Ixim: A Ministry of Solidarity

The Notre Dame Sisters support and work with Ixim: Spirit of Solidarity. Sr. Mary Kay Meagher has been working with this group since 2003. Ixim, Mayan for “Corn”, is an archdiocesan ministry cultivating relationships of friendship, faith, and solidarity between the Archdiocese of Omaha and the Diocese of Huehuetenango, Guatemala. Ixim began in 2002, in response to Pope St. John Paul II’s call for dioceses in developed nations to form relationships in solidarity with dioceses in the developing world.

Read more below about how Sr. Mary Kay became involved with Ixim, and watch this video about what happens on Ixim service trips, what Ixim does in Omaha, how these Diocese work together, and how you can get involved.

As I look back, I choose nursing as an answer to my deep-seated desire to be of service.

During my period of nursing educational preparation, I experienced the desire to enter into “full time” service by joining a religious group of women who dedicated their entire life to service focused on the poor.

During all my assignments in hospitals, clinics and as a nursing educator I experienced this service deeply as a ministry but longed for and sought growth and expansion.  It came in many ways. Deepening integration of the Catholic church’s seven  principles of social justice is fundamental for me.

Others came in opportunities of ministry in several cities in seven states in the US but also short-term opportunities of ministry outside the country in the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Honduras, Bolivia, Nigeria, and a Khmer refugee camp on the Cambodian-Thailand border. In each I was challenged to expand and deepen my call of mission and ministry. Each led me deeper in my Catholic faith but also I faced the realization that much of our ministry (especially church ministry) was around giving to the poor.  So, my full-time ministry was primarily embedded in my nursing career, but I was always on the lookout for other opportunities in ministry with the disinterred outside my main ministry.

In 2002,  I ran across an advertisement for a speaker at St Columbkille by Bishop Bobidilla on a program of ministry  between Omaha and  Guatemala. Hearing the call in his presentation I knew this was a fit for me. It was like I was given a glove that my hands fit into perfectly. My first trip was in 2006.

Most of my previous ministries of this nature were structured through nursing organizations.  I applaud all these organizations with whom I have done short term ministry, very good in intent and great service and have a place. It is not that Ixim is better. It is different.

Ixim offers me not only all had all of what I had before but this was within the realm and support of the Catholic church and working within the Catholic church structure   The only Catholic short term ministry before as in the  DR with Creighton and Khmer refugee camp in Thailand through CRS.  For me Ixim is different in the concept of solidarity is its a basis. The solidarity concept resonates and captures my being.

Mary Kay also sat down recently for a video about Ixim. You can view that video here: