USA

MMM Blog

Steps for Hope

by Sr. Margaret Anne Meyer  MMM     U.S.A.    31.03.2022


Steps for Hope poster social media cropped resized“Step by Step they go together until they reach the God of SION”. These paraphrased words of Psalm 84 helped me as a young Sister to navigate the joys and sorrows of friendship. I felt a more looking outward towards Jesus than inward to each other and yet we were together in the looking for Jesus. “To see and seek God in all things” as St. Benedict says.

Compassion

By Sr. Sheila Campbell MMM         Ireland       31.03.2022

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

Mother's Day Musing

 by Nadia Ramoutar    MMM Communications Coordinator     27.03.2022

Nadia Devin resizedRecently, my 13 year old threw up all over the bed and himself. High temperatures from COVID 19 had made him very ill and I knew as I got him to the shower that most likely I would soon have the virus too. Less than a week later, I did have it. My son fortunately was feeling much better by then.

I think this experience shows what motherhood is like for many women. There is no one type of mother and certainly expectations of mothers have changed over the years and in different parts of the world. There is no agreement on motherhood to guide us. In fact, Mother’s Day is celebrated at different times of the year in various parts of the world. In Ireland this year Mother’s Day is 27th March. In most parts of the world it will be in May.

Breaking Through

by Sr. Sheila Campbell  MMM    Ireland    29.03.2022


grass in crack resizedIsn’t this a wonderful picture? I was really taken with it when Sr. Kathie sent me this from USA. It speaks to the tough times of our lives. The times when we see only barrenness and concrete in our lives. Difficulties, problems, worries seem to dominate. And yet, look, life springs out of the crack.

Quick Community Action on Cholera

Inter-connectedness

by Sr. Celine Jones and Sr. Cecily Bourdillion  MMM           Ireland      27.03.2022     

celine and baby resizedHippocrates, in 400 BC, described a diarrhoeal disease which could have been Cholera. Since antiquity cholera was known to exist in the Ganges Valley, India. Pandemics in the 19th century resulted in its spread to the rest of India and then in southeast and central Asia, the Middle East and in East Africa. Until 1970 it had not appeared in Nigeria.

In 1970, we were members of the MMM community that administered Eleta Hospital on the outskirts of Ibadan, western Nigeria. Ibadan was the largest and one of the most populous cities of Nigeria.  One evening when the community gathered in the sitting room after supper, Sr. Leonie, the Medical Officer in Charge, said she was really concerned about the cases of severe diarrhoea and vomiting she was seeing, presenting with severe dehydration. Could it be cholera?

Let it Be Done to Me

by Sr. Sheila Campbell   MMM       Ireland         25.03.2022

virgin mary resizedToday is the Feast of the Annunciation of our Lord also called the Feast of the Incarnation. Exactly nine months before Christmas Day – how good a timing is that! I began thinking about this Feast a few days ago. There is one thing that really bugs me. It is this image we have of Mary, the Mother of Jesus, as being a sweet, passive girl. You know the images. Mary is depicted as standing, all dressed in blue or white, hands slightly lifted, eyes looking towards heaven.

The Mary in the Gospels is anything but passive. She hears of her cousin in need, and off she goes on a perilous journey to come to her help. She goaded Jesus into action at the marriage feast of Cana. She stood at the foot of the cross and watched her own son suffer a horrible death. She is a determined woman and a woman of action. So why is she shown as being so sweet and passive?

Years of patriarchy explains most of it. The role of women was downplayed and women were “good” if they did what men told them to. Also, another part of the problem is who did the translations from the original texts into modern day English (men, mostly).

Years ago, I had a wonderful lecturer, a Redemptorist priest, in Fordham University who explained the translation problem of exactly this text: “Let it be done to me according to thy word”. These are Mary’s words of acceptance of the angel’s message that she was to become the mother of God. We translate it in a passive voice – let it be done – but the actual Greek text is much more active. It is as if Mary was punching the air and saying “Yes!”

I like to think of Mary this way. She was young, probably still a teenager by modern day standards, certainly at the beginning of her reproductive life. She would have embraced the cause with excitement, with fervour. Look at our young people today on protest marches for climate change, world peace, etc.
So today I honour Mary who took on the challenge, and yes, the honour of being the Mother of God. I look for her guidance and strength during the times when I fall into passivity and just accept the status quo. Mary, my sister, walk with me today.

Tackling HIV/AIDS in Malawi

by Sr. Cecily Bourdillion  MMM     Zimbabwe       23.03.2022
cecily bourdillon in Malawi resizedI arrived in Lilongwe, capital city of Malawi, central Africa, in September 2001 having been assigned to Chipini Health Centre. Sr. Christine Lawler drove me to Chipini. This was a five-hour journey on the one highway in Malawi, linking north to south. Chipini is a small village, twenty kilometres into the countryside from the highway. In 1989, MMM was invited to Chipini to build and administer the Health Centre for Zomba Diocese. Christine was the sister-in-charge and I was to take over the supervision of the Primary Health Care (PHC) programme.
The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) which, over time, causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) pandemic had hit Malawi. There was no treatment, nor was there a means of verifying the diagnosis available in Chipini. People were dying, mostly young people, with the well-recognised major and minor signs of HIV/AIDS. The only response we MMMs at Chipini could give was to care for those with the infection in their homes. Volunteers were trained and the home-based care programme (HBC) was initiated.

Home Visits to the Sick in Angola

by Sr. Beatrice Chiamaka Iyioku        Angola     21.03.2022
Angola mother and child resized"Anointed by the Spirit, Christ is the one sent by the Father to heal, to proclaim the Good News. Follow Him...." MMM Constitutions 9.1

Our healing charism springs from the charitable response of Mary who went in haste to visit her cousin Elizabeth, bringing with her the life who is Christ. As the sisters of the Medical Missionaries of Mary, we undertake home visitation. Checking on our friends and neighbours who are home bound and may not find it easy to get around.
It was a beautiful Tuesday afternoon when we visited some of our friends in the suburbs of Luanda, Angola. There had been no rain for about three days since the last rainfall and we are grateful for that, as this means that it will be easier to ply the difficult road made muddy and clumsy by heavy rainfall. After about a 30 minutes’ drive, we came into the village to the house of Lydia (not her real name).

Coping with Covid

by Sr. Sheila Campbell,  MMM     Ireland      20.03.2022
coronavirus resizedWe are in a different ball park from two years ago. Here in Ireland most of us are vaccinated and boostered against Covid-19. And yet – after two years of being very careful, finally it has come to our house here in Drogheda. It is not as devastating as the initial months of panic when, with no vaccine, people died. But no one wants Covid. To be honest, I am even sick of the name and I will scream if I hear any more statistics.

Miracle of Birth

by  Eilín Teeling  AMMM        Ireland       19.03.2022
one year old resized “I understand birthdays now!” The new Dad was celebrating his son’s first birthday with his wife, with me, and with the three other grandparents. The baby looked at the lit candle on the birthday cake and smiled too. He didn’t know what was happening. He just knew that he was surrounded by six adoring adults. We were thrilled to be celebrating his first year of life. “It’s amazing to think that two years ago he wasn’t with us, and now he is here, one year old.” We all pondered the truth of this statement. Where was the baby before?

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