Sister Nirmala Re-elected as Head of Missionaries of Charity

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CALCUTTA, India, MARCH 27, 2003 (ZENIT.org-Fides).- Delegates of the Missionaries of Charity re-elected Sister Nirmala Joshi as the congregation's leader.



The general superior was re-elected at a meeting of 140 delegates from all over the world, gathered here for the 8th General Chapter of the congregation founded by Mother Teresa.

"Pray for the Holy Father, for Mother Teresa and for Sister Nirmala. Pray for our sisters in Iraq," was the exhortation addressed to the religious during the chapter's working sessions.

Mother Teresa, whose beatification will take place Oct. 19, founded the congregation in 1948.

The institute held its first General Chapter in 1961, and elected Mother Teresa as General Superior. The foundress then entrusted the direction of the religious to Sister Nirmala in 1997. Six months later, Mother Teresa died.

Sister Nirmala was born in 1934 to a Hindu Nepalese family that moved to the Indian state of Bihar. She converted to Catholicism at 24 and joined the Missionaries of Charity shortly afterward.

The congregation has 4,000 women religious in about 700 houses in five continents.