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Homage to a Great Messenger of Peace

We read, hear and see media reports on crime and violence in various forms continuously throughout the world. This makes us sad, worried and ashamed. We live in a world in which there are no boundaries for information. But unfortunately, some reports demonstrate the reality of some people building own boundaries and hence are unable to share the meaning and purpose of one Universal Human family. James Fowler, Professor of Theology & Human Development at Emory University (Atlanta) and a Minister at the United Methodist Church, describes in his book, ‘Stages of Faith’ about Universalising Faith. He said that there are people who live their lives to the full in the service of others without any real worries or doubts. We have many examples of such great persons. Among them are Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr, Narayana Guru, Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar and Mother Teresa. Honouring Mother As the world planned the centenary celebrations to commemorate the Birthday of Mother Teresa (August 26) in 2010, a small group of people gathered in Auckland to consider the possibility of holding a similar event. With the blessings of the Most Reverend Patrick Dunn, Bishop of Auckland, the celebration, organised by the newly formed Mother Teresa Interfaith Committee, was held on November 14, 2010 with the then Governor General Sir Anand Satyanand as the Guest Speaker at Catholic Church of Christ the King in Mt Roskill, Auckland. The success of the first Interfaith Meeting held in the name of Mother Teresa encouraged the Committee to make this an annual event. We had the privilege of listening to the address of Retired Admiral Sureesh Mehta, the then High Commissioner of India on November 13, 2011; and Gopalkrishna Gandhi, former Governor of West Bengal and grandson of Mahatma Gandhi and Auckland Mayor Len Brown on November 18, 2012. Meaningful meetings The annual Mother Teresa Interfaith meeting has become very meaningful in the context of Auckland, which is a multi-faith and multicultural city. We are living in a society in which we have to understand, appreciate and applaud the values and traditions of many faiths. Faith is not confined to belief and proclamation alone but implied living in Love, Peace, Caring and Justice, which form the core of the teachings of all religions; and are central to human life.   Caring for the poorest of the poor is an integral belief. Mother Teresa was a living example of this belief and the greatest service that we can render to our communities is to follow her footsteps. Interfaith network It is gratifying that the annual Mother Teresa Interfaith meetings bring together Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, Sikhs, Zoroastrians, Jews and Christians to promote Love, Peace, Caring and Justice among people. We are privileged to have the support and patronage of people from almost every sphere of life, including officials of the federal and local governments, diplomats, politicians, businesspersons, professionals, academics and the media Together, they also represent various ethnic groups, communities and religious denominations Just as business gatherings enable corporate leaders and professionals to network, establish and re-establish contacts, I believe that the annual Mother Teresa Interfaith Meetings also enable people to network with a more humane purpose of fostering human values and promoting amity and harmony. They make us realise the enormity of challenges that confront us and the poverty of our contributions to overcoming them. These meetings also remind us that one faith should not be opposed to another but foster mutual respect and understanding. Upcoming event We are happy that His Highness Nawab Mohammed Abdul Ali, Prince of Arcot (Chennai, India), has accepted our invitation to the be the Guest Speaker at this year’s Mother Teresa Interfaith Meeting to be held on Sunday, November 17 at 2 pm at Catholic Church of Christ the King. The programme, at which Dame Lyndsay Freer will be the Master of Ceremonies, will include a message from Bishop Dunn, a dance performance by Ratna Venkat, songs rendered by students and representatives of various faiths on the theme, ‘Make Me a Channel of Your Peace,’ and complimentary tea and snacks. We are grateful to BNZ and Indian Newslink for facilitating the travel, accommodation and other costs relating to the visit of the Prince and his wife Sayeeda Begum to New Zealand. They will be among the Guests of Honour at the Indian Newslink Indian Business Awards ceremony, scheduled to be held on Monday, November 18, 2013 from 5 pm at Sky City Convention Centre, Auckland. Wenceslaus Anthony is the Chairman of the Mother Teresa Interfaith Committee based in Auckland. He is seen here with Mother Teresa and Parish Priest Father Vincent Chinnadurai during her visit to Chennai in 1995       What: Mother Teresa Interfaith Meeting Speaker: Nawab Mohammed Abdul Ali, Prince of Arcot Where: Catholic Church of Christ the King            260 Richardson, Mt Roskill When: Sunday November 17 at 2 pm Contact: Therese Turnnock on (09) 3603063 Email: thereset@cda.org.nz  

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