Sister Prema is new head of Missionaries of Charity

March 26th, 2009 - 3:16 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, March 26 (IANS) German-born Sister Mary Prema is the new superior general of the Missionaries of Charity (MoC), a congregation founded by Nobel laureate Mother Teresa.
“Sister Mary Prema is the new superior general of the order,” MoC spokesperson Sister Christie told IANS Thursday. She did not give further details.

Sister Nirmala Joshi, who had led the congregation for 12 years, was re-elected for a third term March 13. But the MoC held a second election Tuesday after she expressed a desire to be relieved of the post owing to ill-health.

The election - presided over by Archbishop Lucas Sarkar of Kolkata - was held at the congregation’s General Chapter in Green Park, 30 km from here.

The low-profile Sister Prema, one of the senior most nuns in the order and known for her work among the poor, is the third superior general of the order.

Nirmala, now 74, succeeded Mother Teresa to the post in 1997 and was elected for a second term in 2003.

Catholic Church sources said Sister Nirmala had also expressed a desire to return to the “contemplative life” she led before becoming the superior general in 1997, six months before Mother Teresa’s death.

Despite several attempts, Sister Prema could not be contacted.

“She will not talk before Friday. She is away from Mother House (global headquarters of MoC),” Sister Christie said.

Sister Prema’s appointment now needs an approval from the Vatican, which will a mere formality.

Mother Teresa, winner of the Nobel Peace award in 1979, founded the MoC in 1950.

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