through the intercession of Our Lady of Fatima.
About 3000 faithful, 10 priests and 20 religious nuns were gathered for the occasion in Salimaguchha for the Fatima Feast celebration. His Grace John Barwa, SVD, Archbishop of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar presided over the Holy Eucharist.
There was confirmation of 119 candidates on this day. Candidates with great faith received the sacrament of confirmation.
“It was God’s plan that MC Sisters open a new community for Salimaguchha which is consist of poor, needy, underprivileged, downtrodden people, “said the SVD prelate.
“It was a long cherished dream that a woman religious congregation to open house at Salimaguchha, which is located in Ganjam District.“It is the work of service with good spirit with the intercession of Our Lady of Fatima in her feast and God is present in every community. God invites everyone to be his agent of peace, love and service,” said Sister Mary Olivet, MC head of Missionaries of Charity in Odisha.
Missionaries of Charity Sisters provided food pocket and sweet drink to the children, youth and the people present for the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima.
Mother Teresa founded the Missionaries of Charity, a Roman Catholic religious order in Kolkata in 1950, which in 2016 consisted of over 5160 nuns and is active in 139 countries, with a total of 758 homes (with 734 active and 24 nuns life devoted to life contemplative). Most monasteries are in India (243 communities), while across the border are 516. Beside them operate the “Brothers of Charity”, male institute with 397 priests (and 19 novices), present in 21 countries worldwide with 69 houses (43 in India and 26 abroad).
In Odisha, Missionaries of Charity has 18 houses. Mother Teresa first visited Bhubaneswar in 1974 and met then Odisha Chief Minister Nandini Satpathy and the Odisha Governor Akbar Ali Khan. Since then, Mother Teresa had visited Odisha several times.
Inspired by God Mother Teresa founded the Missionaries of Charity in order to take care of the poorest of the poor—the sick, the abandoned, the dying, the leprosy and TB patients, mentally and physically challenged people, said Sister Mary Olivet, head of Missionaries of Charity in Odisha.
“Mother Teresa and her members take care of those who are a burden to the human society. Her unshakable trust in God, made her to take a vow of giving-whole hearted and free service to the poorest of the poor, completely trusting in god and His providence for all their needs,” Olivet added.
In Bhubaneswar Missionaries of Charity has a home for the old, sick, abandoned women, tempera shelter for children, unwed mothers and women in distress. In Janla it has the leprosy rehabilitation center.
In Odisha, Missionaries of Charity has nine homes for the sick, abandoned and elders; six homes for children and three centers for leprosy patients and four for mentally sick.