Monday, 7 November 2016

Three Fold Celebration Held at Auxilium Parish

By Isaac Harold Gomes 

6th November 2016 was a very special day for Auxilium Parish Kolkata for three occasions:

- Celebration of Mother Teresa’s Canonisation as St Teresa of Calcutta
- Conclusion of the month of October dedicated to the Holy Rosary
- Marriage Jubilee of eight couples – Golden Jubilee for one couple and Silver Jubilee for seven.

Fr Dominic Gomes, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Calcutta was the main celebrant at the 3.30 pm Holy Eucharist in a packed church. Along with him were Fr John Chalil, Parish Priest, Fr Ujjol Mondol – Assistant Parish Priest, Fr C.J. Sebastian, Fr Andrew (UK) and priests of Mother Teresa. 

In his homily Fr Dominic showcased the various programmes held in Kolkata to celebrate Mother Teresa’s Sainthood.  He congratulated the Missionaries of Charity nuns present at the Eucharist and urged Auxilium parishioners to imbibe Mother’s spirit of love and service.  He blessed the life-size statue of St Teresa of Calcutta, donated by the golden jubilee couples Julius and Juliana Bage and went up to the jubilarian couples to congratulate and bless them. 

After the Eucharist which was enlivened by the English, Bengali and Hindi Choirs, a procession began with the statue of St Teresa of Calcutta around the roads of Auxilium Parish, led by two full-throated Kirtan groups from Kathgola (women) and No. 3 Bridge (men).  While Fr Dominic carried the Blessed Sacrament on a Matador, nuns from Missionaries of Charity, Holy Cross, Sister Adorers, Navjeevan and FMA walked with parishioners in prayer and songs. The procession came to a fitting end at 6.40 pm with a Benediction.   

After a short tea break, Jubilee Cake was cut and the jubilarian couples were felicitated by Fr John and Fr Dominic with garlands, gifts and special rosaries. The nimble-footed parish children and youth put up lovely dance performances to impress the jubilarian couples. Fr John thanked Fr Dominic for having spared his valuable time. Fr Dominic complimented all for the well-organised Eucharist and particularly the procession and the cooperation of the local people.                                                                                                                                

Saturday, 5 November 2016

Musical Tribute Held at St. Xavier's College

By Isaac Harold Gomes

The Archdiocese of Calcutta and Missionaries of Charity, in collaboration with Catholic Association of Bengal, organized a special programme, on Sunday 23rd October 2016 evening, to honour Mother Teresa on her being declared worldwide as “St. Teresa of Calcutta”. It was two hours of pristine Musical Tribute on the grounds of St. Xavier’s College in partnership with the Peerless Group.

The galaxy of stars were Missionaries of Charity girls, Holy Child School, Julien Day School,  Kala Hriday, all the six Schools and TTC of Loreto Kolkata, Don Bosco Park Circus School and the Archdiocesan Choir led by Dilip Rozario.  The icing on the cake was very short two-song performances by the one and only Usha Uthup and effervescent Shayne Harapriet.  
At the outset it must be said that all the schools put in hours of hard practice which was evident in their performance and each item left the audience wonderstruck.  Fittingly the girls of Missionaries of Charity took the stage first and put up a stellar performance. The girls of Holy Child School came up next.  They ended their dance with a poser:  “Will we just be happy celebrating Mother’s sainthood or will we imbibe in our everyday life the values Mother taught us?” 
Julian Day angels put up a lively dance performance with a lilting background song “Mother Teresa you are a living saint, Mother Teresa you are a caring saint.” 

The boys of Don Bosco Park Circus, started with a Michael Jackson song “Heal the World.” Then they sang “carry a candle on to the darkness, hold out your candle for all to see.” They mixed their musical with a high-class short play on Mother’s dedication to the have-nots, her overcoming challenges and criticism with love, and the various national & international awards she received. They ended with the song “I will always love you”.  Mrs Chatterton and Mr Anupam Banerjee, teacher, deserve kudos for training their boys for the D-Day.

The 120+ girls from six Loreto schools put up a sterling performance on the life of Mother Teresa, her service with a smile, her awards, depiction of Monica Besra and other miracles attributed to Mother Teresa leading to her sainthood.
What took everyone’s breath away was a 25-minute dance performance by “Dancing Jesuit” Fr George Saju’s team from Kala Hriday.  It was unalloyed Indian Classical music where Sarod and percussion stood out, complemented by superb choreography by Ms Gloria Megha Gomes and Satyen.  The rich intonation of the lyrics described Mother Teresa as the Solace to the destitute of Kolkata and the world, the helpless and shelterless women, lepers of Titagarh and orphaned children of Shishu Bhavan.  In keeping with Kolkata’s heritage and unwavering love for Indian Classical Music, it was a fitting tribute to Kolkata and Mother Teresa.

The last item was Bishwa Jana Janani by Archdiocesan Choir Master Dilip Rozario’s Bengali and Hindi group depicting mother’s life of service, devotion and love. 

The organizers and donors deserve all the praise for the memorable musical evening and for the wonderful backdrop, stage, sound and light arrangements. A thoroughly enjoyable evening in the memory of the most Blessed St. Teresa of Kolkata. 


Canonization Mass at Netaji Indoor Stadium - 2nd October, 2016

By Isaac Harold Gomes




2nd October 2016, 3 pm: Netaji Indoor Stadium Kolkata: It was at this memorable venue the Archdiocese of Calcutta and the Missionaries of Charity organised a Thanksgiving Eucharist to profoundly thank the Almighty for the Crowning Glory of Sainthood on Mother Teresa of Calcutta. Today coincides with the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, a messenger of peace. Both International Icons are Indians – Gandhi by birth and Mother by choice to dedicate her life for the poor and the marginalized.

It was very solemn and yet moving Eucharist with the Apostolic Nuncio Salvatore Pennacchio being the Main Celebrant along with 3 Cardinals (Cardinals Telesphore Toppo, Baselios Cleemis and George Allencherry), 49 Archbishops and Bishops and a large number of priests. The Eucharist began with a sprightly welcome dance by nimble-footed young girls wearing traditional costumes and delicately balancing earthen pots on their heads. The 10000 plus audience got instantly involved, thanks to the crisp introduction by Archbishop Thomas D’Souza, and a very touching homily by the Nuncio. The well-oiled choir brought life to the Holy Eucharist and it was only fitting that all the Choirmasters were handsomely praised for their painstaking efforts. 




After the Mass, there was a 15-minute break.  At 5.15 pm the audience stood up to welcome the the Chief Guest Vice President Mr Hamid Ansari, his wife and the Guest of Honour, Mr K.N. Tripathi, the Governor of West Bengal, to the accompaniment of the National Anthem. They were felicitated by the Archbishop and Sr Prema Superior General of Missionaries of Charity. Then, TMC Rajyasabha MP Mr Derek O'Brien said that Sr Prema and her MC sisters are wonderful people. He also mentioned that the Nuncio could make very good coffee and got a statue of Mother Teresa installed in his Delhi garden two years ahead of Kolkata, before Mother was declared a saint. 




After this the Vice President Mr Hamid Ansari waxed eloquent on the Mother.  He said when Mr Derek invited him to be the Chief Guest at today's civic function, he readily accepted. He described Mother Teresa as a Talisman of Compassion, love and care. Her love for the needy, the sick and the downtrodden was boundless, cutting across caste, creed and religious divide. He recalled what the Mother said "What the poor need most is to feel needed, to feel loved. There are remedies and treatments for all kinds of illnesses, but when someone is undesirable, if there are no serving hands and loving hearts, there is no hope for a true cure".  From a humble beginning with 12 nuns, the Missionaries of Charity now has 5500 nuns and volunteers spread over 139 countries. Mother's simplicity and utmost humility is what truly exemplifies her as a true  Indian. 

Sister Prema thanked Kolkatans for their wonderful spirit. She recollected 19 years ago, the same venue had bade a tearful farewell to Mother Teresa. And today Kolkatans gathered to give thanks to the Lord for crowning Mother Teresa with sainthood. She thanked all the dignitaries and Chief Minister Ms Mamata Banerjee and her Government for unstinted support to make the Canonisation Celebration a success. She had special words of thanks for Archbishop Thomas D'Souza and his members of the Core Committee.  She ended: "Indeed we have much to thank God for." 




There was a short cultural programme by girls from St Xavier’s College and from Mother Teresa’s centre. Calcutta Youth Choir also put up a couple of songs.

As Derek O’Brien said: “Let us strive to be 1% of St. Teresa of Calcutta.” 


Canonization Mass at Netaji Indoor Stadium - 2nd October, 2016

By Issac Harold Gomes




2nd October 2016, 3 pm: Netaji Indoor Stadium Kolkata: It was at this memorable venue the Archdiocese of Calcutta and the Missionaries of Charity organised a Thanksgiving Eucharist to profoundly thank the Almighty for the Crowning Glory of Sainthood on Mother Teresa of Calcutta. Today coincides with the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, a messenger of peace. Both International Icons are Indians – Gandhi by birth and Mother by choice to dedicate her life for the poor and the marginalized.

It was very solemn and yet moving Eucharist with the Apostolic Nuncio Salvatore Pennacchio being the Main Celebrant along with 3 Cardinals (Cardinals Telesphore Toppo, Baselios Cleemis and George Allencherry), 49 Archbishops and Bishops and a large number of priests. The Eucharist began with a sprightly welcome dance by nimble-footed young girls wearing traditional costumes and delicately balancing earthen pots on their heads. The 10000 plus audience got instantly involved, thanks to the crisp introduction by Archbishop Thomas D’Souza, and a very touching homily by the Nuncio. The well-oiled choir brought life to the Holy Eucharist and it was only fitting that all the Choirmasters were handsomely praised for their painstaking efforts. 




After the Mass, there was a 15-minute break.  At 5.15 pm the audience stood up to welcome the the Chief Guest Vice President Mr Hamid Ansari, his wife and the Guest of Honour, Mr K.N. Tripathi, the Governor of West Bengal, to the accompaniment of the National Anthem. They were felicitated by the Archbishop and Sr Prema Superior General of Missionaries of Charity. Then, TMC Rajyasabha MP Mr Derek O'Brien said that Sr Prema and her MC sisters are wonderful people. He also mentioned that the Nuncio could make very good coffee and got a statue of Mother Teresa installed in his Delhi garden two years ahead of Kolkata, before Mother was declared a saint. 




After this the Vice President Mr Hamid Ansari waxed eloquent on the Mother.  He said when Mr Derek invited him to be the Chief Guest at today's civic function, he readily accepted. He described Mother Teresa as a Talisman of Compassion, love and care. Her love for the needy, the sick and the downtrodden was boundless, cutting across caste, creed and religious divide. He recalled what the Mother said "What the poor need most is to feel needed, to feel loved. There are remedies and treatments for all kinds of illnesses, but when someone is undesirable, if there are no serving hands and loving hearts, there is no hope for a true cure".  From a humble beginning with 12 nuns, the Missionaries of Charity now has 5500 nuns and volunteers spread over 139 countries. Mother's simplicity and utmost humility is what truly exemplifies her as a true  Indian. 

Sister Prema thanked Kolkatans for their wonderful spirit. She recollected 19 years ago, the same venue had bade a tearful farewell to Mother Teresa. And today Kolkatans gathered to give thanks to the Lord for crowning Mother Teresa with sainthood. She thanked all the dignitaries and Chief Minister Ms Mamata Banerjee and her Government for unstinted support to make the Canonisation Celebration a success. She had special words of thanks for Archbishop Thomas D'Souza and his members of the Core Committee.  She ended: "Indeed we have much to thank God for." 




There was a short cultural programme by girls from St Xavier’s College and from Mother Teresa’s centre. Calcutta Youth Choir also put up a couple of songs.

As Derek O’Brien said: “Let us strive to be 1% of St. Teresa of Calcutta.”