Society News

Associates make their commitment

In a joyful liturgical celebration, Nine Medical Mission Associates in Unit North America made their commitment on Sunday, May 6, 2018. Associate Bonnie Templeton made her first commitment while associate Peg Pfaff made her life time commitment. Seven of the nine associates renewed their commitment for five years; Loretta Cody, Karol Feld, Fran Pelham, Phil Pryjma, Jane Jones, Ray Mattern and Rita Maute.

Medical Mission Sisters recognized for their pioneering spirit
Medical Mission Sister Shahnez

In an analysis of the historic role of midwives in safeguarding healthy births, Global Sisters Report noted the contributions Medical Mission Sisters have made to the field. In 1944, MMS opened the Catholic Maternity Institute in Santa Fe, California, training nurse midwives and attending local indigenous birthing mothers for more than 20 years. Today, our sisters continue to heed the call, in some cases providing life-saving care to mothers in remote regions of the world.

Educating for Gender Justice

Sister Celine Paramundayil (pictured far left), our representative at the United Nations, recently co-led a workshop at the 68th annual United Nations Civil Society Conference. During the workshop, titled “Educating for Gender Justice - Stepping Stone to Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals,” she highlighted Sister Smita Parmar’s work with Dalit women in India as well as the work of Sister Miriam Paul Klaus, a North American MMS, who founded the Teen STAR (Sexuality Teaching in the Context of Adult Responsibility) program in 1980.

Remembering Hiroshima

MMS in Frankfurt Germany took part on August 9, 2019 in an impressive march on Frankfurt's Paulsplatz in memory of the victims of the atomic bombing of the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki more than 70 years ago. Together with about one hundred like-minded people, they commemorated the many victims of this human-made horror in a minute's silence.

MMS Walk for Refugees

From July 6-10, 2019 four Medical Mission Sisters joined the Refugee Tales Walk, a project of solidarity with refugees, asylum seekers and immigration detainees in the UK. This year’s theme was called, “Beyond the Border: calling to end indefinite time limit in detention in UK.” The UK is unique within Western Europe in that there is no maximum time limit on immigration detention. While the maximum time limit for people to be detained in France is 45 days, in the UK detention is indefinite – people can be and are detained for months or even years.

Helping in Peru

Associate Dr. Marian McDonald has just returned from visiting Peru, where she has previously provided medical services to people without regular access to healthcare. Her work this time included evaluating patients for later surgery. Many of her patients who travel from the mountains for medical care live under difficult conditions and encounter prejudice, but they have impressed Marian with their kindness. She shares, “they’re the most wonderful people with gentle, friendly smiles and they are very grateful.”

Attat Hospital Celebrates 50 Years

Medical Mission Sisters have been responding to the needs of the local people in Attat, Ethiopia, for 50 years.  Attat Hospital and its extensive integrated health services cover a population of 800,000 people. In addition to in-patient care, women’s groups, water and sanitation activities, village first-aid stations and leadership training are offered.  Attat Hospital also is a center for HIV/AIDS therapy, counseling and testing, and provides home-based care for persons living with AIDS.

Providing a restorative opportunity to those struggling with addiction

June 27, 30 years ago, Medical Mission Sister, Margaret McKenna and a colleague purchased a broken-down shell of a house in North Philly, with the vision of providing a restorative opportunity to those struggling with addiction. Three decades later the program, New Jerusalem, has five buildings that house 20-25 recovering addicts, men and women who find success through the holistic community-focused model.


Eco-Spirituality Retreat

Medical Mission Sisters in Unit East Africa had a wonderful retreat on Eco-Spirituality from in May 2019 which was conducted by Elly Verrijt, MMS a recognized international workshop and retreat leader in Ecological Spirituality and Awareness from Unit Netherlands. Elly first gave a retreat to the postulants and Benedictine Nuns in Tororo, Uganda, then to the sisters at Namugongo Retreat Center, Kampla, Uganda. She then proceeded to Nairobi, Kenya to give the same retreat to the MMS novices and sisters in Kenya.

World Environment Day

World Environment Day, June 5, is recognized annually around the world as the “people’s day” to contribute to the care of the Earth. This is an issue very close to the heart of our Sisters and Associates, who honor the inherent interconnectedness of all life.