(Last Updated on : 28/08/2014)
Missionaries of Charity were established by Mother Teresa on October 7th 1950. A Roman Catholic religious order, the Missionaries of Charity was embarked on with just 12 members which has now more than 4500 sisters serving the underprivileged and the destitute. Mother Teresa was granted permission by the Vatican to build the order and was initially known as the Diocesan Congregation of the Calcutta Diocese. The order's main mission being serving the 'poorest of the poor' has out stretched through out the world. It has over 500 branches in almost 100 countries in the world. The mission has developed AIDS infirmaries, orphanages, charity centres. It renders care for the disabled, aged, alcoholics, refugees, the blind, the poor and homeless and victims of floods, epidemics and famine in North America, Asia, Africa, Latin America, Poland, and Australia.
Training for Sisters of Missionaries of Charity
The Sisters of the Active and Contemplative need to go through a long period of training. It includes a training process that includes Aspirancy for 6 months, Postulancy for period of 1 year. Next stage that follows is the Novitiate that extends upto 2 years. Here the first vows of a nun life are taken. Following it comes the Juniorate period extending to 5 years. During this stage the vows are renewed every year. Finally in the 6th year of Tertianship the final vows are taken.
The novitiate training is held in Nairobi, San Francisco, Poland, Kolkata
, Rome, and Manila.
Missionary of Charity in West
Mother Teresa established the Missionaries of Charity for, what she herself called 'the hungry, the naked, the homeless, the crippled, the blind, the lepers, all those people who feel unwanted, unloved, uncared for throughout society, people that have become a burden to the society and are shunned by everyone' Her heart ached at the sight of the poor and she felt a yearn to help them. She started her work in Kolkata (then Calcutta).Later after receiving the Decree of Praise year 1965 from Pope Paul VI Mother Teresa started expanding her order outside India. She set up her first mission in Venezuela and in due course many homes began to spring up in the nook and corners of the world. The Missionaries of Charity also established themselves in the United States in the South Bronx, New York.
Expansion of Missionaries of Charity
The Missionaries of Charity began to expand rapidly and in addition to it Mother Teresa established an active branch of Missionaries of Charity Sisters, the Missionaries of Charity Brother in 1963, and a contemplative branch of Missionaries of Charity Sisters in 1976. To add to the family Mother Teresa formed the contemplative Brothers in 1977 and 1980 the Priest Co-Workers which she later renamed as Corpus Christi Movement for Priests later with Fr. Joseph Langford the Corpus Christi Movement was named Missionaries of Charity Fathers in 1984. Along with the expansion of the Missionaries of Charity, Mother Teresa
went on to form the sick and suffering Co-workers, Lay Missionaries and the volunteers.