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                                  Sr. Daniel Marie Meade, SFP

                                                  60 Years

                                Entrance Date: June 29, 1951

                                
First Profession:  May 11, 1954


                                                                                              Perpetual Vows: September 8, 1959

 


With the grace of God, religious life is a wonderful life. And if I had life to live over again, I would do it again, of course

I came from a small town in Newfoundland – only 45 families lived there – the third of six children: three boys, three girls. While I worked in Catholic hospitals for a number of years, I did not meet the Franciscan Sisters of the Poor until later when I attended a friend’s ordination. He had an aunt and a sister who were SFP's.

I entered in 1951, made first vows in 1954 and final vows in 1959. As a junior professed, I earned a baccalaureate in medical technology from Marywood College and worked at St. Francis Hospital in the Bronx. I also served four years as Director of the Junior Sisters. Later I returned to school at St. John’s University to earn my masters in medical technology. Then I attended St. Michael’s Hospital in Newark where I was Vice Director of the Lab.


When our Major Superior asked for volunteers to go to Italy or Brazil, I volunteered for Brazil. I continued working at the lab while I learned Portuguese and something about the Brazilian culture. I went there for a three-year term and spent 40 years – except for a short time spent in Senegal helping them get their lab going.

When I first arrived in Brazil, the people were desperately poor. Can you believe that 96% of the children tested positive for worms? When I left this year, 97% tested negative. And the turn-about has been just as great in people’s daily lives. Brazil has come so far in the last 40 years! I found the greatest satisfaction is seeing the people develop – to self-actualize!


I learned so much from the people of Brazil. I saw their spirit of sacrifice despite poverty and hardship – and I learned to see the possibilities that can be found in even the most desperate situations. I have done much too! I have baptized babies, learned hypnosis, opened a fully accredited lab…and so much more. There were many sacrifices, but the grace of God was not lacking.


The sacrifices inherent in religious life lead to a life that is all one could hope for. And my bit of advice? It is what every Franciscan knows: “Live in the joy of the Lord!”

                                                                                                                                                                                           Sr Daniel Marie Meade, SFP

                                                                                                                                                                                           published, december 2011