Catholics in Indonesia marked the 25th anniversary of the death of Mother Teresa of Calcutta with various activities in the past weeks.
The Indonesian Mother Teresa Co-Workers, or Kelompok Kerabat Kerja Ibu Teresa -I Thirst Movement (KKIT-ITM), held novena prayers that ended on September 4.
The event was attended by hundreds of devotees who vowed to follow the footsteps of the saint.
“This spiritual experience became the fundamental basis of her charity service,” said Cardinal Ignatius Suharyo Hardjoatmodjo, referring to the late nun’s “personal spiritual vision … to serve Christ who was thirsty.”
Sinta Ekoputri Hidayat, KKIT-ITM Indonesia’s coordinator, said her life “has been totally changed” since she met Mother Teresa and learned of her charity work.
“At first, I was really shocked to see what the saint did everyday with her nuns to take care of the sick and the dying,” said Hidayat.
“Such an unexpected experience in Calcutta suddenly and spiritually have created strong spiritual impacts in my whole life. I changed myself ever since,” she added.
Mother Teresa died on Sept. 5, 1997, at the age of 87, and was beatified by Pope John Paul II just 6 years later. She was canonized by Pope Francis in 2016.
The Albanian nun served the “poorest of the poor” in the slums of Calcutta, India, for decades and founded the Missionaries of Charity religious order.
In a message, Sister Mary Joseph, the current Superior General of the Missionaries of Charity, that the poor “are always in our midst to love and serve them,” adding that “different political situations have never affected this work of ours.”
“Whether in India or abroad, our sisters regularly visit families, especially the elderly and shut-ins, those in prisons and hospitals, the most abandoned and lonely, bringing new hope to their lives. Immediate emergency aid to victims of various natural disasters has always been our priority,” she said.
“Outside India, too, we have homes where we care, both materially and spiritually, for the poorest of the poor, those most rejected by society, those living on the streets, alcoholics… Night shelters and soup kitchens are open for those most in need, alongside the night apostolate in which sisters bring food rations to those who would end their day hungry,” added the message.