Sister Nirmala Focuses Retreat on Charity

Former Missionary of Charity Superior Preaches Spiritual Exercises

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TAIPEI, Taiwan, SEPT. 7, 2009 («>»> Benedict XVI is praying for Asian charity workers who are on spiritual exercises being preached by the first successor of Mother Teresa of Calcutta.

Missionary of Charity Sister Nirmala Joshi is preaching the retreat to some 450 ministers, including five cardinals and more than 60 bishops, from 29 nations.

The spiritual exercises are under way through Friday, organized by the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, for presidents and directors of the Church’s ministry of charity from throughout Asia.

The meeting is taking place at Fu Jen Catholic University in Taipei, Taiwan, with the theme of Jesus’ words, «You did it to me.» (Matthew 25:40).

Strengthened in compassion

Benedict XVI’s message to the participants expressed «his warm appreciation and gratitude for all those who commit themselves to the diakonia of charity, an essential activity of the life of the Church and a responsibility for the entire ecclesial community.”

His Holiness assured the participants in Taipei of his prayer and confidence that the spiritual exercises will strengthen in them “the virtue of heartfelt compassion for all who suffer.”

Sister Nirmala’s preaching is focused on the Pope’s first encyclical, «Deus Caritas Est,» where the Holy Father affirms that the essential requirement for those who serve in the Church’s charitable organizations is to “be persons moved by Christ’s love, persons whose hearts Christ has conquered with his love, awakening them with a love of neighbor” (No. 33).

These spiritual exercises are a follow up to those organized by Cor Unum in June 2008 in Guadalajara, Mexico, for the American continent, attended by 500 charity leaders and preached by Capuchin Father Raniero Cantalamessa.

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