Inspiring work of Saint Mother Teresa recalled with compassion

Venkat Raman

Much can be learnt from the life and teachings of Saint Mother Teresa; a Member of Parliament and a former Minister of the Crown has said.

Todd McClay, elected Member of Parliament from Rotorua and a senior member of the National Party Caucus said that in a iPad world where the social media dominates so much of our lives, it is important to remember that the origins of kindness often comes from the nobility of a humble beginning.

Making the world better

Speaking at the Ninth Annual Saint Mother Teresa Interfaith Meeting at the Catholic Church of Christ the King in Mt Roskill on Saturday, November 24, 2018, he said that it is a simple idea to make the world a better place, person-by-person through hard work, dedication, sacrifice and compassion.

“A better society is not built by others. It is constructed minute-by-minute and day-by-day by each and everyone of us. Saint Mother Teresa was an inspiration to countless millions through her life of devotion to the most vulnerable of the world. The selflessness and the sacrifice with which she lived made her an international symbol of charitable work,” he said.

Mr McClay said that the love and compassion that Saint Mother Teresa showed the whole world won her the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979, which she donated entirely to the poor.

Blending people

Earlier, Patrick Dunn, the Roman Catholic Bishop of Auckland and the Patron of the Saint Mother Teresa Interfaith Meeting paid rich tributes to ancestors and those who have left this world (“on whose shoulders we stand’).

“The Saint Mother Teresa Interfaith Meetings are very beautiful because they blend people of goodwill across the boundaries of religions, faiths, cultures and incomes. Saint Mother Teresa considered everyone as a human person, each of who deserves to be treated with dignity, love, respect and tenderness,” he said.

Bishop Patrick said that the human person is common to all and that “While honouring Saint Mother Teresa of Kolkata, we are honouring her principles and teachings.”

Sister Cherubina of the Missionaries of Charity spoke about the life, teachings and beliefs of Saint Mother Teresa and her work towards the alleviation of the poor.

Representative Faiths

Among those who lit the ‘Candle of Compassion’ were Allan White (Bahai Faith), Vivek Bhatia (Buddhism), Michael Dennis (Christianity), Vinod Kumar (Hinduism), Daud Azimullah (Islam), Jules Gaddie (Jewism), Hardial Singh (Sikhism), Godrej Engineer and Roshni Daruwalla (Zoroastrianism), Gregory Thwaite (Honorary Consul of Panama), Tayo Agunlejika (Multicultural New Zealand), Ruth Cleaver (Auckland Interfaith Council), Mother Superior Maria Chiara (Missionaries of Charity) and Arthy Devadoss (Saint Mother Teresa Interfaith Committee).

Bishop Patrick presented Bookmarks to Mr McClay, Ilango Krishnamoorthy (Mercury Printz which printed them free of cost), Members of Parliament Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi and Dr Parmjeet Parmar and others.

There were performances by Lyndsay Freer, Jeffery Nathan (Vocals) with Michael Dennis (Keyboard), the Mother of Divine Mercy Youth Group and Children’s Group organised by the Missionaries of Charity.

This Reporter, who is also the Chair of the Saint Mother Teresa Interfaith Committee, acknowledged the formation of a similar Committee in Kanyakumari, South India by Dr Jebamalai Vinanchiarachi and of the Interfaith Meeting held there on November 10, 2018. A video clip of the Meeting was shown.

Sneha Anthony, daughter of the late Wenceslaus Anthony spoke about the patronage of Bishop Patrick, the work of the volunteers and members of the Saint Mother Teresa Interfaith Committee and extended her note of gratitude to everyone involved including Bikanervala Restaurant and Shanti Niwas Charitable Trust for their sponsorship of snacks and beverages.

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