By Isaac Harold Gomes
Kolkata, September 11, 2019: An interfaith prayer for peace and harmony was held at the headquarters of the Missionaries of Charity in Kolkata on September 10, commonly known as ‘Inspiration Day.’
Father Francis Sunil Rosario, director of Diocesan Commission for Dialogue and Ecumenism, said September 10 is a historic day as it was on that day Mother Teresa received special inspiration to start her mission for the dying destitute.
The inspiration gradually led to the birth of the Missionaries of Charity.
This year, the day also coincided with Muslim festival of Muharram.
Archbishop Thomas D’Souza of Calcutta and Missionaries of Charity superior general Mary Prema, lighted lamps around the Mother Teresa’s tomb inside the chapel.
Representatives of various faith communities also joined in lighting the lamps.
O P Shah of the Forum for Peace said, “Peace is much desirable and urgently required.” All saints, he noted, had worked for peace and all have to work hard for promoting peace.
He said throughout her life, Mother Teresa preached equity and justice to promote peace.
Irfan Sher, a Muslim leader, spoke on the significance of Muharram in building peace. He gave a biblical interpretation to the celebration of Muharram.
Pritpal Singh Bedi, a Sikh, said all religions have the same DNA. With his team, he rendered a devotional song on peace.
The prayer meeting also heard two persons sharing “miracles” experienced through the intercession of Mother Teresa.
Archbishop D’Souza said Mother Teresa must be glad to see the reflection on peace by representatives of various faiths.
It was on this day in 1946 she heard deep in her heart a very personal call from Jesus to be a light in the lives of the poorest of the poor. Mother said yes to this call and the rest is history, the archbishop added.
Reverend Martin Pakhare, member of Church of North India, said it was his first visit to the Missionaries of Charity headquarters and Teresa’s tomb.
He had worked in Mother Teresa’s projects in Madhyamgram during his college days and said he felt honored by the invitation to pray for peace.
Maulana Muslehuddin Saadi, an Ahmeida Muslim, and Buddhist monk Bodhipala noted Mother Teresa and peace were two sides of the same coin.
The common strain at the prayer meeting the absolute need for leaders and followers of all religions to meet regularly to find ways to promote peace.
Sister Prema urged all to seek Mother Teresa’s help to serve the poor with humility and purity of heart.