India Celebrates Mother Teresa

All of the church bells in Calcutta rang yesterday afternoon to announce and celebrate the beatification of their beloved and Blessed Mother Teresa. The native Albanian sister and foundress of the Missionaries of Charity, was beatified by Pope John Paul II yesterday in Rome, and about 2.5 million Catholics in India celebrated with thanksgiving masses, interfaith prayer services, musicals and film screenings.

In the Diocese of Pune, where Calcutta and the Missionaries’ motherhouse are located, the churches marked the occasion with weeklong celebrations, which included Eucharistic Adoration, public masses, interfaith services for peace, prayer meetings and feeding the poor.

A special mass was also celebrated at the sisters’ motherhouse and large screens were set up so the sisters and the neighborhood children could watch the live broadcast of the beatification ceremony in Rome.

In addition to prayer services, daily adoration and mass, Mother Teresa’s former parish, St. Teresa of Avila, organized a cricket tournament. Many people of all faiths have been visiting the 15,000-member parish to seek blessings from Mother Teresa, reported the pastor, Fr. Orson Wells. The parish is also organizing a visit to Mother Teresa’s tomb at the motherhouse for the street children on Children’s Day, Nov. 14. After games, they will be served a free lunch.

Celebrations in India will continue into next month. A public celebration of the historic event is organized for the first week of November. In addition, a four-day exhibit of several paintings on the life of Mother Teresa will begin Nov. 5 at St. Xavier College. The exhibit is based on the beatification theme “Come, be my light!”.

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