Kenna, Sr. Fergal

Sister Fergal Kenna, MMMSrFergalKennaMMM 2021
02th March, 1928—01st October, 2021 

Sr. Fergal was born in Portarlington, County Laois, the daughter of Vera (née Whelan) and Michael Kenna. She was baptised Mary Josephine and was known as Mary. Her early education was with the Mercy Sisters in Monasterevan and from there she joined the Civil Service and worked for fifteen years in the Department of Posts and Telegraphs. She enjoyed the work but always felt called to do more with her life. A chance encounter with Mother Mary Martin in the Post Office in Balbriggan where Mary worked changed the whole course of her life.


Sister Fidelia AdigoSister Fidelia Adigo was born in Mgboma Alike Ikananzizi, Nigeria in November 1949. She was a trained nurse-midwife with a specialty in orthopaedics, and worked as a nurse-midwife for 10 years before joining MMM in 1991. Her first assignment was to Tanzania, where she served in Kabanga. In addition to nursing duties she helped children with disabilities to access services.


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St Mary’s Medical centre is an integrated faith based health facility in the Catholic Diocese of Eldoret established by the Medical Missionaries of Mary (MMM) in 2000 by Sr. Patricia Hoey. The health facility was established with the aim of providing basic quality care as there were little medical services available to the residents of Kapsoya, Chepkoilel and their environs at that time. The entry points were the churches, schools and door to door VCT. The Medical Centre was registered with MOH in November 2002.

The facility is community focused offering a range of services:

  • Curative and diagnostic services, treatment of common medical ailments-Daily
  • Mother and child health (MCH), PMTCT and health education – daily Monday to Friday.
  • Voluntary Counseling and Testing (VCT) for HIV infection – Monday to Friday
  • Comprehensive Care Clinic – every Thursday and when necessary, and patient follow up when need arises.
  • Tuberculosis testing and treatment – every Monday and when necessary.
  • Diabetic, Hypertension Clinic – 1st and 3rd Friday of each month.
  • Breast and cervical cancer screening – attended as they come and during medical camps.
  • Palliative care (Home Based Care) in our communities – home visits twice in a week/when called upon or when need arises. These include wound care, counseling, Direct Observation Treatment(DOT) daily to clients whose drug adherence is poor, B/P and Blood sugar check to bedridden clients, making sure the client is comfortable through total pain relief, family support, assisting with basic needs ,spiritual care and referrals.
  • Diabetes and Hypertension screening – quarterly

St. Mary’s Medical Centre also provide rehabilitative services under the Outreach Department which continues to center around the following:

  • Caring for orphans and vulnerable children especially the ones with Downs syndrome, by providing school fees, food and psychological support.
  • Care for vulnerable adults by providing basic needs.
  • Life skills to youth in and out of school on sexuality with emphasis on behavioral change.
  • Health Education on nutrition/food security.
  • Health education on communicable diseases and illnesses
  • Education awareness on and sensitization on issues of environmental sanitation.
  • Education on HIV/AID
  • Education of immunization and Antenatal care
  • Illiteracy among the residents.
  • Alcoholism and drug dependency.Kapsoya Eldoret Aug 2021
  • Unemployment
  • Laziness and low esteem among the residents
  • Robbery, rape and single motherhood/prostitution.
  • COVID – 19 Awareness and prevention; washing of hands with soap and water regularly, wearing a mask properly and keeping social distance

St. Mary’s also works together with the St. Patrick’s on child Safeguarding and protection:

  • Training church leaders on Child Safeguarding Policy, Abuses and their responsibility.
  • Different groups in the church on its Child Policy and on abuses.
  • With children on the different types of abuses, a child’s rights and child’s responsibility.
  • Celebrates together the day of the African Child.
  • The MMM sisters help in giving out Holy Communion to the faithful in the church and in the homes to those who cannot come to the church.
  • Choir practice and singing in the church
  • Legion of Mary program
  • Youth programme in the church
  • Working and praying together with small Christian communities.

Location: St. Mary’s Medical Centre Kapsoya is situated in Kapsoya Estate next to Kapsoya secondary school along ElgeyoMarakwet Road 5 km from Eldoret town – Ainapkoi Constituency of UasinGishu County – Kenya. Kapsoya location has approximately 38, 421 people.

St. Mary’s is surrounded by slums, squatters and brewers. Generally, people of St Mary’s catchment area are petty traders, casual laborers and some have no income at all. Most people have no meaningful regular source of income. For these people to access medical care when they are ill or support for their family with the basic needs becomes extremely difficult

Teenagers, especially girls, need a lot of support. They are more vulnerable to early pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections. Many of the families that we care for live in a one roomed rented mud house. Children of all ages share the same sleeping space.

We would like to continue with this good work in Eldoret as many people appreciate the quality services given over the years by MMMs. It has been a challenging year due to Covid-19; we learnt that as we care for others, we have also to care for ourselves as staff so that we can continue the good work.

Riara, Nairobi

The community is engaged in the three ministries namely; Riara Ministry-Kibera, Vocation animation and study. There are five sisters in the community two are working in partnership with Mirror of Hope Community Based Organisation, three are studying and one sister is responsible for vocation promotion.

Riara Ministry: This is a new initiative and the first of its kind in the Congregation that MMMs are working in collaboration with one of the AMMMs, who runs a community based organisation called Mirror of Hope CBO in one of the urban slums in Kenya. There are two sisters working in this Project.

Mirror of Hope CBO office is located in Kibera. The organization is currently running the following programs for women and youth in the community namely:

  • Student Sponsorship Program for secondary school and their level education
  • School Holiday Mentorship Program
  • Women Empowerment ;setting up of small business, Savings & Loan
  • Computer Training in graphics and designs
  • Music Training
  • Urban Agriculture

Mirror of Hope CBO office is located in Kibera. The organization is currently running the following programs for women and youth in the community namely:

  • Empowering youth on different hands on skills i.e. recycling materials and crafts
  • Give guidance & counselling, moral support and spiritual nourishment to beneficiaries of MOH programs
  • Home visitation to beneficiaries
  • Health Awareness talk to the women and youth
  • Advocacy ; safeguarding children & protection training to staff and MOH beneficiaries, counter human trafficking etc.

Vocation Animation: One of the sisters is responsible for vocation promotion in Kenya. She is supported by the sisters in the community and in the country. She is also in touch with other MMM sisters in the congregation who sometimes refer prospective candidates to her that contact them through the internet. There is a vibrant network of vocation animators in Kenya (Kenya Association of Vocation Animators) which she works in collaboration with for vocation promotion in schools, higher institutions and parishes.

Working with Mirror of Hope CBO which deals with young people is a good opportunity for her to attract vocation as well as impact meaningfully in the lives of the youth. COVID- 19 pandemic has affected vocation drive, she was unable to move around for vocation promotion and to visit prospective candidates.

Study: There are three sisters on full time studies and one sister on part time study, doing an on-line course in counselling psychology in Riara Community. One sister is doing Nursing at Daystar University Nairobi, another in Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA) studying Social works and lastly a sister studying Religious Formation at Tangaza, who is finishing her program this year. Their studies are going well in spite of the challenges of the pandemic.


Kenya Mukuru 2021 Community Cleanup1MMM Mukuru Health Centre offers a wide range of services both at the facility level and at the Community. They are as follows below:

Maternal child health:

Antenatal clinic for pregnant mothers (ANC). All mothers are encouraged to do HIV tests and if any of the mothers is positive, they are immediately transferred to the PMTCT clinic to be managed properly to ensure that the baby is given birth to as HIV negative.

  • Prevention of Mother to Child transmission (PMTCT)
  • Post-natal clinic for mothers who have given birth
  • Child welfare clinic (CWC) – For weighing and immunization of babies

All the above are carried out by registered nurses and are supported by Community Health Volunteers (CHVs)

Outpatient Department(OPD):

We have consultation rooms where clients are being seen after which prescriptions are made according to the illness. These services are carried out by Clinical officers.


We have a routine laboratory with proper equipment where tests are carried out as required. We also run a TB lab where tuberculosis tests for clients who present with the symptoms are carried out. In doing this, we have a Biosafety machine to process sputum and this has made our work easy over the years. These are done by professional staff who are qualified as Laboratory Technicians.

TB/HIV Departments :

This is where clients who are infected with either TB or HIV are attended to and put on treatment.

We do the Direct Observation Therapy (DOT) for TB clients to ensure that drugs are well taken by the clients. We provide milk and food baskets for clients who are on intensive care, this will enable them take their drugs with ease and reduce the pill burden.

HIV clients are also on food baskets especially those who are needy and cannot afford a meal. Food helps them to take their medication without reactions. They also often suffer from the lack of a balanced diet. There is a daily adherence counselling session for all clients present so as to encourage them to live positively and not default in taking their medication.

Both HIV and TB clients undergo regular psychosocial support to help them accept their status and leave a positive life. We also have support groups in which they belong to and participate monthly with other members. In that forum, they are able to share their experiences and learn from each other regarding coping mechanisms amidst other things.

We have weekly workshops in households and schools on Counter Human Trafficking (CHT). The outcome of this is that when community members suspect any trafficked child, they refer them to our facility and then we do a follow up to rescue the child and where possible, reintegrate the victim back to his or her family.

HTS Centre:

We run a HIV Testing and Counselling (HTS) Centre where clients walk in and request voluntarily to be tested for HIV and if positive, they are counselled and put on care and treatment.


We have a Pharmacy dispensary where medication is dispensed according to prescription for clients. This is handled by a certified pharmacist.

We run a health record unit where we collect data daily for analysis which helps for managerial decisions for the growth of the facility. The data collected feeds into the agenda of interventions to be conducted in every department at the facility and health zones at the wider community.

Social office:

It is engaged in listening to all clients that present with psychosocial challenges which includes cases of HIV and GBV. Thereafter the clients are referred to the various departments or institutions that can help deal with their issues or further manage them. We also work with communities to empower them to make informed decisions about their lives in the footsteps of Paul Freire, where we encourage communities to come up with initiatives that will help them solve the challenges that they have as far as health and development is concerned. It will be good to note here that survivors of GBV and victims of human trafficking are given priority at our facility and when we rescue them, they are put in safe houses as we follow up on counselling sessions for them as well as legal interventions as the case may be.

Community engagement:Kenya Mukuru 2021 Response COVID 19

We engage the youth around our catchment area on sanitation and hygiene. One of the activities we carry out with them is monthly clean up inside the slum as well as garbage collection from household after which the youth in turn separate what needs to be disposed from what can be recycled and then it is sold out to buyers and income is gotten to do small businesses to fend for themselves. This is really thriving.

We also engage and work with community health volunteers and village elders in the different interventions at community level because they are the gatekeepers and we can always get valid information from them as to how to work better and breach gaps where needed. We do a lot of outreaches on HIV/TB/GBV/CHT interventions as well as, these are done in households.

We also go to schools for health programs and our talks are on different messages according to the trends. Through the school health program, we get connected with young girls who have dropped out of school due to pregnancy, and so we are able to help them with counselling sessions and safe spaces until they give birth.

We have a program called WE MEN CARE. This is to bring men on board to be champions of safe health care. We do this by encouraging the pregnant mothers to come with their spouses so that as the mothers are being attended to, we can engage the men by educating them on how to take care of their wives during and after pregnancy amidst other things. We also use that opportunity to carry out HIV testing for the couples present.

Specialized Ministry, Rwanda: Sr. Martine Makanga MMM

Although part of the Nairobi community (Prof Saitoti Rd), I am now responding to Christ’s healing mission in Rwanda since January 2021 employed by the Ministry of Health. My mission is three-fold:

  • 1. Senior consultant pediatric surgeon. There are only 2 other young pediatric surgeons,
  • 2. Trainer of future pediatric surgeons. I take residents in pediatric surgery for 3 months rotation.
  • 3. On behalf of MOH, preparing a 5-years’ curriculum to form pediatric surgeons. The curriculum is to be presented to MOH and approved by the University Senate. In this I collaborate with one of the Senior Pediatric Surgeon from CHK (Kigali Teaching Hospital)

Rwanda has a population of 13.1M. It has four referral hospitals (King Faisal, the Rwanda Military Hospital, Kigali University Teaching Hospital and Butare University Teaching Hospital) and also the Ndera Neuropsychiatric Hospital.

My work base is at the Military or Kanombe Hospital which receives referrals from 10 Districts from the east of the country.

It is a challenging mission. Workwise It can be very demanding with sometimes long days in theatre. But I am free at week-end to rest, pray and do personal house work.

But what moves me and gives me energy?

  • Between 2001-08, I taught some 600 medical students in Butare and today they come to greet me (behind their masks): they are now in charge of departments and are specialized in different specialties ( pediatrics, internal medicine, ENT, gynecology obstetrics, surgery…… Some stand out for their motivation and compassion.
  • Distressed parents from far away bring very sick babies or toddlers. There is a high incidence of congenital malformations and anomalies probably linked to stress and trauma. But it is so rewarding after a successful surgery to share the relief and joy of the parents.
  • The support of the staff who give their best and feel part of the ‘miracle’ when they see a child recover.

B. Free Pediatric Surgical Camp in Pointe-Noire – Rep of Congo)
For the past few years, I have been invited yearly for 2 weeks to my archdiocese of origin of Pointe-Noire to operate freely some 100 very poor children aged 0 to 15. The camp is organized by the Diocesan Caritas, local medical teams and the petroleum company Chevron who pays for the anesthetics, all needed drugs and my fare to the Rep of Congo. At the end there is a thanksgiving Mass with the Archbishop. This is always a wonderful experience. The poor indeed hear the Good News.

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In Kasina we run an integrated ministry which includes a Health Centre with maternity services and PHC outreach and development programme in 72 villages in our catchment area.
We offer the following services:

  • Disease prevention: Insecticide Treated mosquito Nets (ITN) distribution, Intermittent malaria prophylactic treatment (IPT), etc
  • Growth monitoring
  • Childhood immunisation
  • Nutrition supplementation (iron and vitamin A)
  • Nutrition rehabilitation services
  • Outreach services / mobile clinics
  • Antenatal care and normal delivery, promotion of breast feeding etc
  • Curative outpatient services
  • Curative inpatient services
  • Treatment of measles, cholera, malaria, acute respiratory infections (ARI), diarrhoeal diseases, acute ear, eye and skin infections, wounds.
  • Pre-referral services for complications of delivery
  • HIV /AIDS Services (HTC, Treatment of opportunistic infections, PMTCT, ART, Teens Club, HCC, Exposed infants clinic, MIP, support group )
  • Ambulance services
  • Syndromic management of sexually transmitted diseases.
  • Follow up in the continuation phase of tuberculosis treatment
  • Home Based and Palliative Care (HBPC) services
  • Laboratory services
  • Collection, aggregation and use of health management information
  • Cervical cancer screening
  • Monthly Epilepsy clinic
  • Monthly Hypertensive clinic
  • Youth friendly programme
  • Meetings and support for women’s development in villages
  • Reaching out to Chiefs and Group Village Heads and involving them in development and health issues that concern their people.

The Bishop of Dedza Diocese is the proprietor and legal holder of Kasina Health Centre. In accordance with the Constitution of the Diocesan Health Commission, KHC is governed by the Diocesan Health Commission Board, whose members are appointed by the Bishop.

Malawi Chipini Weighing a child

Kasina Health Centre (KHC) started providing health services in 1946 under the administration of the Missionary Sisters of Africa. In 2005 the administration and day-to-day management of KHC with its PHC/Outreach programme was entrusted to the Congregation of the Medical Missionaries of Mary. MMM added the Outreach Development Programme to their services in 2008. In 2007 KHC built and opened an HIV Testing and Counselling Centre. PMTCT services commenced in 2008.

In 2011 an ART (Antiretroviral Therapy) clinic was started for the provision of ARVs. In 2014, Visual Inspection with Acetic Acid (VIA) Clinic for screening for cervical cancer was initiated.

Kasina Health Centre provides a 24 hour service, 7 days a week.


Health Service Delivery area

The District Health Office allocates the health service delivery areas of all health facilities in the district. The catchment population for KHC according to its health profile is 35,863 people, 4.6% of the district population.
The Health Centre is situated in Dedza District, one of the mountainous areas of the country, bordering Mozambique. It is 40 Km. north of Dedza Town, the district’s capital, where the District Hospital is situated. Dedza District Hospital and Nkhoma Mission Hospital, 12 Km. north of Kasina, are the referral hospitals for KHC.

Our Health Centre was chosen as one of the rapid Covid19 testing Centers in Dedza district.. During our palliative home visits, we discovered that one of the villages in our catchment area were having a number of individuals suffering from leprosy. We organized a workshop on leprosy for the staff in conjunction with the District Health Officer and we intend to do more awareness on leprosy in the villages in our catchment when we have the means.
We are really doing our best in providing health care to the people in our catchment area however, we are limited in many areas due to financial constraints. Most of the people have no ability to pay for care.

Malawi Kasina Sr Clara Chikwana at mother baby clinic


In our mission Lilongwe; the sisters are all engaged in extraordinary Eucharistic ministry- Distribution of Holy Eucharist during mass and teaching children catechism.

In the ministry, we are all engaged in health care with specific services:Malawi St Kizitos 2021 Nutrition Awareness

  • General OPD.
  • Laboratory service.
  • AnteNatal (ANC)
  • HIV counselling and testing. (HTC)
  • Outreach programs
  • Under five clinic
  • Physiotherapy for physically challenged children in collaboration with St. John of God.
  • Palliative home base care;

Home based care: Visiting, health educating, providing health foods and supplements, clothing and shelter where needed for homebound sick, physically challenged children and frail elderly on a weekly basis.

Counselling in the facility for support group members who access the facility services.

Meeting with support groups in the six outstations of St Kizito Chigoneka Parish counselling and health educating them, helping them with income generation programs in the form of rotatory loaning system. Passing on the skills of complementary care. Total number of beneficiaries’ 102.

We are working with home based care volunteers 73 volunteers, in the six out stations. We help by orienting them and facilitating them to knowing and practicing National Palliative Care Policies. They are also beneficiaries of the rotatory loan system. We organize workshops for their capacity building.

In the facility, the unit provides aromatherapy, hand sanitizer plus cream for preventive measures in the presence COVID-19. Dietary management for poor nourished patients.

The unity is very much involved in effective wound management and passing on complementary therapy skills to the staff.

In the parish, working with pious societies like St Vincent De Paul and Divine Mercy groups/individuals in caring for the destitutes, hungry and poor of the outstations.

The unit advocates for the adoption of the poor by those who can. Two clients are already adopted. 3 new houses built and 3 repaired.

The unit cooperates with individuals like Christina Lymn, an Irish woman who built two houses for two clients and supported one of the two with income generating activity. Miss Maja Lopert, an Austrian, who sponsors the upkeep of all our needy clients.

St Kizito Integrated Health Centre provides staff and transport for the Programme.

The Programme is registered with Palliative Care Association of Malawi (PACAM) and a member of National Task Force.

The sister responsible for the unit is Sr. Chinyere Anyaorah

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South Sudan


SoSudanThe Medical Missionaries of Mary Healing Centre (MMM HC) is a corporate ministry. All four sisters in the mission work in this project which has different activities. There is the clinic which takes care of minor illnesses as well as preventive care, especially health education. It is an expanded program on immunization, antenatal care to pregnant women, social and sustainable development and the administration of the facility.

Who is involved?

The Medical Missionaries of Mary sisters in Wau work in collaboration with the state ministry of health who supplies vaccines for immunization of children. We collaborate with UNICEF, OXFAM, and the directorate of water utility, they have been supporting the MMM HC with personal protective equipment during this pandemic. They continue to supply face masks, chlorine and soap. We collaborate with the Catholic facilities by sharing information and sometimes medication nearing expiry. The health coordination office of the Catholic Diocese of Wau has been of great support too through Action medeor as we receive donations of medicines for the facility. The health coordination office also writes projects to support staff welfare by paying the stipends for some medical and paramedics of the Catholic facilities of which MMM HC has also benefited.

So Sudan Wau 2021 Sr Odette Mary fractured hip mattressThe MMM HC is located at a place called Eastern Bank some three kilometers away from Wau town across the Jur River. This area has a population of over twenty-five thousand people (25,000) who are mostly returnees from some war torn states within South Sudan. The MMM HC operates five times a week while field work under the social department is done twice a week and this takes care of some elderly people in the catchment, malnourished and sick children and demonstrates gardening to improve nutrition.

This community is still a long way from understanding that illness is a natural cause and improved hygiene will lead to improved general well being of a person. The community is slow to embrace some services offered like expanded programs on immunization and the need for pregnant women to attend antenatal clinics.

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NangwaTanzania Faraja bags Barbara Wolfart

The Medical Missionaries of Mary came to Nangwa in Hanang District, Manyara Region in 1985.

Our present ministries are as follows:

1. Outpatient Dispensary – which has a lab and pharmacy and ultrasound services.
Presently 3 sisters are working there with 15 lay staff, one who will be retiring in June 2021. We provide treatment 6 days a week.
2. RCH ( Reproductive Child Health ) Services- Antenatal and child welfare clinics are held 4 days each week at the dispensary. This is a free service in collaboration with the government who provides vaccines and a fridge. We also go to 6 villages on a monthly basis. Three to six staff are involved depending on the size of the clinic. We collaborate with government staff on two of our mobile clinics. HPV vaccine is provided by the government for 14 year old girls to prevent cancer of the cervix and we take part in Vitamin A and deworming campaigns, normally held twice a year.
3. Social/ Economic/ Pastoral Activities- Donors have provided money for poor and handicapped children and for widows. An income generating project for a group of widows to raise pigs has been started and the pig house is almost built. Malnourished children are given food supplements and we have also helped TB patients with food.


CAPACITAR – Trauma Healing and Transformation Ministry: Sr. Genevieve van Waesberge MMM

Tanzania Pharmacy School Inspection Library SrZita 2021CAPACITAR is an International network of solidarity to promote the wellness and healing of persons and communities. It began ‘spontaneously ‘in Nicaragua when Patricia Cane facilitated an Arts festival with people traumatized by the on-going conflict – many of them had lost family members or friends or had themselves received death threats. In the evenings, Patricia used movements and other modalities for her own self-care; seeing this, the people asked her to teach them what she was practicing. After a few days feeling better, able to sleep, they exclaimed: “ Patricia what you taught us is ‘CAPACITAR’’! Capacitar being a Spanish verb meaning to empower, to give life. This led Patricia to study psychology and do a PhD in Multicultural Wellness.

In 2005, I was in Butare, Rwanda, responsible for a Center for Traumatized Women. A Maryknoll sister gave me Patricia Cane’s book ‘Healing and Transformation’ saying: ‘This will help your clients!’. She introduced me to Costasia Mbogoma, a Tanzanian teacher who had earlier followed a Capacitar session with Patricia Cane in Ngaramtonis. Costasia came to Rwanda and gave a workshop to our staff. Everyone was excited. I then invited Patricia Cane who came from the USA to train us as Trainers for two years. She brought with her Antoinette, a Rwandan sister who had found great healing through the Capacitar workshops. End of 2009, as I was leaving Rwanda to return to Tanzania, Patricia asked me if I could be available as an international Trainer for East, Central and West Africa.

Since 2006, I have facilitated workshops in 13 countries: Rwanda, Burundi, DRC, Uganda, Senegal, Nigeria, Cameroon, Gabon, the Central African Republic, Sudan, South Sudan, Kenya and Tanzania and in France.

Participants have been many and varied: traumatized women, widows, children, teachers, prisoners,religious and priests, OSB &,Cistercians, survivors of the 1997 Buta Massacre in Burundi, refugees, internally displaced, HRD, WLUM activists (women living under Moslem law), UN staff and soldiers in Burundi and South Sudan, police and soldiers, female and male former child soldiers, survivors of LRA abductions, kidnappings and of torture, mental health, medical and paramedical staff, university students and lecturers.

2020-21. Due to Covid-19, I cancelled invitations from Nigeria, Gabon, Eastern Cameroun, C.A.R, DRC, Kenya. I went only once to Goma in DRC to mentor Trainers and in Tanzania, I facilitated 4 workshops with ICOF (Inter-congregational On-going Formation Program organized by SMA, MAfr and CSSp). There were 40 male and female missionaries from Ghana, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Liberia, Mauritania, Angola, Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania, Mauritius, Kenya, Uganda, Canada, Poland and the Philippines

Pharmacy Training Centre: Sr. Zita Ekocha MMM

A proposed training course for pharmaceutical assistants in Arusha, Tanzania is another innovative project of MMM. The need is great. Tanzania is a young country with a growing population. The 2012 census gave 44.9 million and the projected 2019 figure is nearly 61 million. Training in all aspects of health care is among the Government´s priorities and, of course, is of special interest to MMM.

Since 2008, MMM Sister Zita Ekeocha has been involved in a joint Purdue University/ Kilamanjaro School of Pharmacy project to train to certificate level pharmaceutical personnel. The programme is officially known as “Capacity Building Program in Biotechnology Innovation and Regulatory Science (BIRS) in Africa. Since 2014 it has been also offering courses at degree level. Eamonn Brehony, MMM Associate, is

Due to strong culture and beliefs some ethnic groups in the Arusha and Manyara Regions do not attend modern medical services. These groups make use of local herbs as first line treatment measures before seeking modern medical care. While this has been the pattern in the past, things are changing. With increasing education and urbanisation more people are using pharmaceutical products to treat illnesses. However there are challenges with the increasing use of ‘western medicine’. Unqualified personnel issue drugs, especially antibiotics, without knowing much about these drugs. There is a high percentage of counterfeit drugs. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends proactive measures to ensure the provision of safe and effective medicines in sub-Saharan Africa. The WHO advocacy provides guidelines for scaling up training for health care workers. Furthermore, it emphasizes quality, not just quantity, of the training modules to be employed in the effort to build competencies for these professionals. It is in this context that this project is being planned – a context of increasing use of ‘western medicine’ by an increasingly urban population but without sufficiently qualified dispensers of drugs.

Tanzania Closer Classroom ViewIn 2019 MMM carried out a needs assessment survey around Arusha. It became clear that training in pharmaceutical services was needed, starting at the lowest level, the training of pharmaceutical assistants. Soon the Government will make it mandatory for all pharmacies to have at least one trained staff at this level in order to be registered. By training pharmaceutical assistants we are also addressing other development goals

Youth unemployment has become a concern in Tanzania with nearly 2.4 million unemployed people – most of them young – representing 10.7% of the population and the situation is more critical among urban youth. The lack of sufficient employment opportunities for young women further complicates the situation . Experience has shown that this type of training is often undertaken by women, aiding their empowerment.

This project is the first step in a much bigger scheme! We carry forward following our dreams to improve and implant good health care in Tanzania. We are exploring with other organizations, universities and the church authorities ways to follow on from the basic level into higher academic qualifications and perhaps initiate a pilot project for the production of quality drugs for Tanzania. This bigger project will be Tanzanian owned and controlled, important for long term sustainability.

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Uganda Hobart 2012 HelenD Widows craftsWe collaborate with the Good Samaritans and a volunteer from local Government Council 1, by giving health/ life skills talks to youth in parish and schools as well as visiting the elderly. We take the elderly and children with disabilities to hospitals for medical care and rehabilitation centers respectively. We got funds from MMM Small Projects for nutrition supplements to 23 families. Michael’s House is supporting us to bring hope to the destitute elderly by paying for their medical care, providing food supplements and starting Income Generating Activities. We had initiated literacy classes to disadvantaged young women but covid-19 made us stop them for now.

Location: This ministry is located in Mawanga Village, Makindye Division, Kampala District in the Central Region of Uganda. According to the Catholic Church, it is based in Munyonyo Uganda Martyrs’ Minor Basilica of Kampala Archdiocese.

  • We meet with the Good Samaritan representative and a volunteer from the Local Government council one, weekly to plan the activities and to evaluate the previous week.
  • If there is any person with a difficulty, we listen to her/his story, this usually revives that person.
  • We take the elderly to hospital for medical care according to their date of review. And if there is any new one identified, she joins in the next trip.
  • If an elderly has a specific problem, for example with eyes or fracture, a special trip is fixed by both the Good Samaritan representative and MMM and we take her to a health facility where she can get such care.
  • We take children with disabilities to the rehabilitation center according to their appointment dates. And any person that has a specific need, such as a stroke, we bring her/him to the same centre.
  • We do home visits to the elderly twice a week and if there is any emergency, the leader of the Good Samaritan informs us over the phone and we respond accordingly.
  • The youth talks in the parish and those in schools have been put on hold since Covid-19 Pandemic set in.
  • We purchase food supplements, keep it at the office of Good Samaritans and then supply it monthly.
  • We give talks/ life skills to the elderly once a month, on the day of food supplements’ distribution.
  • We help support the elderly to start income generating activities to generate income and start saving.
  • We ensure that each beneficiary signs forms; for accepting her photo to be taken and be sent to the donors, that she has accepted to be taken to hospital and that she has been given a once off fund to start an IGA (this fund is from Michael’s House)
  • We keep documents safely and write reports to the donor(s) whenever necessary


Congregational Ministries

Archives Department

Two Sisters assist in the
Archives Department.

Communications Department

Two Sisters assist in the
Communications Department.

Mission Awareness

One Sister is sharing the work of the MMMs
to raise awareness & resources.

European Area

Area LeadershipMMMIreland
Area Leader and her team who look after the administration and care of all the Sisters in the European Area

The Clinic and Assisted Living for 55 Sisters. The daily running of the house and pastoral care of the Sisters is done by five Sisters. Two Sisters also offer Holistic Therapy. The Clinic has three Nursing Sisters along with lay staff. The Stamp Department collects used stamps and sells them to stamp collecters.  The money raised is used for our Projects overseas.  Six Sisters work in this Department.  All main events such as Celebrations, Jubilees and Funerals occur in the Motherhouse. Missionaries on leave also come to the Motherhouse to stay. To summarise, this Hospitality and Care of the Sisters are the two main priorities in the Motherhouse. Some Sisters volunteer with St. Vincent de Paul and SOSAD (Save our Sons and Daughters), a Suicide support group.

Áras Mhuire Nursing Facility
After many years of missionary life we now have 27 Sisters living in our nursing home.  The Registered Provider is a Sister and we have three Sisters providing pastoral care.  Another Sister works with Holistic Therapies.

There are nine Small Communities with 30 sisters.
Many of these Sisters are involved in Pastoral Care in their local Parishes, visiting their neighbours and volunteering on local residential and parish/diocesan committees. Three Sisters are employed by the Health Service Executive (HSE) One Sister Doctor works in a Dublin Migratory Reception Centre. One Sister is employed as a Chaplain in a hospital. Another Sister is employed in administration.

The house in Bettystown is the Holiday Retreat House for MMM Sisters and the three Sisters living there look after hospitality for visitors.
Another Sister volunteers both with the Irish Red Cross and a local Family Resource Centre. Pre-COVID some Sisters volunteered with Brother Kevin and the Capuchin Day Centre in Dublin.

AMRI – Association of Leaders of Missionaries & Religious of Ireland 

A number of Sisters are involved in different committees within AMRI. Such as APT (Act to Prevent Trafficking), Healthcare Committee, COVID Advisory Group, The Executive Committee, The Religious Formation Ministry Programme Committee, Vocations Ireland, African Europe Faith and Justice Network, Towards Healing.

Arts & Cultural

Each Community is involved in care of the earth by way of gardening and local committees. Some Sisters grow their own vegetables. All Sisters feel a sense of responsibility towards our fellow humans and the earth through our Healing Charism.

Each year Sisters facilitate Student Sisters from overseas who travel to Ireland for studies. Heritage visits for Sisters from other countries are also organised.

Lay Staff are involved in the finances and administration of the Area. Stewardship is everyone’s responsibility.

Some Sisters make crafts and sell and donate them to provide funds for different projects.

Sr. Rita Kelly worked on the Returned Missionaries Desk of the Irish Missionaries Union and the question was often asked by Misean Cara as to what returned missionaries do when they come back to Ireland. As you can see our Sisters are committed and involved at National, Diocesan and Parish level and at the same time stay connected to their previous missions. We are only one small Missionary Organisation and each missionary congregation I am sure would give the same experience. There is a lot of wealth and energy among our returned missionaries.

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There are five Sisters in Brazil and along with their nine Associate members they are engaged in a variety of ministries. Now, we have closed a corporate ministry, Project Consolation, and are researching a new beginning in another part of the country. It is hampered by the pandemic, so the following is what is happening now.

  1. Family Ministry
  2. Youth & Vocation Animation
  3. AMMM
  4. Pastoral Health
  5. Prison Ministry
  6. Counselling
  7. Women group apostolate

There are nine lay associates in Brazil, seven in Capim Grosso and one Cabaceiras do Paraguaçu and one here in Salvador. Most of them are engaged in parish ministries.

Here their main ministries are: Pastoral da familia (family parish group) – this is a group where the couples come together and share their struggles and strengths in living together.

  • Brazil AnaCarlos Castro help needy familiesListening and counselling to families who have special needs children . One associate is volunteering in a project that supports families who have children with special needs.
  • Prayer ministry- some took more seriously the ministry of prayer specially for the people who lost their relatives due to the pandemic.
  • Empowerment of parish leaders- one is directly engaged in helping to organize the Tuesday workshops on various themes for parishioners and teachers who are accompanying the young people.
  • Engagement in the youth ministry – this involves: local fundraising for participation in workshops organized by the Marist Brothers. These workshops give skills on engaging with the youth as well as listening and accompanying the young people, referrals to spiritual and psychological accompaniment and coordinating the team.
  • Vocation animation ministry – there are some also who are engaged in inviting some young women to participate in our virtual “come and see” meetings.

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Our Sisters in the USA are mostly elderly now and many are living in assisted living facilities. However age has not dimmed their enthusiasm for mission. Read below the contribution of some of our MMM Sisters and Associates.

Sister Anne Marie Hubbard MMMUSA VNA Sign MMMs
Initially I said well I have no ministry, but then on further reflection, I definitely do here in Youville Assisted living. It is one of support, listening, walking with, and of course praying. My praying has become somewhat different, and I find myself when saying the Office to have a long list of things to pray for. The Lord must say, is she finished yet? So, my ministry is different, but it is most real.

Sister Margaret Anne Meyer MMM
Since I came to Somerville, I continue to go with Nina on vocation work. Since last March we have had Monthly meetings by Zoom with a group called “Fiat” run by Sister Marian Bartho, a Sister of St. Joseph. There are about 7 congregations involved and 10-12 young women either attending the Boston Universities or in business in the Boston area. We take different topics of religious life each month from October to May. We have told Sr. Marian that we are not recruiting for MMM but would like to be part of the program to encourage other young women to join a congregation.
I belong to a Parish Vocation Ministry and we used to meet monthly but have stopped during Covid. One of the priests in St. Louis and Zelie Martin (name of our new parish grouping) invited me.
I joined the United States Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking last October and I find myself engaged in a lot of advocacy work ending child pornography by trying to get the EARN-IT ACT passed.
working on the elimination of child forced labor regarding the chocolate industry, working to pass the Equality Act Based on the Nordic Model of decriminalizing the woman and criminalizing the buyer and or trafficker. I attend many zoom meetings in these areas every month and notify Congress members.
I belong to the Boston Sisters against trafficking. We are 5 members from different Congregations.
We have monthly zoom meetings and prepared two prayer vigils this year. I volunteer one day a week in the Visiting Nurse Association on Highland Residence.
I forgot to say that I think my main ministry is prayer. There is so much going on in the world and I lift all the suffering people to God.

Sister Kathie Shea MMM
I have two public ministries:

  • one is working in our Mission Development Office in business administration/finance in collaboration with the Mission Development Director and staff. Within the US I also participate, as possible, in making MMM known by participating mission appeals/awareness

My second ministry is as the Area Business Administrator for the Area of the Americas in collaboration with the Area Leader and her team. I am in regular contact with the local business administrators in Brazil, Honduras, the US, and those living by themselves ensuring that accounts are kept up to date and budgets are prepared and presented to the appropriate persons within MMM. Over the years I have introduced and taught some of our sisters how to better keep their accounts and financial records.

In both ministries I am in regular contact with our Central Business Administration. These 2 ministries while of a financial nature I feel can best be summed up by saying my ministries involve accountability and collaboration within MMM.
A not so public ministry, but a conviction I have, is to put a “face” on the Area of the Americas and MMM through our Area Facebook. I endeavor to regularly keep our Facebook up to date and relevant. I enjoy immensely taking photos and some of my photos have facilitated our communications department in Ireland in their ministry/work. Thus, this ministry can best be summed up as public relations for MMM.

Sister Bernadette Kenny MMMUSA Sr Nina Underwood MMM
Head Start Board Monthly Meeting /Visits
Food Bank Weekly Meeting / Distribution monthly
First Communion Instruction – weekly
Church Transport- Weekly
Eucharist Visitation. 5 families- weekly
MMM Telephone Calls 7x per week
Families in Crisis. 3
Physician visits model wholistic care.
Social visits Graduation, Showers etc
Zoom Meetings with other Religious women
Cultivation of Resilience both Theory and Practice.

Sister Nina Underwood MMM
I continue to be involved in vocation ministry and also attend the “Fiat” monthly/ by monthly meetings, Also, I respond to letters from women who express a desire to know more about MMM and a missionary vocation. I am also involved in a limited way (since Covid) with our parish here in Somerville.
Volunteering at the VNA (Visiting Nurses Association) across the street at least one day a week. This involves everything from feeding patients to helping the staff in whatever way they need assistance, games with residents, walks, etc.
Outreach to my family (Siblings) who have serious health concerns at the present time. I am the HCP for two of them. Driving sisters to Doctor appointments when needed, community responsibilities etc.etc.
God gives me many opportunities to serve. I consider it a privilege to assist the elderly and my sisters.

Sister Joanne Bierl MMM
The two ministries that take most of my time are that of Area Leader and MDO director. It is being the public face of MMM to the world of Religious life in LCWR and all the organizations we collaborate with and with our partners, friends, and vendors, etc. I had been volunteering as English instructor for migrants working with Aquinas Literacy Services (Sponsored ministry of the Dominican Sisters) but had to discontinue because of time constraints and travel schedule.

Pat Adams AMMM
Development and coordination of a parish-based outreach program for those in need in our local community, to include basic necessities of: hot and cold meals, clothing, toiletries, shower and laundry access, haircuts, drop in center, emergency shelter, transportation to medical appointments, assistance with paperwork for medical insurance, disability and housing, adult mentoring, life skills classes.

Marianne Grisez AMMM
As far as what I have been doing
I am part of Secular Franciscans at Mission San Luis Rey –
– donate to food bank and support their ministries
@ St. Thomas More my parish,
I am on Social Justice comm.
1. We are part of national Faith in Action and our local group SDOP – San Diego Organizing Project.
– help to sponsor and support asylum seekers upon arrival.
– advocate for affordable housing and other political actions to benefit the common good.
3. work with other local denominations who support refugees who have settled here – such as Jewish family services, Episcopal church.
4. work with Pax Christi to – study Fratelli Tutti and support the efforts to fight racism in our county.
5. support local group homes for those who are escaping human trafficking and child abuse.

Connie Saldivar AMMM
My husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s 7 years ago.
Accepting the condition is not always easy.
Here in Chicago there was a need to have a support group in Spanish. Two other ladies and I started a support group in May 2020.
The name of the group in Spanish is ANCLA which means “Anchor”
A – Animo – Encouragement
N – Nostalgia – Nostalgia
C – Cariño – Loving
L – Luz – Light
A – Amistad – Friendship.
As an AMMM I am happy to share the Healing Charism in this support group to the Spanish community here in Chicago.
Thank you MMM for your guidance and support


Ever since Mother Mary Martin set off by canoe to visit villages in the delta area of Nigeria transport has always been a major factor in delivering health services. Many roads in the areas of Africa where we work are not tarred. Often, they are mud roads, or tarred in the past but tropical rain causes large pot holes. Vehicles need to be tough – and so do the sisters!! MMMs are often assigned to some of the world’s most remote and poor areas. Access to these areas is a challenge that like many things, the MMMs have to overcome on a minimal budget. Ever resourceful, MMMs use whatever they can find to get them where they need to go often in an emergency or urgent situation.

MMM uses trucks, pickups, and land rovers where necessary. In the early days, bicycles were in common use for students going to college in Dublin. There was great excitement in 1960 when the Archbishop of Dublin gave the Sisters the gift of two motor scooters for this purpose. Bicycles are still often used for visits when roads are impassable. They can also be adapted to serve as stretchers for carrying patients in areas where an ambulance cannot pass.

In the more remote areas, like the desert area of Turkana in Kenya where MMM ministered for many years, there were no roads at all. Some of the Sisters learnt to fly small planes so that they could carry medical supplies and patients for treatment. Sr. Nina Underwood was nicknamed “The Flying Nun”! In Ethiopia, lack of roads saw the Sisters take to riding mules on the mountain tracks.

Other areas are challenged by water. Sometimes the rivers rise, flooding the roads. Ambulances and trucks stop, the journey continues by foot to the river bank and small boats are used to ferry people and supplies across the river for yet another walk on the far side until reaching some form of transport again. Bridges are also often swept away as the rivers rise.

Wherever we go, whatever we do, we will use whatever means of transport that is available to reach out to those in need. Planes, ships and trains bring Sisters from their home countries to the most needy areas. But that is just the start of the journey…

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Commitmentis a sincere, long-term promise made and kept to dedicate the self totally to a cause or person or group or task. Commitment means not only promising to do something, but much more importantly, actually investing the necessary effort and actions to make it happen. It means sticking with something even when times are tough. This value involves sacrifice, investing of the whole self and perseverance. We can see our commitment to one another and to the communities we serve where services are most needed even in very remote parts of the world.

Pastoral care

MMMs offer care and support to members of the community who may need additional help in times of challenge or adversity. Providing Pastoral care involves enabling people to journey through difficulty and find healing and wholeness.

It can involve supporting a person who is in need of reconciliation or guidance. In providing pastoral care, an MMM is able to offer a new and nurturing perspective while supporting someone through a challenging process or time.

These services can be provided by an individual or as part of a community pastoral care team. Pastoral care can foster a culture of caring and nurturing to impact a school, hospital, home or neighborhood. It is an important part of the MMM ethos to provide pastoral care where it is needed.

Water regeneration, nutrition and agricultural projects

Poverty and starvation are serious issues for many people in the world. Rather than just feeding the needy, MMMs are involved in programmes which have taught thousands of people how to grow their own food.

Working along with the help of donors and assistance from other NGOs. farmers and people are taught better agricultural methods. Seeds, tools and fertilizers are distributed. Educational courses are offered to help people grow their own food. There are areas where MMMs are actively working that have or are impacted by famine due to war, politics, disease or extreme weather conditions.

Clean water is also another major issue for many people in the world. MMMs are involved in the science and technology of helping people regenerate water which is an essential part of life for any one at any age.

Economic and enterprise empowerment for young women

In many parts of the world it is difficult for young women to find employment that will support them and their children. Attending traditional training or education programmes may not be an option for several reasons. In complex situations, women are denied access to jobs and have no way to support themselves or lift themselves out of poverty.
MMMs provide training and enterprise skills to empower young women to be self employed. Giving women skills they can use to make money allows them to create an income to support themselves and their children for life. Skills like hairdressing, crafts, design, dress making, computer training and other abilities are taught as they are in demand in the areas where the women live.