The Vocation of a Widow

The Vocation of a Widow

by Sr. Joannes Meehan MMM (1917 – 1979)                                        Ireland             09.04.2024

First published by MMM in 1977

Every vocation is unique. Each can speak of the wonder and the marvels of his or her call and ultimate response. Perhaps the summons came through an acquaintance, a chance meeting, an event, a grief, a great joy, the loss of a beloved one. God works God’s plan in this way.
I can speak of my own experience. God’s plan for me was working in the Civil Service, getting married, being widowed and then total commitment to missionary life as a Medical Missionary of Mary. Following profession and a period of preparation for the apostolate, I was sent out to bring the Good News to Turkana, Kenya.

Missionaries were not allowed into this part of Kenya until 1961 when, following three years of drought, the people were faced with starvation and death. Almost all the livestock had died. Turkana comprises 25,00 square miles of desert and semi-desert land in Northwest Kenya. The people are a nomadic tribe who roam the vast wilderness in search of fodder and water for their herds of sheep, goats, and camels. They live, eat, and sleep in the open. Their diet is milk mixed with blood from the camels which they bleed occasionally. In December 1961 MMM went out to to set up famine camps. Today (1977), these camps have almost disappeared, but there remains the duty to help these people to become self-supporting and combat the two main scourges: malnutrition and lack of water.

Under the direction of Monsignor Mahon SPS, Prefect Apostolic of Lodwar, I started a Montesorri Nursery School at Turkwell. This gives me a special relationship with the parents and adult population, so that I can help them too. Above all I must strive to convey to them God’s loving care for them in their needs.

I cannot but marvel at the way God has shaped my life. Even though I had my share of crosses. May it be an encouragement to others who feel thwarted in their hopes and help them open their hearts to God’s plan for them.