Our MMM foundress, Marie Martin, worked as a lay missionary in Nigeria from 1921 to 1924. This experience made her aware of great needs in health care, especially for women and children. She wanted to found a society of women religious that would be dedicated to expressing the healing love of God in providing this care. Her dream would not be realized until 1937 and she spent the intervening years discerning the kind of spirituality and preparation that the members of the new society would need.
She felt that Benedictine spirituality would “give us a solid spiritual foundation as well as the freedom of soul so necessary for the members of an active medical missionary society.” It emphasizes the importance of a balance of work and prayer, of moderation, and of hospitality. There is a special concern for the needy, the sick, the very young, and the aged. The motto of the Benedictines is Pax – Peace.
The aim of the Medical Missionaries of Mary is to seek God and the Kingdom through sharing Christ’s healing mission in the world today.
Our healing mission has evolved over the years and is expressed in a variety of ways. We are committed to care for the sick. Sisters are trained in a wide variety of health-related fields, including nursing and medicine, social work, and administration. We seek to promote the health of persons and communities in a holistic way. Our activities in community development have involved local people in decision-making about their own health and in the provision of clean water, sanitation, and improved nutrition.
In the violent and divided world of today we are aware of the need to promote peace and reconciliation. MMMs work with those affected by trauma and are involved in programmes that assist people working in conflict areas. Others work in pastoral ministry in health facilities and parishes.
We have a particular concern for the care of mother and child and the fostering of family life. We are with those who suffer, the oppressed, and those on the margins of life. Many MMMs are involved with services for those affected by HIV/AIDS. Others work to prevent human trafficking or assist the victims of this modern-day evil. They have established facilities for women with obstetric fistulae, enabling them to return to their families and society.
In all these activities we join resources with others. A large component of our work involves passing on skills to local people.
As Medical Missionaries of Mary we aim to foster true human development, seeking God as we work for human wholeness.