Albanian Culture Celebrated at Mother Teresa Statue Unveiling

(Photo by Corazon Aguirre via Brooklyn Reporter/Brooklyn Media Group)

(Photo by Corazon Aguirre via Brooklyn Reporter/Brooklyn Media Group)

Weeks after Pope Francis canonized Mother Teresa as a saint, a statue of the Albanian-born nun was unveiled in Bensonhurst across from St. Athanasius Church at the corner of 61st Street and Bay Parkway, according to a story by Anna Spivak in Brooklyn Reporter. The president of Albania, Bujar Nishani, attended the Sept. 25 dedication ceremony, as did Rev. Monsignor David Cassato of the church, state Sen. Marty Golden and representatives of the New York-based Albanian Roots organization, which donated the statue.

They were among the “thousands” who came out to commemorate Mother Teresa and honor her Albanian roots, writes Caroline Spivack for Brooklyn Daily.

“Mother Teresa honored all Albanians with the great work that she did,” said Marko Kepi, the president of the Albanian Roots cultural organization. “She was beyond her faith when it came to helping people, and we felt it was important to have people of different faiths, backgrounds, and nationalities come, because that’s what she was all about.”

Indeed, prayers were led by representatives from the East Midwood Jewish Center, Saint Nicholas Albanian Orthodox Church, and the Albanian Islamic Cultural Center of Staten Island. And in addition to traditional Albanian music and dance performances, Indian and Irish dancers also took the stage during the ceremony.

As Spivak noted, Mother Teresa moved to Ireland at the age of 18 for missionary work before being sent to Calcutta in 1931, where she taught at St. Mary’s School for girls. Go to Brooklyn Reporter to hear from community leaders on how the statue of Mother Teresa can serve as as inspiration, and for photos.

And go to Brooklyn Daily to find out why Albanian Roots chose to erect the statue in southern Brooklyn and why observers of the statue will always know about Mother Teresa’s heritage.

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