On Sunday 4th September, Corpus Christi Community in Greenvale celebrated the canonisation of its founder, Mother Teresa of Calcutta, who was declared a Saint by Pope Francis at St Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City.
Celebrations were held on site at Corpus Christi Community, Greenvale with Archbishop Denis Hart participating in leading a prayer service as well as an official ‘breaking ground’ ceremony to mark the $24 million redevelopment of Corpus Christi’s facilities, scheduled to commence in early 2017.
The celebration was attended by residents, staff and supporters of Corpus Christi Community with many participating in the afternoon’s proceedings. One of the Community’s personal care workers, Pradeep Prabhakar, a talented local artist, also presented the Community with a portrait of Mother Teresa in recognition of her ongoing legacy at the Community.
Mother Teresa of Calcutta and her Missionaries of Charity Sisters established Corpus Christi Community in 1974, after identifying a need for a community in an outer Melbourne suburb that could provide respite for homeless men to help them rebuild their lives.
Today, Corpus Christi Community is an accredited residential care facility and home for marginalised and homeless men with complex care needs. Since opening, the facility has cared for and provided accommodation and support to more than 700 men.
In response to a call to return to caring for the needs of the poor and most destitute on the streets, Mother Teresa and the Missionaries of Charity entrusted the care of Corpus Christi Community to the Archdiocese of Melbourne in 1977 and suggested that the Jesuits take over the running of the community.
The Missionaries of Charity returned to Fitzroy and the Jesuits enlisted the help of the Sisters of Mercy who, collectively with the assistance of lay workers, lived and worked with the men in community until Corpus Christi became an accredited aged care facility in 1999.
The Sisters of Mercy and the Jesuits still maintain a stewardship role at Corpus Christi Community, as members of its board of management to ensure the spirit and legacy of Mother Teresa’s mission continues well into the future.