Local Albanians and Albanian President to join Brooklyn Catholics in Honor of Mother Teresa
“By blood, I am Albanian. By citizenship, an Indian. By faith, I am a Catholic nun. As to my calling, I belong to the world. As to my heart, I belong entirely to the Heart of Jesus. ” – Mother Saint Teresa
Members of the Albanian Community will join parishioners of Saint Athanasius Roman Catholic Church in Brooklyn this Sunday, September 25th, in honor of Mother Saint Teresa. The President of the Republic of Albania, Bujar Nishani, born a secular Muslim, will be among distinguished guests as a statue of Saint Teresa is dedicated and blessed. The interfaith and international event will reflect Mother Teresa’s boundless reach as it honors her elevation to Sainthood.
Representatives from the Albanian Roots organization, which donated the statue, and State Senator Martin J. Golden (R-C-I, Brooklyn) will help lead a dedication ceremony starting at 12:30 p.m. outside St. Athanasius Catholic Academy, 6120 Bay Pkwy, Brooklyn, at the corner of 61st Street. Monsignor David L. Cassato, Pastor of St. Athanasius Church, will give the blessing.
“This is a great union of faith. A great sign to the community of God’s inclusive love,” said Monsignor Cassato, whose parish is largely comprised of Italian Americans. “God has such tremendous love, an ‘abbondanza’ of love, if anyone embodies that, it’s Mother Teresa. She went out to all people, touched the lives of all people.”
The dedication ceremony will include musical and dance performances by the Alba Life School and local dance academies. Preceding the ceremony, Monsignor Cassato will celebrate an 11:30 a.m. Mass across the street at St. Athanasius Church at 2154 61st St, Brooklyn, NY 11204.
Mother Teresa was born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu on August 26, 1910 in Skopje, Albania. At the age of 18, she left her home and moved to Ireland to pursue missionary work joining the religious order known as Sisters of Loreto. In 1931 Sister Teresa was assigned to the Loreto Entally community in Calcutta where she began teaching at St. Mary’s School for girls.
In pursuit of her passion, Mother Teresa, in 1948, received permission to begin a new religious order, the Missionaries of Charity. She left the Loreto convent to embark on her new mission of serving the poor to which she devoted the rest of her life.
Mother Teresa died on September 5, 1997. Pope John Paul II beatified her on October 19, 2003 and on September 4, 2016 Pope Francis canonized her a saint.
Mother Teresa said, “By blood, I am Albanian, by citizenship, an Indian, by faith, I am a Catholic nun. As to my calling, I belong to the world. As to my heart, I belong entirely to the Heart of Jesus.”