Sunday, September 4, 2016

Mother Teresa - Model of Mercy

Today is a day of great significance for the Catholic Community in India. And there has been a lot of content circulating across the Facebook and WhatsApp in the run-up to the day. Yes, a few hours ago, Mother Teresa was canonized as a Saint. India has yet another saint to pray and intercede for us - a very merciful one at that.
As I write this post, there is a concert going on at the Tata Theatre (NCPA Mumbai) organized by the Stop-Gaps Cultural Academy to pay tribute to this model of mercy who picked people from the gutters and cared for them. She established the "Missionaries of Charity" in Kolkota - and spread to the ends of the world to spread peace and love, comfort and mercy to all. 

Among the choirs performing at the concert are the Stop-Gaps Choral Ensemble conducted by Alfred D'Souza. Alfred D'Souza is also behind the combined choirs of St. Peters Church - Bandra and Our Lady of Perpetual Succour Church - Chembur. Alfred has dedicated over 30 years now - quite a few relatives and friends have been part of the StopGaps - some of them still are...

Also performing at the 'Teach Us to Love' concert is the Victory Chorus Line - the choir (chorus) from Our Lady of Victories - Mahim conducted by Karen D'Lima. I've known Karen since my college days when I used to cover the Malhar (The St. Xaviers Mumbai college festival) for All India Radio - where she used to sweep a whole lot of prizes. Besides the music she's also gaining accolades for her work as a graphic designer - the canonization logo having been designed by her. This song would surely be part of their repertoire for the evening - Angel of Mercy.

Also from Mahim is the great Konkani singer and actor of yesteryear - Alfred Rose (1932 -2003). I recall his name vividly from my childhood days, where every Konkani drama that I ever heard of had his name on the advertisements. His son - Engelbert- is also a force to reckon with in the music circles. Performed alongside him at numerous shows over the past 20 years or so. The frontman for Rockin' Marmalade is also an active member of the Mumbai Comperes Inc. - an association of comperes who emcee at weddings and corporate events in Mumbai through to Goa and Mangalore. I'm it it as well.   

Here's Alfred Rose with this Konkani tribute to Mother Teresa.

The sweet sound of Konkani -  can't get enough of it... Came across this Konkani tribute posted by a friend on WhatsApp. Mother Teresa by the Zeemix Trio

One singer who has performed on the Konkani stage made it big with Bollywood in the 70s with 1-2-Cha-Cha-Cha and numerous other songs in her inimitable style. Usha Uthup is said to have been a supporter of the Missionaries of Charity - and supposedly received invitations for the canonization from the Missionaries of Charity and the Vatican as well. She was also scheduled to perform at St. Peter's Square last night. 

From the languge singer, here's her tribute in Bangla (Bengali) - the local language of Kolkota (Calcutta) the home of the Missionaries of Charity... 

Laakh Laakh, Hazaar Hazaar, Chahiye Mother Teresa - Usha Uthup

To sign off this post, I'll leave you with the Canonization Song.

Canonization Song of Mother Teresa - Usha Uthup

P.S. I just saw a post on my WhatsApp groups offering a special grace when invoking India's most recent saint - St. Teresa of Calcutta - from midnight today till tomorrow. So let's take advantage of this special 'Window of Grace'

St. Teresa of Calcutta - Pray for us

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