Sister Mary Mettler
I always felt as cared for as much as I had assisted.
My first mission as a newly-professed Sister was to St. Joseph’s Health Centre, where I saw the Sisters engaged in ministry to the sick and their loved ones. This new experience is what drew me to study nursing — that I might live out the motto "Whatever you do to the least of my brothers and sisters, you do to Me." Nurturing community wasn’t the language we used at that time, but that is what we did.
My years with St. Elizabeth Visiting Nurses were particularly meaningful. While offering home care, I met many elderly people needing both love and nursing. One person asked why I wasn’t a doctor: "You’d make the best doctor." Often, a cup of tea was waiting and in leaving I always felt as cared for as much as I had assisted. I heard many stories of pain and loss as well as hope for a brighter future. One lady with a serious leg wound recovered as the result of my speaking to her doctor about different treatment. I was a link between the patient in the community and the doctor.
Elderly people in our cities and institutions feel alienated and often can be at risk. For four years, I worked in our long-term care facility in Winnipeg where, every day, time was given to be with, listen to and support the elderly. It was important also to help the staff better understand and support the elderly and to facilitate cooperation in working together to provide the best care possible. This was true also in my years as a hospital chaplain.
Care of our earth has been a passion of mine for many years and I am committed both to living with a "green heart" and to helping people understand the increasing need for sustainability.