Skopje honours its daughter Mother Teresa

Kolkata — Marking 65th anniversary of the founding of the Missionaries of Charity in Calcutta, the Mayor of the Commune of Çairi, Republic of Macedonia is organizing a symposium entitled “Skopje Honours Its Daughter Mother Teresa.”

The event organised under the auspices of the Mayor Mr Izet Mexhiti is scheduled to take place in Skopje at Holiday Inn on Saturday, 12 September 2015, from 12:00-13:30 local time.

In a communiqué from the Mayor’s office released today (9th September) says, “the symposium will commemorate the 65th anniversary of the Missionaries of Charity order that Mother Teresa set up in Kolkata, India, on 10 September 1950.”

Mother Teresa scholars from the United Kingdom, Albania, Kosova, and the Republic of Macedonia, members of the diplomatic corps accredited to Skopje, politicians, religious personalities, and media representatives are expected to participate at the historic event.

The keynote speakers at the event are Professor Gëzim Alpion and Dr Dom Lush Gjergji.

A sociologist at the University of Birmingham, England, Professor Alpion is considered “the most authoritative English-language author” on Mother Teresa.

On being asked to be the first non-religious academic to be invited to talk to the nuns in the chapel of the Mother House of the Missionaries of Charity in 2005, Prof Alpion comments, “it was quite a privilege for a spiritual-rationalist like me.”

Currently the Vicar General of the Diocese of Kosova, and a campaigner working to put an end to blood feuds in his country, Dr Gjergji is the most prominent biographer of the Albanian nun in the Balkans.

In his speech, Professor Alpion, among other things, will highlight that Mother Teresa’s ‘rebellion’ in 1947 indicated the vision that this young girl from Skopje had on what missionary work should be like in post-independence India.

Dr Gjergji will concentrate in his speech especially on what Gonxhe Bojaxhiu (the nun’s original name), Sister Teresa and Mother Teresa share and what sets them apart.

The speeches will be delivered in English and Albanian with simultaneous translation facility.

On 10 September 1946 during the train ride from Calcutta to Darjeeling for her annual retreat, Mother Teresa received her “inspiration,” her “call within a call.” On August 17, 1948, she dressed for the first time in a white, blue-bordered sari and passed through the gates of her beloved Loreto convent Entally to enter the world of the poor.

In March 1949, Mother Teresa was joined by her first helper, a former pupil from Loreto, and 10 other pupils teamed up with her to start the Missionaries of Charity.

On 7th October 1950 the new congregation of the Missionaries of Charity was officially established in the Archdiocese of Calcutta in a simple ceremony at the Cathedral of the Most Holy Rosary on Brabourne Road.

When Mother Teresa passed away on 5th September 1997, she left behind over 4,000 Missionary of Charity Sisters, in 610 centers in 123 countries.