The Missionaries of Charity’s Mother House is a holy place of pilgrimage and reverence for those who are searching for a more meaningful existence. It was established by the Blessed Mother Teresa in 1950 with the purpose of selfless service to mankind and to uplift the plagued humanity towards the path of salvation. After Mother Teresa left her mortal body in 1997, she was laid to rest in a tomb inside the house where she lived and served. The site of the tomb is very simple yet it exudes enormous amount of benign and pure vibration that fills the heart with gratitude and peace. Situated amidst noise and crowd, Mothers tomb is a true reflection of her life which contemplated the example of soulful and mindful meditation.
Attached with the building, a small museum named ‘Mother Teresa’s Life, Spirit and Message’ displays Mother Teresa’s worn sandals, battered enamel dinner-bowl, sari, crucifix, rosary, a few handwritten letters and spiritual exhortations. The ‘Mother’s room’ is preserved in all its simplicity with a crown-of-thorns above her modest camp-bed.
Prayer petitions can be placed in the box on Mother Teresa’s Tomb during visit. All petitions are offered on the altar during the weekly Friday Mass.
Location of Mother’s House at Kolkata
The Mother House- Missionaries of Charity is situated near Ripon Street. Its nearest landmark is the Sealdah Loreto Convent.
History of Mother’s House at Kolkata
The Missionaries of Charity was founded on October 7, 1950 by Mother Teresa and her small band of dedicated pupils for the purpose of serving humanity with the vow of “Wholehearted and Free service to the poorest of the poor”. Their mission was to care for “the hungry, the naked, the homeless, the crippled, the blind, the lepers, and 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.”
After receiving permission from the Vatican to establish her own order, Mother Teresa established an institute which was initially called the Diocesan Congregation of the Calcutta Diocese. It began as a small community with 12 members in Calcutta. Gradually, with the passage of time, it came to be known as the Missionaries of Charity.
In 1965, by granting a Decree of Praise, Pope Paul VI granted Mother Teresa’s request to expand her congregation to other countries. The congregation’s first house outside India was in Venezuela, followed by Rome and Tanzania, and eventually across many countries in Asia, Africa, and Europe. By 1996, the Congregation was operating 517 missions in more than 100 countries. Presently, it is assisted by over one million co-workers and many donations from people worldwide. The society has over 4500 sisters as its member, and has a presence in over 133 countries.
- In order to become a missionary of charity, one has to undergo a course of nine years beginning with a year of training working as assistants by caring for patients. After one year, women willing to join choose religious names and begin their study. Studies include Church history, sacred scripture, theology and the Constitutions of the Society. Aspirants must wear white saris without the three blue stripes. Following the completion of the first two years, they take vows, which are renewed after the fourth and fifth years. The sixth year involves travel to Rome, or Calcutta for spiritual development.
- The Missionaries of Charity remains open from 8:00 am to 12:00 pm and from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm on all days except Thursday, when it is closed.
- Visitors are requested to be appropriately attired when coming on visits.
- Photographs are allowed only at Mother Teresa’s tomb and of her statue, for private use.
- Mass is held every morning at 6 a.m. for the sisters and volunteers in the main chapel on the first floor.