The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Homage from city Mother called home

Twelve days after Mother Teresa’s beatification in Rome, a delegation of Calcutta priests, on Wednesday, unveiled a week-long period of homage to her life’s work in the city she made her home.

A four-day international film festival, beginning on Saturday, will be followed by an exhibition of art works in her honour, with celebrations set to culminate next weekend with an open-air liturgy and all-faith prayer service.

Governer Viren J. Shah will preside over next Sunday’s closing ceremony, where stars like Aparna Sen and Moon Moon Sen are expected to offer personal tributes to the Nobel Peace prize-winning missionary.

“There will be a liturgy, rosary and holy Eucharist on the morning of Saturday, November 8, followed by a mass,” confirmed Eugene Gonzales, president of the Catholic Association of Bengal.

“In the afternoon, there will be a cultural programme, including dances by schoolchildren from Calcutta. The following day, we will be holding an all-faith prayer service in the morning, while in the afternoon, Governor Shah will address guests at a public function, where various artistes will perform,” he added.

A programme of 10 films focussing on Mother Teresa’s legacy will be screened at New Empire and Lighthouse cinemas between November 1 and 4. The 15,000 available tickets, with 1,500 reserved for Mother Teresa’s constituency of the poorest of the poor, are sold out. “This will be a unique event,” said Father C.M. Paul, convenor of the festival. “Never in the history of the Roman Catholic Church has there been a film festival dedicated to a saint or blessed person.”

The following day, an exhibition of paintings, photography and miscellaneous artefacts will open in the auditorium of St Xavier’s College. Curators sifted through some 2,000 photographs donated by ABP Ltd to select 25. “The main aspect of the exhibition will include paintings from all over India,” said Geo Paul, convenor of the exhibition. “Among the most appealing are four works by a wheelchair-bound artist.”

The exhibition will also include items of furniture from Mother Teresa’s room at the Missionaries of Charity, along with rare books, and copies of the speech she delivered upon receiving the Nobel. Souvenir brochures featuring a selection of quotations from Mother Teresa’s lifetime would be accompanied by tributes led by the President, Prime Minister and deputy Prime Minister of India.

Celebrations would focus on a two-hour cultural programme on consecutive afternoons of the November 8-9 weekend. “But we must never forget Mother Teresa’s great love for the poverty-stricken and neglected, even after the celebrations have died down,” said Father Vincent Lobo, dean of the Archdiocese of Calcutta.

“Let us hope that the celebrations of her beatification will be followed by even bigger festivities after her sainthood.”

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