AUSTRALIA’S honorary consul for Albania has whole-heartedly described Mother Teresa as his own mother, a mother for Albanian and for all people, following her canonisation last Sunday.
Dr Resmi Kamberaj was among hundreds of Catholics, including members of the Brisbane Albanian community and three of the Missionaries of Charity Sisters living in Brisbane, at a Mass for St Teresa of Kolkata at St Maximilian Kolbe Church, Marsden.
The church was packed for the first Mass in the Brisbane archdiocese to honour the Albanian-born nun who served the poor in India for 50 years, just hours before her canonisation in Rome.
Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge concelebrated the Mass with Kingston Marsden priests Fr Sunil Paul Nagothu and Fr Bang Van Nguyen.
The Mass also coincided with the Confirmation of four young women in the parish.
While he never had a chance to meet Mother Teresa, Dr Kamberaj said he could feel her spirit in her followers, the Missionaries of Charity Sisters who attended the Mass in Marsden.
“If you see her missionaries are here, you straight away feel they are part of her,” the honorary consul said.
“I went to meet (one of the sisters) feeling like I was meeting Mother Teresa.”
Mother Teresa was born in 1910 in Macedonia to Albanian parents and at 18 left for Ireland to join the Loreto Sisters.
She was sent to India for her novitiate and remained there until making her final professions and eventually teaching as a Loreto Sister.
In 1946, she heard Christ calling her to be with the poor and abandoned, and within 18 months left the convent to a new mission that became a new order, the Missionaries of Charity.
While she spent the rest of her life in India, Albanians around the world, and most recently in Brisbane, have told the world to never forget Mother Teresa was firstly an Albanian.
During the Mass in Marsden, Albanian-born mother Veronica Ndoci watched as her son processed into the church carrying two precious treasures in her life, the Albanian flag and her granddaughter, decked from head to toe in traditional costume.
Mrs Ndoci said the entire Albanian Catholic community was “proud and very happy” to call one of their own blood a saint.
“We were so happy because we thought that she does deserve it,” she said.
“If one person deserves it, she does.”