Missionaries of Charity Brothers elect new 'general servant'

The Union of Catholic Asian News sat down with the new head of the Missionaries of Charity Brothers last week.

Here's a little bit of the interview:

Brother David Roberts, new head of the Missionaries of Charity (MC) Brothers, says they are getting fewer vocations as their simple and difficult lifestyle offers only challenges to the materialistic modern world.

Although aging members and a sense of uncertainty challenges his congregation, the brothers will continue to serve the poorest of the poor as shown by their co-founder Blessed Teresa of Kolkata, he says.

Brother Roberts was elected the new head of the MC Brothers during the congregation’s general chapter held in Kolkata Nov. 15- Dec. 7 for a six-year term.

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In the following interview, he shares about his life and plans for the congregation he now heads.

ucanews.com: Why did you join the MC Brothers?

BROTHER DAVID ROBERTS: I always wanted to work with the handicapped. When I was a child, the plight of the mentally challenged shook me. I still recall the joy of being able to help a little boy with no hands work with a computer. He now has a family and work.

When I was 7, Mother Teresa visited our school in Kolkata. I remember running to my mother asking her for money to give to “Mother Teresa and her ‘leopards.’” Back then, I did not know what a leper was.

I obtained a master’s degree in social work from Loyola College, Chennai. In 1981, the year of the handicapped, I got a training scholarship to Japan for the caring of the mentally challenged. I had gone to see the Jesuit’s way of life. After returning from Japan I went to the MC home for the dying in Kolkata. I was shocked by the working conditions there. Every day I thought of leaving the place but God in His mercy and goodness kept me there, as I later joined the congregation.

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