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Mother Teresa 'used' globalization

New book says nun put all concerns behind her to focus on mission with the poor

C.M. Paul, Rome

May 30, 2011

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Mother Teresa didn’t concern herself with globalization, but took full advantage of the globalized Church to serve a greater number of poor people, says Indian author and Salesian priest Antony Vayalil in a new book. In Mother Teresa and the Globalizing World, which was published May 27, the Kolkata priest asserts that “Mother Teresa’s life and mission was not deterred by the paradoxes and ambivalence she found in the Church and society.” The 355 page book, published by Calcutta Catholic Charismatic Renewal Services, focuses on Mother Teresa as a universal missionary sans frontieres, whose primary objective was to help the poorest of the poor, deprived of a life without basic human dignity. Dr. Vayalil argues: “If the Church has to be much more relevant and effective for our challenging times, of economic growth and prosperity on the one side and spiritual and material degradation and poverty on the other, then it has to become clearly a sign of hope. It is this mission identity that Mother Teresa lived in a heroic degree.” He insists that the experience of Mother Teresa of Calcutta (1910 to 1997) is applicable in today’s globalized world. He further shows that Mother Teresa is the role model for missionaries as she “masterfully balanced the elusive margin between a contemplative and active missionary.” He concludes that “Mother Teresa never entertained the question of globalization and its effects on the world, but plunged herself in serving the poor through whatever means she could.” He quoted Mother Teresa’s characteristic reply to critics who considered her global mission to be a failure: “My contribution is like a drop in the ocean, but even then, the ocean would be poorer by one drop if I did not contribute to it.” The book is Dr. Vayalil’s doctoral thesis for his PhD in Missiology, which he obtained from the Gregorian University, Rome, in 2008. Mother Teresa was beatified by Blessed Pope John Paul II on October 18, 2003. Dr. Vayalil is currently with the Salesian community in San Callisto, Rome, engaged in the catechetical ministry and faith formation of pilgrims visiting the famous catacombs there.
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