ST. MOTHER TERESA OF KOLKATA: AN ICON OF GOD’S MERCY – THE ANNUAL SYMPOSIUM
The academic year 2016 – 17 of Don Bosco Chinthanaloka Institute Philosophy and Humanities (DBCIPH) witnessed the spiritual version of its annual Symposium on the newly canonized St. Mother Teresa of Kolkata, portraying her as an icon of God’s Mercy. The Symposium was hosted in DBCIPH campus on the 18th November 2016. The driving factor for choosing such an area of focus was for two reasons: one is obviously the recent event of her Canonization and the next is the Church presenting her as the “Icon of God’s Mercy” in the extraordinary Jubilee year of Mercy. The registration was open from 9.30 a.m. in the morning and the symposium began at 9.50 a.m. invoking God’s presence and assistance in this mercy filled venture. The Rector of Don Bosco Chinthanaloka welcomed the gathering with heart felt words of joy.
The first session was on “Mercy and Clemency: The Necessary Unity” disseminated by Dr. Anton Meemana, Professor of Philosophy, DBCIPH, after his enlightened thoughts the floor was opened for discussion by Fr. Abraham Savarimuthu SDB, the Vice-Principal of DBCIPH, who moderated the session. Dr. Meemana spoke on the Scriptural basis for the necessity of Mercy and its implications in the present era, he also envisaged convincingly the aspect of necessity of growth in various aspects of holiness to rise up to the level of Mercy and Clemency required of a Human person.
After a short recess the accomplices resumed their reflection on God’s Mercy in Mother Teresa with Fr. Thomas Ellicherail SDB, the Rector of DBCIPH, who depicted “Mother Teresa as the Icon of God’s Mercy for our Times.” His presentation was based on various sources ranging from personal experience with the Saint of Kolkata, the interpretation of the meaning of this Jubilee year in the words of Pope Francis and other eminent Ecclesial Personalities. After his presentation the floor was opened for discussion by Dr. Anton Meemana. After a well-balanced discussion ranging from spiritual, social and ecclesial aspects of Mother Teresa the floor was closed for lunch.
The afternoon session resumed with a screening of Mother Teresa’s life and work as published by her own congregation. Following which the sisters of the Missionaries of Charity from Shanthi Niwasa, Colombo shared their experience with Mother Teresa and their own experience as a sister of the Missionaries of Charity. The floor was moderated by Fr. Thomas Ellicherial SDB. After the third session of sharing by the sisters of the Missionaries of Charity, the participants were divided into three groups to propose two acts of Mercy as resolutions to be followed after the symposium. Each group was given fifteen minutes to discuss and propose the resolutions, and they were categorized and finalized by Fr. Abraham Savarimuthu SDB. Two out of six proposals were selected and proposed as resolutions to follow after the symposium, namely: Genuinely smile at each other from the heart and asking pardon. With the Vote of Thanks proposed by Bro. Janith SDB, the Symposium came to its happy conclusion.