Mother Mary Martin Week: Sr. M. Immaculata Nichols

Mother Mary Martin Week: Sr. M. Immaculata Nichols

Editor’s Note: This week, leading up to the anniversary of Mother Mary’s death on January 27th, we hear the stories of some of our early MMM Sisters, of how they met Mother Mary, and of how their lives changed.

Sr. M. Immaculata Nichols (1917 – 2002)                      Ireland                                              26.01.2024

“My first meeting with Mother Mary was at the time she was thinking of founding the Congregation.  It was in 1935.  A friend of mine told me about a Miss Marie Martin and her hope to start a missionary Congregation, dedicated to Our Lady. Sr. Magdalen, my friend, had joined the pioneering venture. Miss Martin was looking for volunteers to help.  I was already working with the Legion of Mary and had a great love for Our Lady, so the idea had great appeal for me, moreover this Congregation was to help the poor in Africa with emphasis on the mother and child.  My big problem was that my parents did not approve of my plan.  My mother warned me that it wasn’t an established convent, and she didn’t know who Miss Martin was.

For weeks I tried to put the idea out of my head, but Miss Martin wasn’t easily put off.   She wrote asking me to meet her outside the Catholic Library in Dublin.  We talked about everything at first, but Mother soon spoke of what was nearest and dearest to her heart, the infant Congregation.  The depth of her faith, fired by her zeal to found a Congregation inspired by Our Lady’s willingness to go to her relative in need at the Visitation, roused my determination to join Miss Martin and her first companions.

We parted quietly that day after our chat, but already Mother had imbued me with some of her fire and courage to overcome my family obstacles.  Thinking back on it, I saw Mother Mary as a woman of great faith and simplicity.  She was very frail, petite, but oozing with personality.  At the time she was up against great obstacles, but despite these, she went on in faith and obedience to found the Congregation. One was very conscious that she was close to God, and this came over to me very forcibly as I talked with her.

Then the first miracle took place.  I found myself, beside Mother Mary, six weeks later at Heuston Station, Dublin, then known as Kingsbridge.  The train was bound for Limerick, and we went on to the Benedictine Priory, Glenstal, some miles from that city.  I was to join my friend and another woman whom Mother Mary had also inspired.  My Glenstal days will always remain in my heart.”