INDIA – Country prepares to celebrate Mother Theresa‘s canonization
Throughout India preparations are under way to celebrate the canonization of Mother Theresa, the country’s best-loved public figure, on 4 Sep.
A global film festival is being organised by the Indian chapter of SIGNIS, the World Catholic Association for Communication. to mark the event The Aug. 26-29 festival will open with the American documentary “Mother Teresa.” The Mother Teresa International Film Festival will feature seven Indian-made films, along with entries from the U.S., France, the U.K., Spain, Italy, Canada and Japan. It will be held at the Calcutta state government-run Nandan multiplex, a film and cultural center.
After opening in Culcutta, the Festival will travel around India and films will be screened in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Udaipur, Guwahati, Patna, Indore, Ranchi and four cities in Kerala. The Festival will also be held in 50 other countries including the UK, Malaysia, Ireland, Italy, Australia, Thailand, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and China.
Other planned celebrations in India for Mother Theresa’s canonization include a Mass of thanksgiving to be celebrated on 2 Oct at the Netaji Indoor Stadium which will be attended by India’s Vice President Hamid Ansari. A civic program will follow the Mass.
On 4 Nov the state government is organising a homage to the new St. Teresa of Calcutta. They also plan to install a life-size bronze statue of Mother Teresa at the Bishop of Calcutta’s residence.
Mother Teresa was born in Albania and joined the Sisters of Loretto when she was only 17. Later she was sent to Calcutta, India where she helped with pastoral and humanitarian work for a few years. While recuperating from an illness, she received what she called “an order” from God to leave her Order and live among the poor. She began working in the slums, teaching poor children, and treating the sick in their homes. A year later, when some of her former students joined her, they started taking in and caring for men, women and children who were dying in the streets.
In 1950, Mother Teresa founded the Missionaries of Charity as a congregation of the Diocese of Calcutta. Mother Teresa’s humanitarian work and spirituality earned her the admiration of millions of people of all faiths worldwide. When she died on 5 Sep 1997 at the age of 87 she was given a state funeral in India. Mother Theresa was beatified only six years later by St. John Paul II on 19 Oct 2003.