Bengal chief minister unveils Teresa statue

August 26, 2016 by  
Filed under newsletter-india

Kolkata, August 26, 2016: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee unveiled a life-size bronze statue of Mother Teresa at a special function on August 26, the saintly nun’s 106th birth anniversary.

The statue is at the residence of the Calcutta archbishop next to the statue of St John Paul II.

The two statues are placed in a garden in front of the iconic and imposing colonial style 130 plus year old Archbishop’s House on 32 Mother Teresa Sarani (Park Street).

Archbishop Thomas D’Souza of Calcutta and Missionaries of Charity (MC) Assistant General Sr Laisa received the chief minster who arrived five minutes ahead of the schedule dressed in a white sari with a blue border.

In her spontaneous message after unveiling the bronze statue Banerjee narrated two incidences when Mother Teresa called for help – one was when Christians of Haatgachia colony were being harassed by some rowdies, and the other was during a sectarian violence in 1992 in Kolkata. Banerjee had gone out to distribute relief to the victims and found Mother Teresa too doing the same and asked each other why they were outside exposing themselves to danger.

Banerjee thanked the archbishop for the invitation and announced allotment of land for a guest house for the archdiocese in Rajerhaat New Town. She also told how MC General Sr Prema visited her home to invite her to Mother Teresa’s canonization on September 4 in Rome.

Banerjee concluded her message calling on all to work together for the up lift of the poor and the downtrodden of society as Mother Teresa did.

Archbishop D’Souza said it was “a momentous occasion” to have Mother’s statue placed next to that of Pope John Paul II who had visited Calcutta in 1986 and stayed at the Archbishop’s House.

In 1946 Mother Teresa got her ‘call within the call’ and got the permission from late Jesuit Archbishop Ferdinand Perier to start the Missionaries of Charity. She was a frequent visitor to Archbishop’s House. “The statue will continue to remind us of her exemplary work and mission, and inspire us to follow her in spirit and action,” the prelate said.

The statue has been donated by industrialist and philanthropist Namit Bajoria, who is the Designate Honorary Consul of Republic of Macedonia in Kolkata.

“I have been greatly influenced by Mother Teresa since my school days. I am inspired by her to carry out social welfare work. I always wanted to put up a statue of Mother and today my dream has come true,” Bajoria said on the occasion.

The art work and installation of the 5 feet 2 inches statue, which weighs about 240 kilos, has been installed by Church Art Kolkata (unit of Lokenath Industries) – a Kolkata-based firm engaged in making various works of art for churches, schools and museums.

“Having watched her from close quarters and interacted with her on numerous occasions, it became easy sculpting the statue. I knew exactly how I wanted to portray her. I didn’t have to put in a huge effort to make the sketch for the statue since that famous gait and the poise are etched in my mind,” says Church Art Kolkata CEO Subrata Ganguly.

Ganguly has also made a fiber-glass life size image of Mother that was installed at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart of Mary and St Teresa of Calcutta in the neighboring Baruipur diocese on Mother’s 106th birth anniversary.

Mother Teresa was born 1910 in Skopje the capital city of the Republic of Macedonia where the government has already announced that Macedonia will mark the declaration of Mother Teresa a saint with several events and manifestations including setting up of one of the largest cathedrals dedicated to her.

– matters india

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