MMM Blog

Sister Doctor Mairead Chambers

by Lisa Murphy     MMM Archivist        08.03.2022

ALBUM R WTD28 MAIREAD CHAMBERS AND KATE FITZGERALD resizedThe issuing of the Constans ac Sedula in 1936, enabled MMM Sisters to undertake pioneering medical work. Throughout the history of the Medical Missionaries of Mary, there have been many women who have devoted themselves to particular causes and one such MMM was Sister Mairead Chambers, known in her early years as Sr. M. Visitation. Sister Doctor Chambers would go on to dedicate much of her life’s work to alleviating the suffering of patients with Hansen’s disease (leprosy). Born in County Clare, Mairead entered the Medical Missionaries of Mary in 1940 after finishing school. She was one of the first MMM’s to qualify as a Doctor at University College Dublin in 1947. Her first assignment upon qualifying was to assist Doctor Joseph Barnes at the leprosy settlement in Ogoja, Nigeria. The leprosy scheme had begun just two years previous in 1945 after Bishop Thomas McGettrick enlisted the help of Dr. Barnes and the Medical Missionaries of Mary to undertake this vital work. Sister Doctor Chambers writes in the MMM Magazine that ‘Prior to 1945 there were no facilities for the treatment of the thousands of sufferers in Ogoja division’.

Nun and Pilot

by Sr. Sheila Campbell  MMM         Ireland       07.03.2022

Nina plane resizedTomorrow is International Women’s Day. So today I want to tell you part of the story of Sr. Nina Underwood MMM. I say part of the story because recently I read her account of being kidnapped by guerrilla fighters during a bloody civil war. But we will let that part of the story sit for another day.

Fund-Raising for Leprosy

By Sr. Margaret Anne Meyer, MMM       U.S.A.           06.03.2022

Steps for Hope poster social media cropped resizedWhen I last wrote to you about the meaning of Advocacy which I learned from Sister Cora Wall MMM, I also remembered the very beginnings of the founding of our Mission in Ogoja to those suffering from Hansen’s Disease as Leprosy is now called.  Three Sisters, Theresa Connolly, Sr. de Lourdes Gogan, and Sr. Philomena Doyle travelled by lorry from Lagos to Ogoja in 1945. The distance was over five hundred kilometers.  What must it have been like for them travelling over bumpy dusty roads for that length of a journey? 

Walking for Lent

By Sr. Sheila Campbell MMM          Ireland         05/03/2022
feet walking resizedIsn’t it cheating a little bit to say you are walking for Lent when actually you do go out walking most days? These thoughts were in my head when I set out to start the MMM Steps for Hope 2022 Lenten Campaign. Well, I thought to myself, if I make a pledge to do something I still have to do it, especially on days that are raining, and days when I just want to sleep a little bit later.

Joining the Funeral

by Theresa McDonnell Friström, AMMM      Ireland      03.03.2022

Funeral resizedWhen I unexpectedly walked in the funeral procession of Fr. Mick Reynolds, CSSp, from Kimmage Manor to the Church of the Holy Spirit in Dublin one Monday morning, something strange happened. Firstly, I was the only woman. Secondly, I felt I was in holy space; and thirdly, I felt I was representing the very many people around the world and those predeceased who were helped and graced by that intelligent, wise, and unassuming man.
The list of Mick’s beneficiaries includes Medical Missionaries of Mary.

Seeking New Ways in the Healing Mission of Jesus

  Creative Fidelity

by Sr. Brigid Corrigan   MMM   England/Tanzania   01.03.2022

Brigid Corrigan 2The urgent call from the ‘high dependency ward’ came early in the morning.  Along with others, I made my way to find a young boy, Sospeter, 15 yrs of age, in a deep coma. Swift examination, resuscitation and essential laboratory tests revealed that Sospeter was in a diabetic coma. Diabetes and other non-infectious diseases,were appearing in Tanzania at an alarming rate in the 1970s and 1980s.   As Medical Missionaries of Mary, our medical work was constantly changing.


by Sr. Noeleen Mooney, MMM  Ireland  27.01.2022

weedsWeeds – what are they?  The dictionary describes them as “wild herbs growing where they are not wanted”. This is probably how we think of them most times.  Weeds are everywhere.  They grow without being asked.  They spread with complete abandon if we allow them to.  They take a lot of time and energy to remove, if we decide to battle against them.

Is God calling me?

By Sr. Sheila Campbell, MMM     Ireland      25.02.2022

frequenly asked question resizedOne of the questions I am asked, often if not frequently, is “How did you know you wanted to be a Sister?”   Well, the truthful answer – I always knew – is not very helpful so I went around all my colleagues to see if I could come up with a better answer.

Encounter with Vipers

by Sr. Cecily Bourdillon  MMM    Zimbabwe    23/02/2022

scaled viper resizedNot long after my arrival at Zungeru Rural Health Centre in Northern Nigeria, I was called to see a young woman who was bleeding to death having been bitten by a snake. We were unable to give our patient a blood transfusion nor had we anti snake venom serum to administer. All we could do was to refer our patient to the general hospital in the nearest town, Minna, and hope that there she would receive the treatment she needed.
This patient was the first of many patients I would see bleeding from a snake bite - the bite of a Carpet Viper.


by Sr. Sheila Campbell MMM  Ireland  21.02.2022

jigsawsI am now in my seventies and in recent years I have found myself drawn again to doing jigsaw puzzles.  I think it began when I had a period of forced inactivity from work due to medical reasons.  But no matter how I started, I am now well and truly hooked!  After our evening meal I usually go to the table with another two or three Sisters and spend an enjoyable hour piecing a puzzle together.  

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