By special letter on Holy Thursday, April 1, the Most Rev. David B. Thompson, Bishop of Charleston, asked all Catholics and others in South Carolina to implore Mother Teresa of Calcutta and Albania for her prayers for peace in Yugoslavia and its neighboring countries. This petition will be made at all Masses offered through the diocese for the foreseeable future within the general intercessions made after the gospel and homily.
In this special petition, the Bishop calls attention to Mother Teresa’s homeland; she is a native of Albania, so very much involved in the present crisis. His Excellency also seeks the intercession of Our Lady of Mercy, often referred to as Our Lady of Ransom, in the hope that so many persecuted and disabled persons will be ransomed from their horrible plights.
The Bishop advised The Miscellany that he received the inspiration for their petition from Esther Tecklenberg, a past papal honoree and parishioner of the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Charleston; and he noted for his pastors and parochial administrators that this petition takes no national, international, ethnic or political position on the rightness or wrongness of the United States’ involvement in the Yugoslavia matter.
Here follows the text of the general intercession:
Imploring the prayers of Mother Teresa of Calcutta and Albania, and through the intercession of Our Lady of Mercy, may our Risen Savior bring his peace to Yugoslavia and its neighbors, relieve suffering, comfort those in isolation, bring about an end to violence throughout the world.
In an April 1 interview, Bishop Thompson stated: “The Holy Father has waived the five year waiting period of the process of canonization to begin. One of the signs of sainthood is miracles attributed to the candidate for sainthood. I’m turning to Mother Teresa hoping and praying that, through her prayers for her homeland (Albania) and its neighbors, the miracle of peace will be granted.
“I’ve turned also to Our Lady of Mercy, patroness of our own Sisters of Charity of Our Lady of Mercy, who, I know, are storming heaven with prayers for peace. Our Lady of Ransom is the other name for Our Lady of Mercy, and the whole world now needs to be ransomed from violence of all kinds: war, genocide, ethnic cleansing, abortion, euthanasia, assisted suicide, capital punishment.
“We don’t need World War III! World War II is known as ‘The Big One.’ World War III could be ‘The Last One.’ Prophets of doom will point to this horror in Yugoslavia as a harbinger, even a beginning, of the end as we enter the millennium. I prefer to enter the year 2000 not with despair, but with hope, the hope given to us especially by the great world leader for peace, Pope John Paul II, in his “Tertio Millenio Adveniente.”
“I hope world leaders will listen to Pope John Paul II. He knows the territory very well. He is the humanitarian of the world, calling for the end of violence more than anyone else. This is a moral issue; the Holy Father, without a doubt, is the moral leader of the world. He favors all nations, all peoples, not just some. He should be listened to.”
Catholic Relief Services is accepting donations for the Kosovo regional crisis at: PO Box 17090, Baltimore, MD 21203-7090; 1-800-736-3467. Catholic Relief Services is the official overseas relief and development agency of the U.S. Catholic community. CRS assistance is provided solely on the basis of need, not race, creed, or nationality.