by Sr. Sheila Campbell MMM            Ireland             20.02.2023

Our first daffodil made its appearance in full flower on January 25th this year. Yes, it is earlier than usual, but we have had a reasonably mild winter and no doubt climate change hurried things along.

As I stood looking at the lone flower in the garden, I was wondering what the daffodil thought about as it opened up. Was it surprised to see it was the only one? Or was it encouraged so see its companions in bud, just a little bit slower in the process?

It made me think about our Founder, Mother Mary Martin. On January 27th each year we celebrate her entry into eternal life. She was a pioneer in her day too. But I am guessing that she was so busy being, as she would put it, an instrument of God’s work, that she would not have seen herself as a pioneer at all.

When it comes down to it, pioneers are those people who can see connections and make the necessary links before anyone else. They take the work of others, tilt their head to study it from a new angle and experiment. When she started out on her career, did Marie Curie know she would discover radium? Did she realise the profound difference the discovery would make in generations after her own, in diagnosis, in cancer treatment? Probably not.

Likewise, Mother Mary saw the need of women in Nigeria needing care at childbirth and of infants and young children dying unnecessarily due to preventable illnesses, and she founded our group of professional women, the Medical Missionaries of Mary to do something about it.

There is another sense in which each one of us is called to be a pioneer. We have all received so much but each day presents new challenge. Nowadays we need to relook at our consumer economy with its greed and corporate destruction of the planet. We need to find solutions and to find them quickly. We are only 90 seconds away from disaster as the Doomsday Clock tells us.  So, each of us are called to be pioneers in today’s world. Let’s roll up our sleeves and solve this problem!