Guest Blog by Paul Brian Campbell, S.J. U.S.A. 19/10/2021
I was 11 years-old when my sister Sheila entered the novitiate. We visited her in Clonmel, Co. Tipperary as a postulant and I remember my little brother and I causing something of a stir as we strolled into her dormitory to see her at bedtime!
I also recall visiting her at the Mother House in Drogheda. We would arrive from Belfast midmorning and be served tea or coffee in the parlor by the front door. [Is it my imagination or did it come served in squarish cups with red and white checks?] On at least one occasion, Mother Mary Martin came to greet my parents. I remember thinking that we had been graced with some extraordinary favor, just as if we’d been brought before the Pope. To this day, I have on my wall a photo taken on one of those visits at the nearby beach in Bettystown.
Over the years, I’ve visited Sheila in several places: Dublin, City Island [New York], São Paulo and Salvador do Bahia and have been privileged to get to know her fellow community members. My strong belief is that MMM is a Congregation of – and I promise you I wasn’t deliberately going for alliteration – strong, sincere, spirited, skilled and deeply devout women who love all those they encounter, especially the poor and marginalized.
I can’t begin to tell you how proud I am that my sister is a Medical Missionary of Mary.