by Sr. Noeleen Mooney, MMM Ireland 10.02.2023
There were no flashing lights or sudden inspirations. Initially I joined a medical missionary Congregation to become a nurse – no more, no less. There was a vague attraction of ‘missionary’ travelling, but it was not something I considered seriously at that point.
So you may ask – am I a nurse? The answer is no, and while it is true that when I was told I could not be one, the bottom seemed to fall out of my world. It is also true that this discovery was a small beginning into realizing that what I was about was not so much to do with a particular job of work, but with a way of life that was to call me out of my family, my country, but most of all out of myself. After all, coming from a family of two to join one of over four hundred was bound to leave its mark.
One of the greatest blessings is getting to know my ‘extended family’ as I travel or move house. There is a special bond because we are all in this together. There is a phrase in our MMM Constitutions which says that we live with people ‘chosen not by us, but by the Father’. I’m glad it is like this as, left to ourselves, our choices would be too human. One of our greatest needs as missionaries, that of belonging to a community where we can grow, might have become a cosy comfortable place instead. That might be nice, but I doubt that it would be life-giving for myself or for those I am called to serve. ‘being called to serve’ might sound a bit pious, but if Jesus could say “I came not to be served but to serve”, then I believe there is a lot I can do to try and make these words my own.