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Superior of Missionaries of Charity: Mother Teresa only lived to comfort Christ

2016-09-01

This is Mother Teresa's current successor as head of the Missionaries of Charity, Sr. Mary Prema. She has been the Superior General of the order since 2009, taking the place of Sr. Nirmala Joshi. In 1980, her life changed forever after reading a book about the life of Mother Teresa.

SR. MARY PREMA
Superior General, Missionaries of Charity
"The day I entered in the society, she was in Essen waiting for us. Two of us were joining and our mothers also accompanied us, so she took time to be with our mothers and said, 'Thank you for giving your daughters to Jesus.'”

She remembered that Mother Teresa, with her enormous energy and vitality, prepared their new rooms, like any mother would. She says many other moments with Mother now stay with her as unforgettable memories and lessons.

SR. MARY PREMA
Superior General, Missionaries of Charity
"I spoke one failure to Mother which I had committed and Mother looked at me and said, 'How much it pains mother's heart. But how much more it must pain the heart of Jesus.' I realized how united Mother was in her feeling, in her thinking. All was concentrating on Jesus. For Mother, it was 'what does Jesus feel?' not 'what Mother feels or what I feel,' but 'what does Jesus feel?' And all her life was to make Jesus happy; to console Him in His pain.”

Now, it is only a short time until Mother Teresa is proclaimed a saint. Her smile and ordinary actions with extraordinary love are some of her most simple, but profound messages. As such, her legacy leads to admiration between believers and nonbelievers alike.

SR. MARY PREMA
Superior General, Missionaries of Charity
"I think it is because of her littleness, because of her direct contact and approach to people with a smile. And the acceptance without condition of everyone - poor, rich, from any part of the world - brought people to the awareness that God is a father, also for me, and there is hope for me to turn my life into something beautiful.”

As Sr. Mary Prema recounts, Mother Teresa'swork and Calcutta have changed the lives of thousands of people, especially the youth.

SR. MARY PREMA
Superior General, Missionaries of Charity
"I can see the young people who are coming to volunteer in Calcuta and they come with the great desire to do something and change Calcutta. After some time they realize that they are changing. Calcutta is changing their attitude and they are more self-aware of self-defense and this makes them closer to God and to the poor.”

In the 19 years since the death of Mother Teresa, her work has multiplied in number and intensity. In 1997, the congregation was present in 120 countries; today they are in 139. There are also more houses around the world, totaling 758. The number of religious has also grown. There are 53 more religious men to total 416, and there are now a total of 5,161 sisters, 1,200 more than in 1997.


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