MMM Blog

Memories of Mother Mary Martin 2


by Lisa Murphy     MMM  Archivist     Ireland      27.01.2022

Following the death of Mother Mary Martin on the 27th of January 1975, there was an outpouring of sympathy to the Congregation from around the world. Hundreds of telegrams and letters arrived lamenting the loss of MMM’s foundress. Today, those messages of sympathy are held in the MMM archive and offer us a revealing insight into Mother Mary’s impact both at home and abroad.

There are letters from Pope Paul VI, MMM Sisters abroad, the President of Ireland, official dignitaries, members of government, businesses, organisations, benefactors and other religious congregations. However, some of the most poignant messages are those sent by members of the public who had met or been impacted by Mother Mary in some way.

The following excerpts have been taken from just a few of the many hundreds of letters that were received. [Please note that the names of correspondents are omitted for data protection purposes.]

Mother Mary Martin

by Sr. Sheila Campbell MMM        Ireland         26.01.2022

Mother Mary 1 resizedTomorrow is the anniversary of Mother Mary Martin’s death. When people ask me “Did you know Mother Mary?” I used to answer, “oh yes, I met her once.”  And indeed, I did meet her once, with my parents, when I came to Drogheda to be interviewed before I joined MMM.  I always thought I knew her.  I had this little memory encapsulated in time.  I also had countless stories often told, sometimes rather wryly, by some of the older Sisters.  There were stories of her endless kindness, of her soft spot for alcoholics.  There were tales about her bad driving, erratic parking and the way she could charm the elderly clerics.

Who can work?

by Br. Joe Eberle M.Afr    Germany/Malawi       24.01.2022

Br Joe Eberle WF thumbnailI am Brother Joe Eberle of the Missionaries of Africa – White Fathers, living now in Hechingen, South-Germany.  I knew the MMM Sisters in Malawi and I am happy to contribute to the MMM Blog.  

I was born on 29th April 1932 in Erbach near Ulm on the river Danube and after my professional training I joined the White Fathers in 1957 and after the normal preparation for missionaries I was appointed to the Diocese of Mzuzu, Malawi in 1966, reaching this country in October of that year. The beginning in Africa was for me a fundamental eye-opener. Getting acquainted with a new environment, new faces, a new language; practically everything was so different to what I had experienced before in my life - at that time being 34 years old. All this made me reflect and I reached a point where I told myself: just be open and ready to take things as they come, step by step. And surely the Lord will guide you and remain always on your side.


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    08.01.2022

Mother Mary letter resizedOn 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.

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