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Your support in 2018 provided:
….. And much more! Thank you for being our partner in mission as we continue to be a healing presence all over the world.
Medical Mission Sisters are women full of passion…for wholeness, for justice, for life. Like our Foundress, Anna Dengel, M.D., “it eats us up” when individuals and communities are denied the resources and opportunities they need to live as human beings. It moves us to the core of our being when and where people are made poor, are oppressed or are overwhelmed with a sense of powerlessness.
In our broken, wounded world, Medical Mission Sisters are called to live as a healing presence. We try to bring about a world where all live in harmony and where no one is in want. We try to live as Jesus lived, with care and compassion for all.
A Community of dedicated women with over 500 Canonical members and 100 Associates, we share life and our own unique expertise with women, children and men on five continents today. We enter into their lives as partners, as peers, as friends. We work together with them to build one world, and be one world, where the gifts of all people, all cultures, all creation are affirmed and celebrated.
While working as an administrator at the Catholic Colored Clinic in Atlanta, Georgia, Associate Rita Engelhardt was baffled at the panic that arose among her colleagues one day because there was no white doctor available for surgery. The doctors at the clinic had always been white but, to Rita, the solution was obvious. She suggested hiring a doctor of color and, two weeks later, the staff followed her advice. Before long, there were seven black doctors working in the clinic. Rita, who then was a professed Medical Mission Sister with a bachelor’s degree in nursing, helped to establish a Holy Family Hospital in Atlanta in 1964. It would be the first integrated hospital in the city.
In 1967 Rita left the MMS community and remained living in Atlanta rather than returning to her native Detroit. In addition to working as an associate professor of nursing at Georgia State University for 15 years, in 1976 she began meeting annually with the “Southern Gathering,” a group of MMS as well as nonmembers from Georgia, Tennessee and the Carolinas. At a 1980 meeting, she was invited to be a part of a committee that would eventually lead to the creation of the MMS Associate Program.
Now retired and living in Atlanta, Rita reflects on how the program has evolved and grown, saying “it provides an opportunity to be with people whose presence and values affirm, deepen and expand my values. There is a joy in being part of each other’s lives. This joy permeates who I am and what I do.”
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Medical Mission Sisters are an organization of Roman Catholic Sisters and designated as a 501 (c)(3) non-profit charitable organization by the IRS