In the Tejgaon neighborhood of Dhaka, the sisters thus responded to the invitation to go out in search of the most marginalized on the day of the 25th anniversary of the foundress’s death. “Let us show the love of Jesus to all who are abandoned and unloved.” Cardinal Suharyo participated in Jakarta in the commemoration celebrated by a local lay movement that keeps the spirit and work of Mother Teresa alive throughout the country.
Dhaka () – In their House of Kindness in Dhaka, in the Tejgaon neighborhood, the Sisters of Charity received 50 transgender people to share with them the 25th anniversary of the death of Mother Teresa. This was his way of responding to the invitation to be close to the most marginalized in a country like Bangladesh.
Sister M. Bondita, superior of the community, explained to : “We invite the Hijras – as transgender people are called in Bangladesh – because here they are marginalized by society. Our foundress showed her love and compassion to all who were abandoned and unloved. It is the same sign of love that we want to give”.
It is estimated that in Bangladesh there are between 1.6 and 4.8 million LGBT people, in a population of more than 160 million inhabitants. It is one of the most vulnerable and marginalized groups. The Missionaries of Charity opened their doors to them and also offered them gifts: a sari, two soaps, a packet of cookies and a small sum of money.
“We have been overwhelmed by the love, respect and support of the Sisters of Mother Teresa,” Hor Ram told on behalf of the group. In general, our community is not well accepted in society, instead the sisters came looking for us, they were kind to us and gave us love, and they have conquered our hearts”.
“I personally know the figure of Saint Mother Teresa,” Hor Ram continued. If all people were kind and altruistic like her, Bangladesh and this land would be a paradise. There would be no discrimination or violence. We would all live together and in peace.”
The feast of Mother Teresa was celebrated yesterday in all the Catholic communities in Bangladesh. The Missionaries of Charity have been present in the country since 1972 and offer their help in the eight Catholic dioceses to extremely needy, vulnerable and ignored people, and in this way they are witnesses of Jesus himself.
The Kelompok Kerabat Kerja Ibu Teresa – I Thirst Movement of Indonesia, a movement that identifies with the spirituality and work of Mother Teresa, organized a novena and a Eucharistic celebration at the Jakarta Cathedral to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the death of the saint of the most abandoned. Cardinal Ignatius Suharyo Hardjoatmodjo – president of the Episcopal Conference of Indonesia – praised the works that this movement carries out throughout the country in favor of the most disadvantaged people, following the spirit taught by Mother Teresa.
Mrs. Sinta Ekoputri Hidayat, the wife of a well-known Indonesian businessman and one of the promoters of this reality, tells : “My life changed completely when I personally met Mother Teresa in the Khaligat slums of Calcutta and I could see his closeness to the most desperately ill and the dying he encountered on the streets.”
The same experience is shared by Mrs. Threes Suwadji and Mrs. Widyastuti, managers of the “Sahabat Baru” (New Friends) home in West Jakarta, founded by KKIT-ITM Indonesia for the elderly abandoned by their families. “In 1973 we had nothing to launch this charity program, only good will and a strong desire to serve the people,” recalls Mrs. Suwadji. Today, in the same spirit, the work of Mother Teresa is present in many other places in Indonesia.
(with the collaboration of Mathias Hariyadi)