2 September 1982

Father Tom Forrest and Fr. Fio Masarenhas met recently in Rome with Mother Teresa of Calcutta, to share about worldwide priests’ retreat being planned in Rome for 1984. In the conversation, she immediately emphasized how we must begin now to fast and pray for the retreat’s success. She explained, though, that the money saved trough fasting must be given to the poor, or better still, we can “cook meal that day for the poor, instead of cooking for ourselves”. She also suggested prayer vigils and First Friday Adorations for the success of the retreat.

Mother Teresa felt that the theme of the 1984 priests’ retreat, “A Call To Holiness”, was of great importance explaining that, “Every priest needs this holiness in order to say the words ‘This is my Body’ during his Masses, and in order to help sinners leave the confessional fully freed of their sins. For this the priest himself needs a clean heart”. She added the observation, “Many priests today are being misled. They are called to be Other Christs, giving Jesus to others. But some have become just social workers, only doing things that could be done as well by others. We must able to see Jesus in our priests, rather than someone doing this or that only in some political or social way. Today there is a great hunger in the world for God, and I see this hunger also among priests, especially some younger priests. We must also help bring priests back to Mary since some are neglecting our holy Mother”. When the two priests expressed appreciation for the words of encouragement, Mother Teresa asked in return, “When you say your Masses and put the drop of water with the wine in the chalice, just ask God that I might be that drop”.

About the Catholic Charismatic Renewal, she added, “It has been a wonderful opportunity for thousands to be brought into a life of holiness. A few people may exaggerate, but this is not important compared to the immense good which has been done through the Renewal”. At the conclusion of the meeting, Mother Teresa gave the priests a booklet of the thoughts on the priesthood, writing in each the words, “Be all for Jesus. Be Holy like Jesus”. Later she wrote regretting that another commitment made it impossible to accept the invitation to speak at this retreat, but added, “I will be praying much and often for God’s blessing on the retreat”.

Taken from the ICCRS Newsletter, September-October 1982

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