Kosovo to Honor Mother Teresa

Church to Be Built in Her Parents' Native Land

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KOENIGSTEIN, Germany, MARCH 6, 2007 (Zenit.org).- Kosovo's government has given permission to build a church dedicated to Mother Teresa of Calcutta. Her parents were Kosovo natives.



Bishop Dode Gjergji of Prizren, in the province of Kosovo, made that announcement when thanking the international charity Aid to the Church in Need for 12 years of support in Albania, Mother Teresa's native country.

"The dream of my predecessor shall come true, a Catholic cathedral devoted to Mother Teresa," the prelate said. "For us, she is a sister, a member of the family."

Bishop Gjergji said that the construction will begin after Easter.

"As Mother Teresa's father and mother were from Kosovo, it is the wish of all the people, of the government and of the Muslims too," to build the church, the bishop added.

"There are Christians since the first century here," he added. "And our Muslims have a special history; some of them go back to their Catholic roots now. Each day, delegations come from the villages to ask us for baptism. We need your prayers to sustain their conversion."

Commenting on the situation of the Church in Kosovo, the 44-year-old bishop of Prizren said: "Even though we are a minority of 60,000 Catholics, and many young people have left the country to look for work … we have good communication and a normal life with all the people of Kosovo."

"Help our Church in Kosovo," he urged, "as we only have our poor's help here. Since we are a bridge for peace here, after the ruin of war, our Church in Kosovo deserves it, not only to survive but to contribute to the life of people and to the society in Kosovo."