Guest blog by Sr. Joyce Zarnick OSF U.S.A. 22.04.2022
I’d like to speak of how the collaboration between the Franciscans and the Medical Missionary of Mary began. I am Sister Joyce, a Franciscan from Clinton, Iowa. After teaching junior high for 42 years, I realized that I needed something a bit easier to do with my life. So, I retired from formal education and started looking for a new means of service. I found it in a diocesan newsletter sent to all religious in the Chicago area. Each month there is a column which lists any opportunities for employment.
In the June listing was a short paragraph describing the role of office manager for the MMMs. It said the following (and I thought to following): a facility with Microsoft office, (“Oh, I can do that!”) database management, (“Oh, I can do that!”), and some writing and editing (“Oh, I can do that!”) All the, “Oh, I can do that’s,” lead me to an interview with the then Development Director, Sister Mary Ann MacRae, MMM. After some consultation with her team, I was offered the position.
And what a position it was. I always wanted to be a missionary and for fifteen years with the Medical Missionaries of Mary, I found a way to serve those in need of care. There was the MMM database to keep current, letters to be written and others to be edited as well as building a rapport with some of their partners in mission.
But the really challenging activity for me was doing mission appeals at Mass in the parishes. I’m an introverted person and standing up before large groups (even small groups) of people takes me out of my comfort zone. Way out!!!
But I soon realized that these mission appeals were a way of inviting others to partner with the MMMs in furthering the building of the Kingdom of God. What a great opportunity! In collaboration with the MMMs, I was helping to bring about Jesus’s vision for the world.
♫♫ Bring forth the Kingdom of mercy
♫ Bring forth the Kingdom of peace.
♫♫ Bring forth the Kingdom of justice.
♫ Bring forth the City of God. Amen!