The Eighth Decade
The Eighth Decade: 2007 to the present
We held our Ninth Congregational Chapter in 2009 in All Hallows, in Dublin, Ireland. Much of the Chapter agenda was based on a review of ministries in all the countries in which we work. On our first day we were privileged to be addressed by the President of Ireland, Mrs. Mary McAleese. In her remarks about the work of MMM she commented, ‘We remind ourselves that there are people like you who turn up to help, who do your best, wherever humankind or nature have done their worst. You turn up and you stay. While there is work to be done and no one else to do it, you stay.’
Also in 2009, we handed over our mission in Mitcha, Lubango in Angola with a view to opening to opening a new house in Viana, Luanda, a rapidly developing urban area badly in need of health services. We continued a process of consolidation in Ethiopia with the handover of our mission in Dadim, among the Borana people.
At the same time, preparations were being made for our eventual withdrawal from the country.
In Kenya we completed our handover of our missions in Turkana and Kitale and the Riara Health Project in Nairobi.
In mid-2010, we handed over our two HIV-related projects in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and said farewell to our many friends there after fifty years of service.
In 2011, MMMs in Bahia, Brazil participated in a cultural immersion programme: PATH (Pursuing Awareness - Transcending Horizons). It provided an opportunity for us to share our healing charism and to allow others to experience and reflect on how it is being lived in the Brazilian context. Participants saw the use of effective local herbal medicines. They visited programmes for women's empowerment, such as the Rural Working Women's Movement. They were also exposed to prison ministry and the realities of rural communities with inadequate access to water. They were given opportunities to reflect on these experiences.
This was also the year in which, MMMs in Tijuana, Mexico and San Ysidro, California transferred to other houses in the USA.
We celebrated our 75th Jubilee in 2012 with a variety of events around the world. At our Motherhouse in Ireland a permanent exhibit about the life of Mother Mary, the Marie Martin Room, was opened. Nurses who graduated from the IMTH held a special reunion. On 2 June in Nigeria, the year was marked by the perpetual profession of five Sisters.
During that year representatives of our MMM Associates participated fully in the Congregational Finance and Fundraising meeting, held in Ireland. Our Associates now number well over one hundred and are found in fourteen countries around the world. They are engaged in a variety of ministries that reflect many aspects of the gift of healing.
In 2013 we began a new mission in the world’s newest country, South Sudan. Three MMMs moved into temporary accommodation in Wau, an area with a huge population of people displaced by war and conflict. They began consultations with government and representatives of local groups to decide what health services were most needed.
That year, we opened a house of studies in Nairobi, Kenya for our Sisters pursuing various courses in the city. It is based at the premises of the previous international novitiate.
In 2013, we also marked thirty years of the Westport-Aror partnership. Through their interest and material and financial support, this dedicated group has shared in bringing better health and an improved quality of life to the people of Aror, Kenya. Many similar groups work with us, earmarking support to go to specific missions or ministries, such as helping women affected by obstetric fistula.
We held our Tenth Congregational Chapter in 2015 in Nairobi, Kenya. Using the theme of ‘Remember the source from which your healing charism flows: Christ’s love in which you are rooted and founded’, delegates made a renewed commitment to be in solidarity with and empower the poor, the powerless and the marginalised.
In 2015 we opened three new missions in Nigeria: in Abajah, where there are few health services; among the people living in the creeks of the Niger Delta in Bomadi; and in a poor area, Shogunle, in Lagos. In their first few months, the Sisters have been getting to know the people and finding out what their needs are.