A note written by Mother Teresa of Calcutta to Henry and Inez Casolani
Two Cards sent by Mother Teresa of Calcutta to Henry and Inez Casolani
Mother, now Saint, Teresa of Calcutta and Sr Cecilia
During July and August 1985, Sr Cecilia Mary Casolani sja, the only child of Henry and Inez Casolani, spent two months in Calcutta for a Missionary experience with Mother Teresa. Henry and Inez, though apprehensive because of the poor conditions in India, were, as usual, full of encouragement for the mission their daughter was undertaking.
In a letter her parents sent to Sr Cecilia in Calcutta, Inez Casolani wrote: “In case you meet Mother Teresa, please give her our love and tell her that we pray for her always and recite the co-missionary prayer daily!”
Mother Teresa replied by sending a holy picture and Rosary Beads to both Henry and Inez Casolani separately. Both were simply delighted. (see cards above). Besides, Mother Teresa had also written a note to Couple Casolani which reads: “Dear Parents of Sr M. Cecilia, Thank you for giving your only child – your only child to God. She is really the gift of God and a cause of joy wherever she goes. Pray for me and our poor. God bless you.”
While Sr Cecilia was in India, Henry wrote to her: “All I ask of you is to take care of yourself and try to help others.”
Henry and Inez Casolani acted upon Christ’s words, ‘When someone asks you for something, give it to him.’ (Mt. 5:42), ‘You have received without paying, so give without being paid.’ (Mt. 10:8) In joyfully showing kindness and in relieving the suffering of persons in need, Henry and Inez were indeed missionaries of Christ.
Henry and Inez Casolani loved the poor and worked for their advancement, not solely for those who were in financial or material need, but also for those who were poor on the spiritual level. Inspired by the material poverty of Christ and His love for the poor Henry and Inez Casolani did all they could to help the less fortunate.
Prof Fr Maurice Eminyan sj wrote: “Henry Casolani told me, ‘I am readily prepared to donate the house to you, since I am certain that much spiritual welfare will be generated by this act.’ We were very impressed by this act of generosity. It was ample proof of how much Henry cherished spiritual welfare even at a material cost to him!” (Prof. Fr. Maurice Eminyan S.J)
One of the Sisters of the Little Sisters of the Poor expressed the following: “I first met Inez Casolani when I used to go with an Indian Sister collecting at her house every month for our Home for the Elderly. Inez was always ready to help us and she used to allow us to go very often. We were always very much welcome in Inez Casolani’s home.”
In the less fortunate, Henry and Inez Casolani saw an icon of the suffering Christ, so their practice of charity was spiritual and mystical. By their attitudes of constant devotion to God and openness to His Word, Henry and Inez Casolani were a source of inspiration to others. It was a great joy for Henry and Inez whenever anyone asked them for a favour. Often enough they would sense the need and would go out of their way to be able to render service, many times even when it was not asked for.
Faith and charity were strong driving forces of Henry and Inez Casolani’s existence. Henry and Inez were strengthened by their great zeal for the things of God and their total detachment from earthly values. ‘Go, sell what you have and give it to the poor, and you shall have treasures in Heaven.’ (Mt. 19:21).
The path of Henry and Inez Casolani was a journey of tender love and genuine service to others. May we follow their untiring efforts to be Good Samaritans in the little world we live in: in our homes, in our workplace, in our parishes, wherever we may find ourselves, thus passing on this Christ-like love to all those within our reach. Amen.
references: Archivium Casolani