Statement by Sister Nirmala
(regarding using Mother's name for fundraising for the M.C.)
In the ten months since Mother went home to God we have received expressions of
encouragement and support from countless people from all over the world. We are very
grateful for all of the love and concern they have shown to us, and for their many
prayers. By the grace of God the Missionaries of Charity have continued to serve the
poorest of the poor in the same way that Mother taught us. While we miss Mother more than
we can say, we feel certain that Mother must be praying for us and for the poor she loved
It has been brought to our attention that a number of organizations and
individuals intend to commemorate the anniversary of Mother's death, September 5th, by
soliciting donations for the Missionaries of Charity or for other charitable causes. These
fundraising appeals may be through events, the sale of commemorative materials, or through
Some believe that now after Mother's passing away, all have the right to use
Mother's name since Mother belongs to the whole world. Mother herself foresaw the
possible controversies and clearly expressed her mind on the matter in the statement she
made on 14th October 1984 in which Mother states,
"... it has happened quite often that the use of my name, even when it has
involved the solicitation of funds for worthy charitable purposes, has conflicted with my
religious beliefs and those of my Order. I have, therefore, strived to prevent the use of
my name in those instances. I realize that there may be some who would seed to use my name
after my death, and I feel very strongly that the exclusive right to control the use of my
name should be vested in my successor from time to time in the office of the Superior of
the Missionaries of Charity. This right is to be exercised in the absolute
discretion of my successor, to the end that consent to the use of my name will be withheld
or granted in accordance with the religious beliefs which I have held in common with my
Order and expressed during my lifetime."
I wish, therefore, to make a public appeal to all organizations and individuals
contemplating such fundraising activities to respect Mother's wish and not undertake such
endeavors. While we accept the good intentions of those who might do such things, we want
to make clear that we do not authorize anyone to solicit funds or goods for us or for any
cause, in the name of Mother or the Missionaries of Charity. Any gifts intended for our
poor should be directed to the closest house of the Missionaries of Charity or to the
Mother House in Calcutta.
It would be good to remember Mother's stand regarding soliciting donations in
cas and kind. Mother repeatedly made it known that we depend on Divine Providence to
meet our needs and the needs of the poorest of the poor. We continue to trust in
Divine Providence in the way Mother did, and therefore we ourselves do not raise funds nor
do we allow others to do so in the name of Mother or of the Missionaries of Charity.
My prayer and gratitude goes to each one of you for the tremendous love and
respect you showed Mother during her lifetime. I know that you will honor her memory by
continuing to love and respect her way, which is our way, of living a life of Gospel
simplicity and trust in God.
As we draw closer to the anniversary of the day when Mother went home to God,
we join with you in prayer in her loving memory, with a renewed commitment to take up
where she left off and give wholehearted free service to those in need.
God bless you
Sister M. Nirmala m.c.
Missionaries of Charity
54 A.J.C. Bose Road, Calcutta 700 016 22