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Darjeeling Toy train ride to relive Mother Teresa's life-changing moment

Ghoom Railway Station Darjeeling
Mother Teresa received the “call within the call” during her toy train ride up to Darjeeling in 1946, and 70 down the line, members of the Darjeeling branch of the Lay Missionary of Charity, today tried to relive that life changing moment in an 8km ride in the famed toy train.They said they wanted to experience what Mother Teresa must have felt then.

On September 10, 1946, on her journey to Darjeeling in the toy train from the plains, Mother Teresa received what she termed the "call within the call" that was to give rise to the Missionaries of Charity  family of Sisters, Brothers, Fathers, and Co-Workers. Mother Teresa will be canonised as a saint at the St. Peter’s Square in the Vatican City on Sunday by Pope Francis.
“Today’s ride in the toy train is symbolic. For us it is always intriguing. We want to feel and experience what the Mother might have felt on that ride while coming up to Darjeeling. Maybe some of us will also be enlightened like her,” said Father Peter Lingdam, the LMC Darjeeling branch director.
Born on August 26, 1910 as Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu in Skopje, Macedonia, to Albanian heritage, Mother Teresa upon her arrival in Kolkata in 1929 journeyed to Darjeeling to join the Loreto novitiate.
She made her final profession as a Loreto nun on May 24, 1937.
Today’s ride on the toy train (with prayers and songs) is a prelude to Mother Teresa’s canonisation ceremony in Rome on Sunday. Tomorrow, special prayers will be conducted at the Immaculate Conception Cathedral Church in Darjeeling. An all faith prayer for peace and unity at the Gorkha Ranga Manch Bhawan will also be organised while a giant LED screen will beam live the canonisation ceremony in Chowrastha tomorrow.
“We are getting ready spiritually for September 4. Mother Teresa was in Darjeeling for a number of years. She received her novitiate here in Loreto church and also became a nun. So the hills have an  automatic connect with the Mother. And hence it is only proper that we too celebrate her sainthood,” Lingadam said.
Shortly after Mother Teresa died in 1997, St. John Paul II waived the usual five-year waiting period and allowed the opening of the process to declare her sainthood. She was beatified in 2003.
“We are following in the footsteps of Mother Teresa and working among the poor and needy in villages as she used to do. She is not only our Mother but of the country, the needy, poor and homeless.
The Mother saw the vision of the Almighty in every human being and spread the message of love, peace and unity,” said Father Alexander Gurung, spokesperson for the Darjeling Diocese.
Mother Teresa’s legacy remains strong in the hills as branches of the Missionaries of Charity in Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Kurseong sub-divisions, continue to work for the welfare of the poor, needy and homeless of the region. (EOIC)

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