Sister Prema Vows to Continue Mother Teresa’s Work

From the Catholic News Service reporting from Calcutta, India:

The newly elected head of the Missionaries of Charity, Sister Mary Prema, said she will continue the work of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta to show God’s compassion to “broken humanity.”

The German-born nun, elected March 24 to lead the congregation, said she felt “unworthy of the office” held by Sister Nirmala Joshi for the past 12 years and by Mother Teresa before that.

Sister Prema told the Asian church news agency UCA News March 24 that she felt humbled at taking up the leadership of her congregation’s mission of serving “the poorest of the poor.”

“With God’s strength, I will do this work and be part of this mission,” she said.

Sister Prema was elected at the end of the congregation’s general chapter, which began Feb. 1. Earlier, the nuns had elected Sister Nirmala for a third term, but she reportedly withdrew because of ill health. Her third term would have required papal approval since the congregation’s constitution allows only two six-year terms for the superior.

The chapter of 163 delegates from across the world then elected Sister Prema, who for the last six years was part of Sister Nirmala’s team of councilors.
Sister Prema told UCA News that Missionaries of Charity members are “entrusted with a grave responsibility to take to Jesus broken humanity.”

“The cry of the poor is to be satiated daily as we have to give God’s compassion to all people,” she said.

The nuns are called to work “for unity at all levels and to make the church present in our world today, through humble means and works of love,” she said.
Sister Prema said that, as a young woman, she had “a very clear call of Jesus” to work for the poor. She said Malcolm Muggeridge’s 1971 book on Mother Teresa’s work, “Something Beautiful for God,” made her aware of the Missionaries of Charity.

She met Mother Teresa for the first time in 1980 in Berlin. When they met again, the young German expressed her desire to join the congregation.
Mother Teresa founded the congregation in 1950 and began her work among the poor in Calcutta. She died in 1997.

The chapter delegates returned to the motherhouse March 25 and had a thanksgiving Mass at Mother Teresa’s tomb. Sounds of clapping, singing and congratulations could be heard outside the walls of the convent, which was closed to visitors.

A handwritten notice saying “no visitors” was posted at the entrance. A nun at the door explained that the convent had no space for more visitors because nuns had “come from all over.”

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One Response to “Sister Prema Vows to Continue Mother Teresa’s Work”

  1. meredith Says:

    I am looking for a reputable organization to donate to, as I hear God telling me “feed the children.” please tell me about you, what rating do you have with the American Institute of Philanthropy? Are you feeding, caring for the poor, or are you also working to stop the population from continuing to increase? I feel that is very important. thank you. Mother Teresa was my heroine.

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