Pope Francis will declare Mother Teresa of Kolkata a saint at a special Mass at St Peter’s Basilica in Rome on Sunday 4 September 2016.
At the same time in Sydney, the Most Rev Anthony Fisher OP, Archbishop of Sydney, will celebrate a Mass of thanksgiving at St Mary’s Cathedral beginning at 6pm.
Following the Mass, the ceremony in Rome will be live streamed at St Mary’s Cathedral Hall from 7.30pm. This will be accompanied by a celebration of the life of Mother Teresa and the work of the Missionaries of Charity, the order of Sisters she founded, many of whom will be present. All are welcome to attend the event that will feature food stalls, a book stall and an exhibition of Mother Teresa’s life.
The live stream can also be watched online at www.sydneycatholic.org/canonisation
Mother Teresa visited Australia on several occasions and the legacy of her mission is evident in the many Missionaries of Charity houses throughout our country where the sisters continue to fulfil her vision of serving the poorest of the poor.
As Pope Francis prepares to canonise Mother Teresa, students from Mother Teresa Primary, part of Sacred Heart Parish at Westmead, declared that they have known all along that she was a saint. “Her passion for helping the poor, like Jesus,” said Alana from Year 5, even in the face of opposition, “shows she was already a saint.”
Emilia in Year 6 said Mother Teresa had a very compassionate heart. “This enabled her to work for the poor without excluding anyone. It didn’t matter who they were.”
The students believe that the example of Mother Teresa’s life, the Christian virtues she demonstrated, inspire them to be better people.
As part of the Way of Mercy in the Diocese of Parramatta, the schools will celebrate the canonisation by joining the wider parish community in welcoming the Mercy Cross and Relics of Mother Teresa and St Mary of the Cross MacKillop on Monday 5 September.
The other parish school, Sacred Heart Primary, will combine with students from Catherine McAuley Westmead and Parramatta Marist High, also within Westmead Parish, to mark the occasion, which will conclude with Mass in St Patrick’s Cathedral in Parramatta.
Relics of Mother Teresa of Kolkata
Fr Paul Roberts EV, Episcopal Vicar for Evangelisation in the Diocese of Parramatta, has provided the relics of Mother Teresa – a message and a card.
The message from her was hand written in January 1986. Fr Paul was visiting India that year, before he was a priest, and met Mother Teresa and her Missionaries of Charity at the home for the dying in Kolkata.
He asked if she would write a message for his students at Gilroy Catholic College, Castle Hill, where he was a teacher.
After she wrote the message, Mother Teresa smiled and chuckled, surprisingly asking: “Paul, would you also like my business card?’” She hurried from the room and returned with the small card, now faded.
The card reads:
The Fruit of Silence is Prayer
The Fruit of Prayer is Faith
The Fruit of Faith is Love
The Fruit of Love is Service
After Mother Teresa is canonised, the written piece and card will classify as second-class relics.
Relic of St Mary of the Cross MacKillop
Following her canonisation in 2010, the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart provided the Diocese with a relic that is a strand of Mary MacKillop’s hair.
Mary is our diocesan patron and the Diocese has a special connection to Australia’s only recognised saint. Blue Mountains woman Veronica Hopson developed acute myeloblastic leukaemia in the early 1960s. Her complete recovery, without scientific explanation and through prayers to Mary MacKillop, was the miracle accepted by the Vatican in 1993 which led to Mary’s beatification in 1995.
Mary worked in the community, reaching out to the poor to raise them up through the service of education. Eighteen diocesan schools have close links to Mary MacKillop who visited St Nicholas of Myra Primary at Penrith, the first Josephite school established in the Diocese in 1852.
Upper Blue Mountains Parish is named for St Mary of the Cross.
The Way of Mercy in September
During September 2016, the Mercy Cross and Relics will visit these parishes:
5 September, Sacred Heart Parish, Westmead;
11 September, Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish, Greystanes;
17 September, Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Baulkham Hills;
18 September, St Michael’s Parish, Baulkham Hills; and
25 September, St Finbar’s Parish, Glenbrook.
For updates on the Way of Mercy, visit our diocesan website www.mercyhasaface.org.au