Annual Interfaith Meet demonstrates loyalty

It is often said that the real test of truth and loyalty is proved when people follow the examples of great people after they cease to exist.

On that score, most communities in Auckland could take pride in the fact that they believe in the life and teachings of Mother Teresa as they gather to pay tribute to a great Messenger of Peace every year in November.

The Fourth Annual Mother Teresa Interfaith Meeting will be held on Sunday, November 17, 2013 at 2 pm at the Catholic Church of Christ the King located at 260 Richardson Road in Mt Roskill.

Royal visitor

His Highness Nawab Mohammed Abdul Ali, Prince of Arcot based in Chennai, India will be the Guest Speaker at the event, being held under the patronage and support of Roman Catholic Bishop of Auckland Patrick Dunn.

The Prince, who is an ‘Ambassador of Peace’ in India believes in singular race and that all people should be treated equal and not based on caste, creed or ethnicity.

“I have always been moved by the great work that Mother Teresa did to bring solace and comfort to the poor and the dying. I follow her footsteps in promoting Peace. I have always been touched by Mother’s love for the poorest of the poor,” he said.

He said that he was delighted to learn that New Zealanders were paying tributes to Mother Teresa and was honoured to be invited to be the Guest Speaker at the Annual Mother Teresa Interfaith Meeting this year.

Solemn Occasion

The Programme will include a dance performance by Ratna Venkat, songs rendered by students and representatives of various faiths on the theme, ‘Make Me a Channel of Your Peace.’ Entry is open to people of all faiths.

As in yesteryears, Dame Lyndsay Freer will be the Master of Ceremonies.

Mother Teresa Interfaith Committee Chairman Wenceslaus Anthony said that the annual event is gathering national attention and recognition with the strength of attendance increasing year after year.

He said that the visit of the Prince of Arcot and his wife Sayeeda Begum will add to the importance of interfaith and reiterate our belief that all peoples belong to the single human race and that pursuing the cause for which Mother Teresa dedicated her life would be the best form of promoting peace and harmony.

The facilitators

“We are grateful to BNZ and Indian Newslink for facilitating the travel, accommodation and other costs relating to the visit of the Prince and his wife to New Zealand. They will also be among the Guests of Honour at the Indian Newslink Indian Business Awards ceremony, scheduled to be held on Monday, November 18, 2013 from 5 pm at Sky City Convention Centre, Auckland.

“It is gratifying that the annual Mother Teresa Interfaith meetings bring together Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, Sikhs, Zoroastrians, Jews and Christians to promote Love, Peace, Caring and Justice among people,” he said.

Although admired and respected by world leaders and rich men and women, Mother Teresa was more concerned about the uplift of the poor and care of the needy and the sick than the comforts of life.

‘The Missionaries of Charity’ that she established in Calcutta (Kolkata) in 1950 has grown to account for more than 4500 religious sisters working for the poor and needy in 133 countries across the Continents.

Humbling figure

Her presence and humility were so inspiring and electrifying that former Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, known for her toughness, would melt into tears whenever she met Mother Teresa.

At one such meeting, she said, “To meet her is to feel utterly humble.”

Speaking at a ceremony organised in New Delhi at which she was presented with the ‘Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding,’ she said, “At the end of your life, God will not judge you for what you did, but for how much you loved others.”

Mrs Gandhi, who presented the Award sat down and cried.

When she received the Noble Prize for Peace in 1979, she said, “At the end of life we will not be judged by how many diplomas we have received, how much money we have made, how many great things we have done. We will be judged by ‘I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat, I was naked and you clothed me. I was homeless, and you took me in. If you judge people, you have no time to love them,” she said.


What: Mother Teresa Interfaith Meeting

Speaker: Nawab Mohammed Abdul Ali, Prince of Arcot

Where: Catholic Church of Christ the King

260 Richardson, Mt Roskill

When: Sunday November 17 at 2 pm

Contact: Therese Turnnock on (09) 3603063


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