| Mother Teresa
New Delhi, Sept. 27: On the eve of Mother Teresa’s beatification at the Vatican on October 19, the Centre has agreed to institute a national award after her for committed social work.
The annual award, with prize money of Rs 25 lakh, will be given from next year.
The Catholic Bishops Conference of India (CBCI) was informed by the ministry of social justice and empowerment a few days ago, CBCI public relations officer Babu Joseph said today.
A CBCI team, led by Delhi Archbishop Vincent M. Concessao, had called on Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on August 18 with the proposal and he had promised to consider it.
A five-member jury is being constituted to choose the winner. It will have two representatives from the social justice ministry, two from the Church — one each from the CBCI and the National Council of Churches — as well as the chairman of the National Commission for Minorities.
The church has also decided to honour a committed social worker with a one-time Mother Teresa award of Rs 35,000, said Dominic Emmanuel, director, Delhi Catholic Archdiocese.
As a mark of respect to Mother Teresa, the Delhi government has agreed to rename Willingdon Crescent Road as Mother Teresa Marg on the day of the beatification.
“Following a request by an inter-religious group, lieutenant governor Vijai Kapoor consented to rename the Crescent as Mother Teresa Marg on October 19,” Archbishop Concessao said.
The Delhi Catholic Archdiocese is also planning a week-long celebration “to spread the spirit and the message of Mother among people and to strengthen Church’s commitment to poor”, said Concessao.
The beatification day in Delhi will begin with a mass at all the churches, followed by “fellowship lunches”. Nearly 50,000 people of all faiths from about 51 churches across the capital will be served a simple meal.
At the time of Mother Teresa’s death in 1997, the Missionaries of Charity had 3,940 missions and 594 educational establishments across 132 countries. Now, 103 new foundations have been added, the Archbishop said.
The week-long programme between October 17 and 26 — Mother Teresa Samaroh — will include prayer meetings, symposium, blood/health check camps in slum areas and inter-religious prayer meetings, said Dominic Emmanuel, director, Delhi Catholic Archdiocese.
On October 17, a symposium on the life and philosophy of Mother Teresa, co-hosted with YMCA, will be held at the Ficci auditorium.