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“Serving the poor” non-negotiable: New head of Missionaries of Charity

Sister Mary Joseph, the newly elected superior general of Missionaries of Charity with
Archbishop Thomas D’Souza, during the Chrism Mass in Calcutta, eastern India on April 6, 2022. (Photo by Archdiocese of Calcutta)

Sister Mary Joseph, the new head of the Missionaries of Charity, said firmly that her leadership attitude is centered on serving the poor and the poorest of the poor.

She said that the choice was founded on the founding charism of the first missionary of congregational ministry, "living for Jesus and the impoverished."

"Our charism allows us to serve the needs of the poor and the poorest of the poor. We stand by them to protect their rights, dignity, and freedom to live in a recognized way,” explained Sister Joseph.

She continued, “They have no one. We are their guardians to look after, irrespective of who they are or their background.”

The nun said that the presence of the Missionary of Charity that Mother Teresa of Calcutta founded in 1950 has aimed to primarily show love for God and the person who is hurting the most.

In this spirit, she talked about four members of her congregation who chose to live in the basement with refugees in Kyiv, Ukraine, giving them food and all the things they needed during wartime.

“We demonstrate ‘our love for God and our neighbor,’ who suffers injustice and deprivation due to the socio-economic and political system,” said Sister Joseph.

She added, “We create a safe place for them where they feel safe, protected, and protected.”

The nun claims that charity missionaries do not want to do things that do not fit with their group's mission, like social justice and religious conversion.

“Anything that goes against our charisma, we do not accept. Our priority in charitable missions is to practice charity in its truest sense. Our apostolate is to bring the presence of God to people who are in pain," explained Sister Joseph, while acknowledging that there are many others who can do other things. 

She further said that through this charity work, they are called to grow in the life of Jesus and to experience His Paschal mystery (passion, death and resurrection of Jesus). 

"Jesus wants our lives to be transparent in our relationships," said Sister Joseph.

While she and her congregation continue to assist the impoverished and underprivileged, prayer remains her and her congregation's first focus.

“My one single priority is to pray. Prayer is essential to us as members of Missionaries of Charity. I learned the art of deep prayer from my mother. She was deeply united with Jesus on the cross when she prayed—whether at daily Mass or adoration before the Blessed Sacrament,” said Sister Joseph. 

She thinks that as she grows in her prayer life, she and other nuns will be able to help people in certain situations and places.

“Our lives should reflect the poor, the rejected, and the sad lives. That is our only priority, “the nun concluded.

(With inputs from Matters India) 

 

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