Footprints in Italy 1952 – 1977


Footprints in Italy 1952 – 1977

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In November 1951 Mother Mary went to Italy. In 1952 Mother Mary undertook the staffing and running of a General and Maternity Hospital, Clinica Mediteranea, in Naples. This clinic was newly built and owned by Professor Chiariello and a Committee of lay-men. The bed complement was 115.
At that time most international congregations had a house in Rome but, as there did not seem any opportunity of MMM getting a house in Rome, to have a base in Naples was seen as a good thing for the Congregation. It was thought it would be a good centre for vocations to MMM.
The founding members were Sr. Anthony Connolly, Sr. Attracta Scanlon, Sr. Aidan Gallagher, Sr. Joannes King, Sr. Fidelma O’ Shea, Sr. Mary Casey, Sr. Caritas Wurserova. Sr. M. Perpetua Hayes went later to Naples was Superior there until she transferred to Clinica Moscati, Rome, in 1964. She returned as Superior to Naples in October 1966. In August 1964 Sr. M. Anthony Connolly replaced her as Superior in Naples.

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In December 1963 Mother Mary went to Rome in response to a request for Sisters to staff a hospital being built by a partnership of three: the mission-minded Moscati Society, the more secular Immobiliare Society and the Bank of Sicily. The Clinica Moscati was meant to be a training hospital to provide doctors and nurses for under-developed African countries. Dr. Riberi knew the promoters and thought the project an exceptional opportunity for MMM to become established in Rome. Mother Mary saw the Clinica Moscati as another International Missionary Training Hospital, with great benefits for the African mission countries. Nevertheless, she had some reservations and was taken aback to find Cardinal Cushing opposed to her Congregation staffing the Clinica. After protracted discussions, she agreed to provide sufficient staff in late 1964 or early 1965, and left two Sisters to supervise the completion of the building, the cost of which was being borne by the three groups that owned it. The Clinica Moscati finally opened in 19thDecember 1964 and was staffed by sixteen MMMs. Sometime before the opening, the Bank of Sicily withdrew and its share was taken over by the Society Immobiliare, giving that body a controlling interest of two-thirds in the hospital, a signal of troubles ahead. It became obvious after some months that the Society Immobiliare and the Society Moscati differed in aims and approach so, in 1966 after assessing the situation, the Sisters were withdrawn from the Clinica Moscati. It was also considered a drain on missionary staff.

MMM closed the house in Naples in 1975, following a decision taken at the Third Congregational Chapter held in 1974. Sr. Maria Pia Parlato, who spent many years in Nigeria, and originally came from Naples and joined MMM in 1960.


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