Lay Missionaries of Charity Wrap Up Conference

Born in 1984, Group Has 1,000 Consecrated Members

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ROME, JULY 15, 2002 ( Asked what unites the Missionaries of Charity with the lay movement linked to the congregation, Father Sebastian Vazhakala says: «The vocation is one: to be saints.»

His comment came as the third international congress of the Lay Missionaries of Charity came to a close here Sunday.

Father Vazhakala, who is the first priest of the Congregation of the Missionaries of Charity, and Mother Teresa of Calcutta were co-founders of the lay movement, which came into being April 16, 1984.

On that day, four lay people, all married, made their «private vows» in the Chapel of the Missionaries of Charity, in Rome.

For about two years the group had studied John Paul II’s apostolic exhortation

The Missionaries of Charity, meanwhile, held their first General Chapter in Rome at the same time.

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