By Purushottam Nayak
Kandhamal, Odisha: “Mother Teresa is an inspiration and model for our community to love and serve others,” said Medard Digal, a catechist from Kandhamal district of Odisha.
He is a catechist of Kopuguta substation of Our lady of Charity Parish, Raikia, under Cuttack-Bhubaneswar archdiocese of Odisha, an eastern Indian state.
About 300 faithful and two priests celebrated the Feast of Saint Teresa of Kolkata.
Mamota Nayak, a youth, received her first Holy Communion on this day.
There was a procession at the beginning of the celebration. Some Hindu and Christian youth danced before the Holy Eucharist to celebrate the feast.
“I am grateful to God for my daughter Smita Pradhan, who received Jesus for the first time in her heart through Holy Communion,” said mother Padmini Pradhan,
“Saint Mother Teresa prays for us to remain in peace and love one another,” said Pradosh Chandra Nayak, the Vicar General of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar archdiocese.
Quoting Mother Teresa `The fruit of silence is prayer. The fruit of prayer is faith. The fruit of faith is love. The fruit of love is service. The fruit of service is peace,’ said the priest in his homily.
She spent her life serving lepers, HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis patients. Her effort was to look after the dying, destitute, poor, marginalized and downtrodden people in society
“Her work and life inspire us possessing noble virtues of kindness, service, charity and generosity for mankind in the present world,” said Nayak.
Kopuguta has only seven Catholic families, one of the smallest substations in the archdiocese but has become a model of solidarity and fraternity in a Hindu-dominated village.
The substation has been celebrating the feast of Mother Teresa, the patron saint for five years together with Hindu brethren on the death anniversary on September 5.
There is unity and fraternity among Hindus and Christians in the village.
“Though I am a Hindu girl by religion, the life of Mother Teresa touched my heart who served with full dedication to humanity irrespective of caste, creed and color and religion,” said Sumitra Pradhan.
She participated in the celebration by joining in the entrance dance and the Bible procession.
“It is worth marking as the International Day of Charity which coincided with the death anniversary of Mother Teresa,” said Bijay Mallick, a leader of the region who attended the celebration.
Mother Teresa received the Bharat Ratna award, the highest civilian award in India and several national and international awards in
“We remember her outstanding work for the poor,” said Mallick.
“Let us take a pledge to help the least, lost and last with love in society as she did in her life,” added Mallick quoting Saint Teresa “Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”