Today is the feast day of St. Francis Xavier, who holds a special place in the hearts of all of us who work with Mission Doctors Association. The Patron for Missionaries and one of the seven men who formed the Society of Jesus (Jesuits)1, his extensive missionary travels included work in Africa, India, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Japan. Our thoughts have been with St. Francis in a different way these last two years, that being the last three months of his life. St. Francis spent those last three months on the Island of Sancian, awaiting entry into China2. He was able to see Canton from the island but never able to get to his destination to continue his missionary work.
The last two years have been unprecedented for all organizations providing medical care in mission countries because of the covid pandemic travel restrictions. MDA has been blessed to be able to be of assistance from afar to our partners at these mission hospitals by providing funding for local physicians and supplies, but it is not the same as actually walking with those at these hospitals to serve the ill and injured who may have no other access to medical care.
It is wonderful to have some of the travel restrictions finally relaxed, allowing for MDA physicians and their families to return to the medical care they are called to provide in resource-limited countries. Two experienced mission physicians are completing their long-term mission training with MDA and will soon be traveling to hospitals in Peru and Ghana. Several short-term MDA physicians are now, or will soon be, returning once again to mission healthcare facilities in Uganda, Honduras, and Tanzania where they have served many times in the past.
It is good to finally be off the island.
Dr. Tim Cavanagh
- The Pontifical Mission Societies Philadelphia
accessed 19 November 2021
- Butler’s Lives of the Saints
Concise Edition, Revised & Updated
Michael Walsh, Editor
Library of Congress Number 90-55777