Missionaries of Charity Rush to the Rescue

CALCUTTA — From the world headquarters for the Missionaries of Charity in Calcutta, several nuns sped to Bhuj as soon as news of the quake reached them.

“They went the first day of the quake to Bhuj, where the epicenter is,” said Sister Priscilla, one of the four general counselors who run the order's worldwide missions along with Sister Nirmala.

Sister Priscilla said she sent 16 sisters and eight Missionaries of Charity brothers on the two-day train ride to Bhuj from Calcutta, noting that the order already operates seven houses in the area.

“Whenever there was a calamity, Mother [Teresa] used to go immediately and we keep up that practice, whatever it is,” Sister Priscilla said.

“They were dressing the wounds of the people, distributing food and clothes and taking care of the sick. They were [also] getting them together to help take out the bodies. And they are still at it.”

Sister Priscilla described the situation in Gujarat as “sad, very sad,” but said many in the country are working hard to aid the situation.

“There is a great desire to help in whatever way they can,” she said.

Responding to reports that some Hindus were reluctant to take aid from Catholic aid organizations, Sister Priscilla said, with a faint laugh, “I cannot answer that one.

“I only know that wherever we have gone –– and they went with lots of supplies –– people rushed to help them carry their things.”

Sister Priscilla said she is confident that her sisters are “doing a great job,” adding, “they are loved and trusted –– as a gift of God.”

— Brian McGuire

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The Earth is Not Our Mother

“The main point of Christianity was this: that Nature is not our mother: Nature is our sister. We can be proud of her beauty, since we have the same father; but she has no authority over us; we have to admire, but not to imitate.”—G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy