It was a special evening for South Herts Serra Club when Sr. Mary Joachim attended in March. Sr. Mary Joachim, who had been a sister in the congregation of Mother Teresa, runs The Mission of Hope in Ethiopia and was back in her home town of Watford whilst on a sabbatical in the UK. Sr Joachim gave a most absorbing and engaging talk on her missionary work and the difficulties and dangers she faces in the area she covers.
Sr Joachim was born in Watford in 1959 and her mother Helen was a member of the Serra club in the 80’s. She was baptised at Holy Rood RC Church and attended Holy Rood RC Primary School followed by St Michael’s Catholic High School. During her teens in Our Lady & St Michaels parish, she participated in many parish activities and became a member of the Legion of Mary, visiting patients in Leavesden Hospital. The parish priest at the time, Fr Gerard Mulvaney, played a very important figure in the development of her vocation and in 1980 she joined the Missionaries of Charity – later the Congregation of Mother Theresa.
Her vocation saw her spend some 19 years in Eastern Europe and whilst in Poland was appointed Provincial Superior. Having spent six years in this appointment, she felt the need to return to carry out God’s work amongst those in need and she carried out her mission in India and the Philippines where she looked after psychiatric patients living on the streets. With her ever desire to help those most in need, she felt God was asking her “to serve those no one serves, in places to which to which no one wishes to go”.
With this calling, in 2011 she was sent to the Somali region in Ethiopia at the invitation of the local Bishop. There she met and worked together with a Missionary priest who had lived in Gode for six years and who had requested assistance in vain from various religious congregations. To assist her work Sr Joachim established the charity of The Mission of Hope. Situated in South East Ethiopia and 700km away from the nearest Catholic Church, Gode is a military town. She works with women and mothers who have been affected by HIV and illness, prostitution, war and conflicts and a lack of resources such as clean water. Sr. Joachim is working with these women and is offering them support and friendship, an opportunity to learn new skills and crafts which enable them to earn a living and provide for their families and medical advice and support for themselves and their children. In 2015, the Mission started to work with these women and their children offering them opportunity to immediately leave the world of prostitution and begin the road to recover their dignity by joining Project Tamara. This project enables the women to have their numerous health issues dealt with and they are invited to learn a skill and to have their children looked after while the mothers are in training. If you would like to share in the Mission through prayer, donations or as volunteer missionaries please contact; firstname.lastname@example.org