Archbishop Nichols with Missionaries of Charity
Archbishop Vincent Nichols was chief celebrant at a special Mass at Holy Apostles in Pimlico, central London yesterday, to mark the final day of a Novena to Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta and her Feast Day.
Priests and congregations from the Albanian, Neo-Catechuminate, Indian, Filipino, Brazilian and Polish Catholic communities, who had led Novena days, took part in the Mass, together with members of the Missionaries of Charity, (the order Blessed Mother Teresa founded), and the Loreto Sisters (which she originally belonged to). One representative from the Albanian Embassy and three from the Embassy of Kosovo attended, including the deputy ambassador Mr Bejtullah Destani. The music was led by the Sacred Heart of Jesus RC school choir from Swaffham in Norfolk. A large portrait of Blessed Mother Teresa, painted by girls from the school, was on display on the sanctuary.
During his homily Archbishop reflected on some of Mother Teresa's main messages: 'Love is stronger than death', Jesus' words on the Cross - 'I thirst', and finally her encouragement to every person to 'Do something beautiful for God'. 'We can do no great things" she said. "only small things with great love."
After the Mass a message from Sister Mary-Prema, Mother Superior of the Missionaries of Charity was read out. Mr Fran Kosol from the Kosovan Embassy also gave a short speech thanking Holy Apostles for holding the Novena.
Blessed Mother Teresa is especially important to Holy Apostles, because the parish is one of the Mass centres for the Albanian chaplaincy, led by Fr Gary Walsh. Parish Priest Canon Pat Browne met her on several occasions. He first got to know Mother Teresa when he visited India as a young seminarian. Later, when he was Private Secretary to Cardinal Hume he accompanied her at a meeting with Mrs Thatcher in Downing Street.
An official exhibition on the Life, Spirituality and Message of Mother Teresa is currently running at St Patrick's Church in Soho Square, from Tuesday - Sunday 11am-7pm until 15 September. It includes a replica of her small room in Calcutta. (The area near the church is currently undergoing major building work for the new train station but you can find the entrance at the corner of Charing Cross Road and Goslett Yard.) For more information and wheelchair access call: 07719827419 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org