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Mother Teresa wants to expand into China

Mother Teresa expressed the hope on Friday that the Missionaries of Charity would be able to spread its wings in China under the leadership of the new superior general, Sister Nirmala.

At her first press conference after Sister Nirmala's election as superior general on Thursday, the 86-year-old Nobel Laureate said the Missionaries of Charity today work in 120 countries. ''Pray for us that we continue god's work,'' she said, adding that "I have plenty of work to do."

"I don't feel happy on being the head," Sister Nirmala told the assembled media corps. "The Mother is still our guiding force. My first priority is to do the work of god."

Sister Nirmala, originally Nirmala Joshi, said she first felt the urge to embrace Christianity while she was studying. "I felt Jesus called me one night when I was in the hostel along with one of my friends," she said, and added, "I immediately came to Calcutta at the age of 17 and after discussions with the Mother was baptised by her in 1958."

Being asked by a foreign correspondent on whether a Hindu-turned-Christian was fit to head the Missionaries of Charity, Mother Teresa said, "We are all one."

Mother Teresa, who will remain in Calcutta to assist in "god's work" said the Missionaries of Charity would now attempt to set up a mission in China, one of the few countries in the world where the familiar white sari with the blue border has not been seen to provide succour for the poor, sick and dying.

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