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Solemn march for Mother

Calcutta, Oct. 18: Calcutta will mark the beatification of Mother Teresa with a special thanksgiving ceremony, followed by a solemn procession by the sisters of the Roman Catholic order she founded here over half-a-century ago.

As the Vatican gears up for Mother Teresa’s beatification on Sunday, the city which she made her home for nearly 70 years has lined up a series of events to commemorate the occasion.

At Mother House, headquarters of the Missionaries of Charity, the nuns will hold a holy mass in thanksgiving at the defining moment in her canonisation, three days after Pope John Paul II’s 25th anniversary in office.

As the ailing pontiff presides over the Nobel Peace prize-winning missionary’s beatification, in a ceremony led by Archbishop of Calcutta Lucas Sircar, sisters of the Missionaries of Charity will perform a solemn procession in her honour from a chapel on the premises of Mother House.

“Sunday’s holy mass of thanksgiving will be in honour of the beatification of our mother,” said Sister Paula Marie of the Missionaries of Charity. “A priest will preside at the altar, and the sisters will offer thanksgiving, leading to a sacred offertory procession.”

An Italian TV crew will attend the ceremony for a live link-up with events as they happen at the Vatican.

“In preparation for the beatification, there will be veneration of Mother’s relics at all the parishes under the Calcutta archdiocese, along with pilgrimages and Eucharist at her tomb,” said Father C.M. Paul, spokesman of the archdiocese celebration committee. Later on Sunday, the Bangiya Christiya Pariseba, the apex body of Christians in Bengal, will organise a rally for street children at Mother’s tomb.

In the evening, a two-hour concert organised by the Don Bosco Past Pupils Association will open at Park Circus Auditorium.

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