Medical Missionaries of Mary first went to Brazil, South America’s largest country, in 1969. The decision to go to Latin America came shortly after the publication of Populorum Progressio, a great document about the Church's social teaching on development. Sisters Brigid McDonagh and Sheila Lenehan were the first MMMs to arrive. Our first house was in Imirim, São Paulo. Our Sisters have lived in a number of other places in the city, including Pirajussara, Ladeira Rosa, Vila Santa Terezinha, Jardim Florida, Jardim Damasceno, Vila Bela Vista, Jabaquara, Ana Maria, and Vila Gilda. We maintained a presence in São Paulo from 1969 until 2017.
In 1980 we opened a house in Colorado, in the state of Parana, to welcome women to join MMM. The first candidates came in 1983. In 1984, we opened a novitiate in Jardim Princesa, in São Paulo, and our first Brazilian novices were received in 1984.
In 1987, some Sisters moved from São Paulo and Colorado to Capim Grosso, in the state of Bahia in the Northeast region of Brazil, where we stayed for over thirty years.
In Bahia, we also had houses in Paraiso, Feira de Santana, and in Plataforma in the city of Salvador. Since 2010 we have an MMM community in Amaralina, on the periphery of Salvador.
In 2016 we withdrew from Capim Grosso to move to Geolândia, Cabaceiras do Paraguaçu, near Salvador, for a short time. The Sisters later went to form one community with our other MMMs in Salvador.
Our ministries in Brazil have included hospital and clinic work, community development, pastoral ministry, women’s empowerment, and work with the mentally and physically challenged.
We have a large group of committed MMM Associates (AMMMs) in Capim Grosso.
Now all of our MMMs in Brazil live in Amaralina, Salvador, where their main work is in Project Consolation. They and their staff work with families coping with the effects of violence and who have suffered bereavement from the assassination of family members. The community includes our two newest MMMs from Brazil: Sisters 'Nilza' and Liana de Jesus.
In February 2019, MMMs, AMMMs and friends marked 50 years of MMM life and ministry in Brazil. They gathered first in the church of Santo André (St. Andrew) in the crowded, noisy neighbourhood of Amaralina. The climax of the weekend was the perpetual profession ceremony of Sister Miranilza dos Santos, from Capim Grosso.
The last jubilee event took place a week later, 267 kilometers away, in a semi-rural chapel of the basic Christian community of Planaltina, Capim Grosso. Our MMM Associates organized all the celebrations.
MMMs in Brazil are involved in:
- Project Consolation: work with families who have lost members through violence.
- Work with St. Vincent de Paul societies helping the poor
- Women's development: building self esteem and teaching crafts
- Pastoral involvement and vocation ministry
- Your commitment to Special People
- New healing ministry in Brazil
- Empowering women in Brazil
- Harvesting rain north-east Brazil
- Brazilians fight for people centered development
- Working with Women in Brazil
- Projeto Consolação (the Consolation Project) celebrates 5 years!
Our Financial Report for 2019: