From Moscow to Novosibirsk, the tenacious work of the Missionaries of Charity has its fulcrum in the constant presence of Christ in the daily Mass.

Everyone knows Madre Teresa of Calcutta but not everyone knows her sisters. I encountered them for the first time in Russia, first in Moscow, then in Novosibirsk. In both places our mission attends a charitable work with the sisters: in Moscow we accompany them to a center dedicated to young people with disabilities, and in Novosibirsk, we go to a shelter to sing with homeless who are gathered from the streets. I have always had the impression that the sisters are in haste, speaking few words, only what is necessary, then rushing on. With time, I understood that this haste is born from love: they are always in haste because their life is a constant and complete giving to others.
Last year I accompanied Bishop Pezzi to bless a house for the homeless that the sisters take care of in Moscow. After the Mass, while we visited the various rooms distributing the incense, I discovered that the sisters all sleep in a single room. I asked them, «How do you make it? Are you able to rest?» And one responded, «We arrive in the evening so tired that when we lay down sleep arrives immediately».
After my ordination, I arrived in Moscow and had the grace of substituting for a month the priest who said the Sunday Mass for the sisters. The faithful, a group of about thirty rough looking men, gathered in the large chapel and were docile as lambs in front of the young sisters. After the first mass, one of the Indian sisters scolded me for not giving a homily. They do not have time to read and study, she told me, and the homily helps them live their day. In front of their request, I realized that I needed to reconsider the dignity of my new task.
Staying with them, I was able to see with my own eyes the miracles that Divine Providence reveals to those who entrust themselves to Him. Like when the pantry is found empty, and in the same moment, an unknown benefactor knocks at the door bringing food. In Russia priests and sisters often lament the fact that they are not able to carry out their missionary work because of the bureaucracy and corruption that creates difficulty for their works of charity. On the contrary, I am always struck by the way the sisters of Mother Teresa succeed in carrying out that which their charism asks. They propose only one condition to their bishop: the possibility to attend daily mass. They possess a tenacity that comes from their founder. During the reign of communism, Madre Teresa made a vow to open fifteen houses in the Soviet Union, one for every mystery of the Rosary. And she succeeded, beginning after the earthquake in Armenia in 1988, and continuing without compromise, faithful to Divine Providence. Their example gives me courage, especially when I think of the future of our mission in this land, so full of suffering but yet so full of sanctity.

Also read

All articles