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2023 Jubilarian: Sister Martha Friedman

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Celebrating 70 Years of Religious Life

Sister Martha’s journey to religious life began when she was drawn to the Wheaton Franciscans via the Franciscans from Glennonville, Missouri. Throughout her life, she found her calling in nursing, a ministry that allowed her to serve people of all ages in need.

Sister Martha’s dedication to nursing led her to work at St. Michael Hospital from 1961 to 1962 before embarking on a long-term mission to Brazil in 1963. Before leaving for Brazil, she spent eight months in New Mexico learning midwifery and gained valuable experience working with patients in a TB sanitarium and leprosarium in Carville, Louisiana. Once in Brazil, Sister Martha and

her team first learned Portuguese in Manaus, Brazil, then headed to Santarem, where they built the mission and began their ministry to the poor in the areas of healthcare and education.

Sister Martha’s devotion to serving others extended beyond healthcare as she was appointed novice directress of the Brazil Mission in 1988 when they started the formation program. She returned to the United States in 2016, having spent over 50 years in Brazil. Sister Martha hopes to be remembered as a Franciscan and a nurse, reflecting her deep connection to her faith and her passion for nursing. Sister Martha’s 70 years of service as a Wheaton Franciscan has left a lasting impact on those she has served and will continue to inspire others for years to come.

I want to be remembered as a Franciscan and a nurse.

Sister Martha

Read about some of Sr. Martha’s experience at the Brazil Mission in her reflection “Growing Tomatoes”

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