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.

25 years at the UN

Medical Mission Sisters and Associates all over the world celebrated 25 years of official NGO status with the United Nations on October 24. Since receiving official NGO status with the UN, several MMS including Janet Gottschalk, Jane Blewett, Philo Morris and now Celine Paramundayil have collaborated with Religious and other NGOS to pursue our mutual passion: social, economic, environmental and gender justice.

Women Religious Should Have Vote at Synod

Medical Mission Sister, Birgit Weiler, a theologian and member of the Peruvian bishops’ pastoral ministry for the care of creation, was invited by Pope Francis to be one the experts to participate in the Synod at the Vatican officially titled The Amazon: New Paths for the Church and for Integral Ecology. Along with other sisters Sr. Birgit voiced her concern that women should be included among synod voting members and in church leadership positions.

Building Resilient Infrastructure

For Medical Mission Sisters being a healing presence takes actual shape in many different ministries. In Rubanda, Uganda Sister Modester Kombe shares her knowledge and skills as a teacher of building and construction at the Rubanda Technical Training Institute. There she educates her students to build durable, friendly, quality buildings that can promote healthy living and reduce maintenance and repairs.

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.

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