A Short History of MMM in the USA
At 11.30 a.m. on Wednesday, 5 July 1950, the tender left the quayside at Cobh, Ireland, bringing passengers and a few chosen well-wishers to the Mauritania anchored out in the bay. MMM foundress, Mother Mary Martin, and Sister Stella Phelan were on board. It was another major step in the establishment of MMM – the realization of Mother Mary’s dream to make her young Congregation known in America.
Today, to support our overseas work, MMM has communities in Chicago and Boston. The Mission Awareness visits that are made in parishes assigned to us each year are co-ordinated from Chicago. In addition, a number of American MMMs who have years of experience in our overseas missions were engaged in a variety of services to needy communities in the US. In 1978, MMM began a service to the people of Appalachia, based at Clinchco, Virginia. Previously a centre of the coal-mining industry, local people have suffered greatly from the exploitation of their land by strip mining and deforestation. The Health Wagon project has since been handed over to local nurse practitioner counterparts. One of its founders, Sister Bernie Kenny, continues to volunteer in whatever way possible. In 2020 the Sister Bernie Kenny, MMM, Clinic was named in her honour and offers comprehensive state-of-the-art free health services to locals and people farther afield who would otherwise have no access to health care.
Also, working from Chula Vista, a suburb of San Diego, California, MMM began to look at the needs of migrants coming across the border from Mexico, and for some years a small community ran a health service in the town of Mexicali, Mexico. Development of our work in Mexico gave way to the needs of Honduras following Hurricane Mitch and six MMMs now work in two areas in Honduras.