Greeting Mother Teresa’s missionaries on his knees, the Bishop of Tilara Liberia in Costa Rica welcomed them, saying later, “We dried some of their tears.”
Newsroom (12/07/2022 10:11 AM, Gaudium Press ) Bishop Eugenio Salazar Mora, Bishop of Tilarán-Liberia in Costa Rica, not only received the religious sisters of Mother Teresa who were abruptly expelled by Daniel Ortega’s regime from Nicaragua, but made beautiful gestures towards these religious women : he knelt before them and kissed the hands of some, while several of them kissed his episcopal ring.
The Bishop learned through the media of the possible expulsion of these nuns “from Nicaraguan territory after many years of staying there, having had three houses of service to the community“. In total, the religious women consisted of 7 Indians, 2 Mexicans, 1 Spaniard, 2 Guatemalans, 1 Ecuadorian, 1 Vietnamese, 2 Filipinos and 2 Nicaraguans.
Although the religious sisters, because of their charism, prefer discretion surrounding the reasons and circumstances of their expulsion, Bishop Salazar confirmed that “they suffered difficult moments, of anxiety, of anguish, fearful for their physical integrity, and acknowledging that among them there are religious of different nationalities and some elderly sisters”.
They were very worried,” continued the prelate, “until they arrived in Costa Rica. If it was up to them, they would stay in Nicaragua. They love Nicaragua, the Nicaraguan people, and especially the poorest and neediest.
“I don’t see any guilt in them,” stressed the Bishop of Tilarán-Liberia. “They are just women, spouses of Jesus Christ, consecrated, who desire only to serve the poor, and they do many things that many others will not. But, that is the life of the Christian; the vision of martyrdom is also part of Christian spirituality.”
The diocese is honored to have them
The Prelate spoke of the warm welcome his diocese offered these sisters: “We comforted them, we wiped away some of their tears. And above all, I listened to one of them, the Superior, so that she could express all that she had lived, which, out of respect for them, I won’t divulge.”
The bishop recalled the work of the Missionaries of Charity, who had three houses of social assistance in Nicaragua, to assist the most needy, and asked for prayers for the Nicaraguan people. He expressed his affection and said that they honoured his jurisdiction with their presence, that they are the representation of Jesus Christ.
The prelate ended his speech with the cry “Long live Christ the King!”
Justifications for the expulsion
At the time of the expulsion, the General Directorate of Registration and Control of Non-Profit Organizations of the Nicaraguan Ministry of the Interior stated that the Missionaries of Charity had “not fulfilled their obligations” under the law that regulates them, as well as not complying with the Law on Money Laundering, Financing Terrorism and Financing the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction. The executive also said they were not accredited to operate as a day care centre, child development centre or retirement home, nor were they authorized to provide tutoring.
Compiled by Sandra Chisholm