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MMM Blog

Compassion

by Sr. Sheila Campbell  MMM      Ireland     03.03.2022

hands 2 resizedI never learnt Latin, but knowledge of Latin is very useful when you begin to look at the word compassion.  In English, it is often mixed up with pity.  When I pity someone, I put myself in a position of superiority over the poor unfortunate who is not as well off or as healthy as myself.  

Com – passion is different.  ‘Com’ means we are in this together.  What affects you, affects me.  ‘Passion’ is more related to suffering.  When you suffer, I suffer too.  I think that is why a compassionate response to the Covid-19 pandemic is to vaccinate the whole world, not just my little patch of a country.  

Some years back I was taught a lesson in compassion from one of my co-workers in the Consolation Project in Salvador, Brazil.  This was an initiative we started in response to women who had children assassinated.  One day we were expecting a small group of women to come for art therapy.  But it was mid-summer and it was pouring rain.  It was a heavy tropical rain storm.  But the women came anyway, huddled in shawls and protected as best as they could.  Rita met Dona Maria at the door.  She was dripping wet.  “Come in”, she said, grabbing a towel.  Then Rita knelt down on the floor and dried Maria’s legs and feet.  It was such a simple gesture, but that was compassion in action.  

Many years ago, Sr. Ann Ward, one of our Sister Doctors who worked for many years in Nigeria put it this way: “Compassion puts the two of you on the same level, enabling you to work together to change the situation, or at least to make it more bearable.”   

Today I am asking God to make me a more compassionate person.

Healing

by Sr. Sheila Campbell, MMM  Ireland  20.01.2022

womanarms upliftedHealing is a word that you hear often in MMM circles. In one sense it is a deeper understanding of what a Medical Congregation is all about. We run hospitals, clinics and out stations not only to cure but also to heal.

When we talk about “cure” the disease is over.  You can turn your attention to the next patient.  “To heal” is a much slower process. It involves not the physical body but the mind and spirit as well. 

Footprints in the Sand

by Sr. Noeleen Mooney, MMM     Ireland     17.01.2022

footprints I have never had a good sense of direction, though I believed that if I walked somewhere, I would at least be able to retrace my steps.  This almost let me down once when I went to a baptism celebration in south Maasailand, Tanzania.  Houses there are built in a ‘boma’, a circular compound, housing different family members as well as the livestock.  It is all carefully surrounded by a thorn fence to keep the lions and hyenas out at night.

The Drenching

by Sr. Jo Anne Kelly MMM    Ireland    15.01.2022

calf resizedIn the fridge in our kitchenette there is a bottle of fruit juice. It has the name “Drench”. The drink is new to me but the word drench is not.  Drench brings back  many memories of when I was a child on our small farm. My father always kept a few cattle, including small calves. One particular time a small calf was sick. She was lying listless, and looked almost lifeless. My father always seemed to know what was wrong with a calf and what medicine she needed. I never knew if the medicine came in liquid form or if he had to crush something and mix it with water. He had it in a bottle and it was called a “drench”. The process of getting it into the calf was called “drenching”.

The Hornet's Nest

by Sr. Noeleen Mooney, MMM    Ireland/Kenya   13.01.2022

rondavelLet me see, why did I do it?
I was on retreat at St. Therese House of Prayer in Nakuru, Kenya, run by the St. Patrick’s Fathers.  The spacious garden is an oasis of peace and solitude. In the garden they have built a rondavel with a grass roof.  There is where I sat, grateful for the shade from a too penetrating sun.

Riding into the New Year

By Sr. Prisca Ovat MMM  Kenya   10.01.2022

riding into the new year resizedA new year may sometimes mean trying out new things. It was nothing short of reality here with the experience of bicycling. This new adventure brought memories of the early days when sisters cycled to school and work. The motivation behind this trend is the unpleasant experience of automobile breakdown during our palliative care home visit, prompting a futuristic thought. What are the available alternatives? I thought a broken-down car should never be the end of home visitations!

Happy New Year from the MMM Archive

by Lisa Murphy    MMM Archivist    08.01.20221 Cong 1 n 64 2021

On the 1st of January 1940 Mother Mary Martin wrote from the Novitiate in Collon, County Louth, to Sister Mary Magdalen O’Rourke at Rosemount in County Dublin. This was a period of change for MMM who were preparing to move their Novitiate house from Collon to Drogheda, take over the running of the maternity home at Beechgrove and provide maternity services for the town and surrounding areas. In her New Year letter, Mother Mary recites the virtues of a Medical Missionary of Mary which includes humility, generosity, thoroughness and spending one’s self for others.

The Dawn Chorus

by Sr. Noeleen Mooney, MMM    Ireland     07. 01.2022

dawn chorus“The world began this morning, God-dreamt and full of birds.”
So, Patrick Kavanagh tells us – and he was a poet – with his own special way with words.  God-dreamt and full of birds.  How beautiful and true.  In so many ways mornings would not be half so joyful or inspiring without the birds, if not exactly to awaken us, more to reassure us that there is a brand-new day beginning, which is well worth singing about, however hoarse the voice.

Epiphany

by Sr. Maria Borda, MMM  Malta/Tanzania    06.01.2022

The Baby Jesus with GulbienaThe Magi- Astrologers described in the Gospel ( Mt 2:1-12) had to be a little crazy leaving the security of their homeland to venture forth into a strange country presided over by a mad king like Herod, in search of a Divine Child. But their great Faith, and adventurous spirit enabled them to discover the secret of the whole universe – the secret of God’s incredible love for His people , ‘the Salvation which He has prepared for All Nations’.

Guided by a Star

By Theresa McDonnell Fristrom AMMM        Ireland       05.01.2022

Teresa Fristrom 1 resized 2I recently read one of Fr. Richard Rohr’s sermons on the Feast of the Epiphany. His main theme was the universal symbol of being guided by a star. My reaction was subtle yet strong; a reminder; an invitation to ponder.

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