350 from Kolkata to attend Teresa canonization

July 10, 2016 by  
Filed under newsletter-india

Kolkata, July 7, 2016: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Archbishop Thomas D’Souza of Calcutta and Missionaries of Charity superior general Sister Mary Prema are among some 350 people from Kolkata heading to Rome in early September to attend the canonization of Blessed Mother Teresa.

Priests, nuns and admirers of Mother Teresa are in a group of 200 people from the City of Joy to attend the September 4 event in the Vatican where Pope Francis is scheduled to declare the world renowned nun as a saint in the Catholic Church.

They will be followed by another group of 150 visitors who will travel to Italy for a short pilgrimage after the canonization, reports The Times of India.

Banerjee will head a delegation of government officials from the eastern Indian state.

Archbishop D’Souza will lead a group of six from the archdiocese and Sister Prema will head a council of five sisters from the Missionaries of Charity in Kolkata. Nuns from other centers of India will join the team.

Unconfirmed reports say Archbishop D’Souza could share the altar with Pope Francis at the canonization ceremony. “I am yet to receive the details of the canonization program. So I don’t know yet if I will be on the altar with the Holy Pope. But it is indeed a great honor to be able to join the ceremony and witness it. We are all waiting for it to happen,” said the prelate, who will leave for the Vatican on September 1.

The canonization will be followed by the Day of Feast on September 5, Mother’s death anniversary. “For Catholics, the day of death is taken to be the day of your birth in heaven. So it will be another big occasion,” said Sunil Lucas, working president of the World Catholic Association for Communication.

Apart from those representing religious bodies, several people from Kolkata will be present on the occasion. Most are admirers or people who have been associated with Mother Teresa.

Rumila Mukherjee, an executive with a private firm, will be part of a 20-member team that leaves Kolkata on September 2.

“I have grown up idolizing Mother and would often follow her to Nirmal Hriday in Kalighat, which is close to where I live. She was a symbol of compassion and kindness. For Kolkatans, Mother has always been a saint. Now that she is being formally christened, I wouldn’t like to miss the ceremony,” said Mukherjee, who will travel to other religious sites across Italy, France, Portugal and Belgium.

Zion Tours is organizing a tour of Italy around the canonization ceremony for 150 people from Kolkata.

They will be flying in two batches on September 2 and 3. “We planned the trip with the canonization in mind. Within days of announcing the tour, all berths were booked. We have another group travelling from Goa, but the Kolkata contingent is much largerThere is great excitement about the trip because it is a historic occasion,” said Paul Siquera of Zion Tours. They will visit Rome, Pisa, Venice and Milan after the canonization.

Painter Sunita Kumar, a long-time associate of Mother Teresa, is looking forward to the canonization though she will not be making the trip.

“It will be similar to the beatification ceremony, which I had attended. This time I will stay back in Kolkata to supervise and take part in some of the events that will follow the canonization,” said Painter Sunita Kumar, an associate of Mother Teresa.

The festivities, however, will begin in Kolkata even before the canonization.

A Mother Teresa International Film Festival has been planned from August 26 to 29 at Nandan. It will screen over 20 documentaries and films on Mother.

“It will be a curtain-raiser to the canonization. We have permission to screen 13 of them. But the clearance to host the festival at Nandan is yet to come. We hope it comes through in time,” said Lucas, one of the organizers. After Kolkata, the festival will be held in Shillong from September 3 to 5.

– matters india

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