Sister Prema concerned over lesser novices joining Missionaries of Charity

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Kolkata, March 27 (ANI): The new Superior General of the Order, Sister Prema, has said that the number of novices joining Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity every year has come down worldwide, over the last few years.

She believes that it's mainly because as families grew smaller with less children, the choice of vocations got affected. But she hopes that the youth across the world will find a call for service to God and humanity attractive.

Asked if the absence of Mother Teresa's charisma was one of the reasons for less new members joining the Order, Sister Prema said: "Mother has was always present in spirit with the Order and that could not be the reason."

She said in Africa, Philippines, America and Europe the novice numbers were still seen in good groups.

Reacting on recent attacks on Christians in India, Sister Prema said that the Missionaries of Charity had a presence across the country, including in places were Christians were facing communal attacks. The sisters suffer, pray and stand together with those persecuted.

Sister Prema said the MOC also prayed for and forgave those who were carrying out the attacks. Love and service can be the only intervention to contravene the attacks.

On conversion, Sister Prema said: "Every human being has the right to choose and choose with dignity which faith he or she wants to follow. If anyone chooses to convert, it is a decision which comes from God and not one that is enforced by any particular person or organisation."

Sister Prema, the third Superior General of the Missionaries of Charity, after Mother Teresa and Sister Nirmala, was born on May 13, 1953 in Reken, Westfalia, Germany.

She was named Mechtilde Pierick by her parents. She now carries the name Sister Mary Prema. She has an elder brother and a twin sister.

She was inspired by Mother Teresa after reading the book 'Something Beautiful for God' by Malcolm Muggeridge.

In 1980, she met Mother Teresa at a youth gathering in Berlin and joined the MOC in the same year in Essen, Germany. She has served in Italy and other European countries after joining the Order.

Sister Prema say now she is in India and wants to understand the different communities here and serve them. By Ajitha Menon (ANI)

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