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Franciscan Missionaries of Mary-FMM

Franciscan Missionaries of Mary-FMM
The FMM Institute - Foundation


How did the Institute come into being?

The first days of the year 1877 found Mary of the Passion in Rome. After twelve years of fruitful missionary work in India as a member of the Society Mary Reparatrice, unforeseen circumstances obliged her to change her first orientation.

Loyally, she came to Rome - as did Francis before her with his first companions - seeking light from the successor of Peter, Pius IX. To take this step, she had to tear herself away from the community in Ootacamunt, in the vicariate of Coimbatore.


While sixteen sisters remained in India, three of them accompanied her to Rome. They found lodgings in Via Santa Chiara, a narrow street near the Pantheon. Torn between anxiety and hope, they prayed, while waiting for the situation to be clarified.

In Rome on the 6th January 1877, the Feast of the Epiphany, the manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles, Pope Pius IX authorized the foundation of the Missionaries of Mary specially dedicated to the missions, in the Diocese of Coimbatour.

The sisters in Ootacamund like those in Rome welcomed this news with joy.

                                        The Institute came into being in India!

“Let us rejoice that our Institute came into being on this
feast of the Epiphany. Let us bless St. Francis who at the same time,
through his successor, gave us the promise that we would always
find shelter under his mantle,
and let us also recall the counsel given us at this time:
‘ To find a place under this mantle, to be a ray of the Immaculate
Star which calls souls to Jesus, you must be very pure and very little”
 (Meditation of Mary of the Passion)


FRANCISCAN MISSIONARIES OF MARY IN THE HISTORY OF MYANMAR
INVITATION TO THE FRANCISCAN MISSIONARIES OF MARY – 1898

In 1896 Rev. Father Wehinger M.E. P., the Founder and Father of St. John Leprosarium of Mandalay set out to Rome. In Rome he was looking for religious who would take care of his Institute and help him in his works of mercy. Eventually he met Mary of the Passion, the Foundress of Franciscan Missionaries of Mary in Rome. It was indeed this happy meeting of these two saintly persons that the way of Myanmar was opened to the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary.

After receiving the blessing from Pope Leo XIII, Marie de St. Damien and another five sisters departed for Myanmar Naing Ngan. They arrived Mandalay on January 19th 1898.  Rev. Fr. Antoine Usse M.E.P. was then the Bishop of Mandalay – Vicariate. Rev. Fr. Wehinger warmly welcomed the newly arrived Franciscan Missionaries of Mary among his poor of the poor.

Marie de St. Damien and her companions saw the Asylum all still under construction. Much had to be done yet. They were offered a wooden pavilion for their home. And this was completely surrounded by the poor of the place. However, it was Marie de St. Damien and the community who opened the first page of the history of Franciscan Missionaries of Mary in Myanmar, in a most genuine way of St. Francis – option for the poor.

In 1903, the premises of the Asylum of Mandalay began to take its shape through the untiring efforts of Rev. Fr. Wehinger. The construction of the home was completed, including a big convent for the sisters and a Chapel made of brick and wood. In the month of June 1903, the sisters were able to have the Blessed Sacrament in their own Chapel and thus had the great joy of having the Lord with them during the adoration.

“When I learn that my daughters are caring for the poor old people whose bodies are so covered by sores that they can be touched only under the arms and when I think that at Mandalay and Yangon they have devoted themselves to this ministry, I feel more sure of the future of the Institute…..” (Mary of the Passion)

The sisters devoted their lives for the lepers and they served them with joy till the year of 1965. (When I was sick and you visited me. Mt 25:36)

Today, one hundred and forty-six Myanmar fmm sisters are working in the different fields, spreading in the twenty houses in Yangon and Mandalay Archdioceses, Myitkyina, Banmaw, Hakha and Kalay Dioceses.

The FMM Institute -a Spirit (CHARISM)
«The truth is that we are called to love, that He is always with us and that all He is, is ours. Everything is there.» (Blessed Mary of the Passion, Spiritual Notes, 1888)

“Franciscan Missionaries of Mary”:-What does this name mean?

To be Franciscan Missionary of Mary: -
is to commit oneself in an extraordinary adventure which fascinates:
is to let ourselves be led by the Love of God which consecrates us and calls us to know Him,
to love Him and to serve Him;

it is to feel oneself sent and to go to meet the peoples to share their lives and to discover the mystery which each human person is;
it is to live with respect, humility and minority before each creature…

«To fulfil its mission, the Institute needs
the spirit of Francis of Assisi.»
(Blessed Mary of the Passion)

Congregation’s Presences

Foundation                - 6. 1. 1877

Foundress                 - Bl. Mary of the Passion

Died                          - 15.11.1904

Beatification              - 20.10.2001


ALL OVER THE WORLD

MEMBERS     (FMM)   - 6966

COUNTRIES                  - 76

CONVENTS                   - 777

NATIONALITIES          - 80

MOTHER HOUSE         - ROME, ITALY

IN MYANMAR

MEMBERS                              - 154

MISSION AREAS (DIOCESES) - 6

CONVENTS                            - 21

MOTHER HOUSE                  - St. Francis Convent, Tamwe, Yangon

PROVINCIAL                        - Sr. ANGELINA REUBEN

CANDIDATES                       - 5

PRE-NOVICES                     - 5

NOVICES                            - 11

The FMM Institute - a Spirit (CHARISM)


«The truth is that we are called to love, that He is always with us and that all He is, is ours. Everything is there.» (Blessed Mary of the Passion, Spiritual Notes, 1888)

 (5) Elements of our Charism

1. Marian-The Banner bears the Latin Inscription - Ecce Ancilla Domini meaning, Behold the Handmaid of the Lord.                     It conveys the spirit in which each fmm lives her life.

2. Eucharistic –The Monstrance depicted at the Centre of the Seal says that the Eucharist (The bread broken and                       Shared) is the centre of the life every fmm.

3. Missionaries - The Sea denotes the voyages that a missionary would undertake.

4. Franciscan - The Tau, the symbol that St. Francis used as his signature, now stands as a symbol for a                                   Franciscan.

5. The Emblem - Worn by Franciscan Missionaries of Mary through out the whole world.

 

«Answering the same call, we live with the sisters God gives us; …
our community is a place of mutual conversion and is built up
in faith around Christ, Word and Bread.
Unity is reinforced by meeting among sisters
in a plurality of cultures and lifestyles.
In togetherness, God makes us grow in truth and charity. »

                              Constitutions 6 and 21    


From its origins, the FMM Charism was lived in international / intercultural communities. The face of our fraternal communities – like a rainbow – was composed of sisters from different peoples, nations, languages and cultures who welcomed one another as a gift from God.

Among us, FMM, the family spirit is very important.

“Franciscan Missionaries of Mary”:- What does this name mean?

To be Franciscan Missionary of Mary: -

-  It is to commit oneself in an extraordinary adventure which fascinates:

- It is to let ourselves be led by the Love of God which consecrates us and calls us to know Him, to love Him and to serve Him;

-  It is to feel oneself sent and to go to meet the peoples to share their lives and to discover the mystery which each human person is,

-  It is to live with respect, humility and minority before each creature

«To fulfil its mission, the Institute needs
the spirit of Francis of Assisi.
»

   (Blessed Mary of the Passion)

 

 The FMM Institute - a Mission


«For the mission and its risk, Mary of the Passion wanted us to be disponible and strong in faith, ready to leave everything and to go wherever we are sent »  (Constitutions 40)

The years have passed, the faces have changed, but the mission continues always more current.

Today, almost 7000 Franciscan Missionaries of Mary from 80 nationalities, open to Universal Mission, like Francis, travel up and down the roads of 76 countries, throughout the five continents.

Today – like yesterday – the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary live Love and express it in multiple ways:
it is called strength of life, newness of the Gospel, passion, daring, risk, commitment for justice.

It becomes a face, a word, a meeting, a dialogue, a presence, an outstretched hand. It is interrogation, questioning, risk and choice, peace and reconciliation, offering and gift, consecration and prayer, new life and hope.

Today – like yesterday – we are disponible for Universal Mission, ready to leave our countries or to
remain there, according to the calls of mission in order to go anywhere and to anyone to announce the Good News of salvation, we are sent in priority to those to whom Christ has not yet been revealed and to those to whom the Church is least present, giving preference to the poorest. (Constitutions 4).

 

«The Christ whom we contemplate send us out to our brothers and sisters in whom we discover his hidden presence. And our brothers and sisters send us back to the contemplation of Christ. » 
                                                                                                     (Constitutions 3)
 

God sends us to those who are still waiting for Christ to be announced
and testified: to those whose faces are lined by
suffering, destitution, rejection, and exclusion…

From them we learn the deep values and human frailties at
the heart of different cultural expressions.

     With them we learn solidarity and we struggle for justice. 

  In them we discover the signs of the Kingdom already present;
we gather their expectations which rush us
because of a new life which is in gestation. 

 Our mission becomes a response to the calls and necessities
of the Church like the needs of the world in mutation,
according to our Charism.

 

 «God calls each one personally to a closer following
of Christ, the Way, the Truth and the Life … Our response of love
is conclusive and is expressed through religious profession.
As a sign of his covenant with his People, God consecrates
us in a religious Institute… through our fidelity to his consecration
our life bears witness to the primacy of God’s love.»
                                                                         Constitutions 1


God confided the gift that we call - Charism - to our Foundress, Mary of the Passion. She welcomed it, transmitted it to us and today we try to live it in an ever new manner in fidelity to the Spirit of the Lord. For this, each of us had to reply yes to God’s call.


But, how do we respond to it?

Each of us has a unique mission in this world. This is our vocation. Only we can fulfill it. No one else can do what we are supposed to do, what I’m supposed to do! Religious life, like all life, is a path that is difficult to explain; it is a personal response to a personal call. 

But one thing is sure:

the initiative is God’s and it is in faith that we recognize his call.


We serve:

We are involved in the following areas:

  • Education
  • Health Care
  • Spirituality
  • Pastoral Care
  • Inter-faith Collaboration
  • Inter-congregational Collaboration
  • Administration
  • Women
  • Hospitality
  • Young Franciscans
  • Formation of FMM
  • Care of the elderly
  • Mission Awareness

 

 Blessed Mary of the Passion's Mottos

  • “Love is the very Being of God!”
  • “I saw love, truth and unity.”
  • “I saw that to love of one is to live of the other.”
  • “There is so much to be done in the world! Would that I had a thousand lives.”
  • “Make of my heart and of the Institute a burning fire that will set the earth ablaze!”
  • “I see where Mary is leading me.”
  • “I am to offer my life for the triumph of true power.”
  • “I see God within me in irresistible way.”
  • A missionary never says, “I have done enough.”
  • “Walk in truth and charity and you will accomplish marvels.”
  • “Love is nourished by sacrifice.”
  • “Joy is the Missionary’s strength.”
  • “The poor are God’s friends. Do not give them only alms, but give them your love.”
  • “Life is entirely a search for the hidden God.”
  • “Have a wide vision that embraces the whole world.”
  • “Do not set limits to your generosity.”
  • “The whole world is our home.”
  • “I am consecrated to God. My end is Love.”
  • “True power is not gold, True power is love.”
VISION OF MYANMAR PROVINCE

(2010 – 2014)

 “God, who acts unceasingly within us and transforms us, invites us to enter into communion with Him, and in Him, with our brothers and sisters. In welcoming His presence our life becomes prayer.” (Const. Art. 8)

 We, Myanmar FMMs, want to commit to deepen our contemplative life in living the Kenosis of Christ by being aware of the loving presence of God in attentive listening to every person at every moment and in every event.

 We want to build our community with reconciled heart expressing our appreciation for one another, welcoming all with sisterly affection and sharing our giftedness in faith, trust, and joy.

 Our rootedness and attachment to Christ will help us in bending low and letting go of ourselves in solidarity with our suffering brothers and sisters. We make ourselves available with our resources to fulfill their needs as far as possible.

 As Franciscans, we want to conscientize our people to take care of nature and mother earth so as to prevent natural disasters which make our people suffer and poor.

 “If I, then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet, you also must wash one another’s feet.” (Jn: 13:14)

   OUR MISSION (2010-2014)

 1. CONTEMPLATION

In order to commit ourselves to live the Kenosis of Christ in creative solidarity with our suffering people, we need to be: a person of contemplation, community builders and filled with the fmm missionary charism.

“In the depths of our being the Spirit of the Son continually cries Abba, Father! God, who acts unceasingly within us and transforms us, invites us to enter into communion with Him, and in Him, with our brothers and sisters. In welcoming His presence our life becomes prayer.” (Const. Art. 8)

We choose to listen to God attentively in solitude by being aware of the living presence of God in ever one and in every moment.

 2. Community

 “It is in faith that community is built: God appeals to our freedom to make an active contribution. It is in faith that we receive the sisters he gives us, accepting our differences and our complementarity in an attitude of listening, of trust, and of respect for each one’s mystery and path. We support one another on our journey towards the Lord.” (Const. Art. 20)

(a) We will build a contemplative community where we care for one another and use all our giftedness for all.

(b) We will build an open and loving community where we relate to one another in trust and forgiveness.

3. Ministry

 “Like Christ, we want to approach everyone with a humble heart, ready to learn and to receive as much as to give, with His attitude of respect, acceptance of persons, openness and service.” (Const. Art. 39)

Superior General

Name:         Suzanne Louise Phillips                          

Nationality:     Australian

Responsibility taken from: 2008

Address:            Via Giusti 12

00185

Roma, Italy

Provincial Superior

Na me        : Angelina Reuben fmm                            

Nationality:     Myanmar

Profession Date: 21-9-1978

Responsibility taken from: October 2011

Address:        St. Francis’ Convent ,

No (2) U Htun Myat Road

Tamwe, Yangon

 

  THEY WERE FAITHFUL UNTO DEATH 

NECROLOGY of the sisters of the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary (FMM)

 Date Year  Place                   Name
2-Feb 1905 Mandalay M.M.Martyrum (Louise Menoury. Novice)
16-Jul 1907 Mandalay S.M.Benedetta (Louise Menoury. Novice)
4-Jun 1917 Mandalay S.Johanna Marie (Magdalena. Oblate)
5-Dec 1918 Mandalay S.Celestine Marie (Mah Sin. Oblate Novice)
17-Jul 1919 Mandalay S.Jose Marie (Mah Chway Cay. Oblate)
26-Nov 1919 Mandalay S.Clara Marie (Helena. Oblate Novice)
28-Apr 1922 Mandalay S.de Lourdes Marie (Rosie Mah Pwa Hkin. Oblate)
25-Dec 1922 Mandalay S.Celestina Marie (Medeleine Mah Thin. Oblate Novice)
6-Feb 1925 Mandalay S. Augustina Marie (Martha Mah Taw. Oblate)
6-Jun 1926 Mandalay S. Colletta Marie (Anna Mah Ni. Oblate)
24-Jan 1928 Mandalay S. Joseph Marie (Sophie-Oblate)
26-Jul 1929 Mandalay S. Agnes Marie (Marie Mah Saw. Oblate)
5-Dec 1932 Chanthaywa S.Bernadette Marie (Rose Mah Hli. Oblate)
11-Feb 1938 Mandalay S. Claire
11-Nov 1938 Hkudung R.M.M.Antoinettede Cing Plaies (Anna Michon)
8-Jan 1944 Yangon S. Juliana Marie (Rosina Mi Tung Lu. Oblate)
20-Jun 1946 Hkudung S.Redempta Marie (Rosa Ma Taw. Oblate)
27-Feb 1947 Mandalay S.Francis Marie (Maria Ma Nien. Oblate)
24-May 1948 Nanhlaing S.Seraphina Mary (Catherine Mah Hli.Oblate)
14-May 1949 Yangon S.Emilia Marie (Marie Mah Ni.Oblate)
9-Mar 1961 Yangon S.M. of St. Kilioan (Brigitt Hynes)
12-Oct 1964 Yangon S.M.Martha
3-Nov 1968 Chanthaywa S.M Assunta (Theresa Daw Aye May)
7-Feb 1969 Chanthaywa S.M.Helene (Clare Daw Pu)
28-Nov 1975 Pyin Oo Lwin S.M.lMichaella (Catherine Ma May Ma)
13-Jun 1976 Nanhlaing S.M.Josephat (Veronica Jangma Yam)
13-Jun 1976 Chanthaywa S.M.Renee (Anna Daw Gon Bon)
10-May 1978 Pyin Oo Lwin Sr. Veronica (Lucy Ma Kyi)
10-Jun 1978 Pyin Oo Lwin S.M.Veronica (Lucy Daw Kyi)
6-Nov 1981 Yangon SM. Alberta (Marguerit Marie Daw Kyi)
12-Nov 1981 Banmaw S.M.Adriana (Marie Theresa Daw Thein)
24-Apr 1982 Yangon S.M.Anna (Emilia Daw Sein)
20-Apr 1983 Yangon S.M.Agnes (Lucia Daw Shin)
1-Dec 1983 Chanthaywa S.M.Clara (Maria Daw Myine)
15-Mar 1990 Chanthaywa S.M Magdalen (Anna Daw E Toke)
18-Jun 1990 Chanthaywa S.M.Calixta (Johanna Daw Tin)
15-May 1991 Banmaw S.M.Lourdes (Lucia Nangzing Kai)
25-Dec 1991 Pyin Oo Lwin S.M.Philomena (Maria Daw Tin)
20-Jan 1992 Pyin Oo Lwin S.M.Philomena (Maria Daw Tin)
20-Jan 1992 Pyin Oo Lwin Sr. Angela (Agatha Ma Hla)
15-Sep 1992 Nanhlaing S.M.Brigida (Marie Theresa Daw Sog)
15-Mar 1993 Tahan Sr. Theresa Lun
1-Dec 1997 Nanhlaing Sr. Bernadette (Agnes Nanzing Bajan)
2-Jan 1999 Momauk Sr. Nathalie (Madaline Gawlu Kaw Lum)
31-Mar 2002 Tedim Sr. Marie Colette Christy
23-Mar 2003 Nanhlaing Sr. Coletta (Chantal Lahpai Lu)
19-Mar 2009 Yangon Sr. Justina Zing Htung
29-Dec 2000 Chanthaywa Sr. Theophila (Madeline Ma Ti)
20-Feb 2001 Chanthaywa Sr.Theresa de L'Enfout-Jesus (Madeline Ma Saw Shin)
6-Oct 2011 Nanhlaing Sr. Teresa Ae Lieu (Regina)