BY A STAFF REPORTER MOTHER TERESA, the Yugoslav nun who founded the Missionaries of Charity to care for the destitute and dying in the slums of Calcutta, may start a branch of her order in London. At present no date or place has been fixed, although Mother Teresa is lunching with Cardinal Heenan today to explore practical possibilities.
Mother Teresa arrived in this country last week for a busy speaking tour. She has already visited Wigan, Liverpool, Cardiff, and made a trip into the West Country. She also addressed the pupils of Ratcliffe College, members of which went out to Jordan to help build homes for the destitute.
On Monday, accompanied by Fr. Michael Hollings, recently appointed chaplain to the National Council for the Lay Apostolate, Mother Teresa will observe at first hand the problems of several British 'charities, among them the Simon community.
A spokesman for the Coworkers of Mother Teresa, who help to raise funds and foster interest for her work, said that she would not confine her activities to London, and hoped that her work would spread among the poor in Britain. She is also hoping to start her work in New York's Negro quarter of Harlan.
The Missionaries of Charity are already working in Australia, South America and India. Their latest established base is in war-troubled Amman in Jordan.
The aim of the Missionaries of Charity is described as "quenching the thirst of Jesus for souls," and its spirit is summed up as total surrender to God, loving trust in superiors and companions, and cheerfulness with the poor.
The common life of the sisters is based on Indian ways and entails hard manual labour, and eating the same food as the poor. The language of the Society is the lingua franca of India, English. The habit is a simple long white dress and a blue-bordered white sari with a small crucifix pinned on the left shoulder, and open sandals.
POOREST OF POOR
The sisters' apostolate is aimed particularly at the poorest of the poor. They may never accept fees or gifts for work done. When necessary they beg for the poor in their care.
There are active groups of Co-workers of Mother Teresa in India, America, Britain. France. Germany, Italy and Matta.
In 1963 the Missionary Brothers of Charity was founded in Calcutta, enabling men to do the same sort of work as the Missionary Sisters. The Superior is Fr. Andrew, who left the Jesuits, with their permission, to help start the congregation.