Sister Muriel is from Boston, MA and is a member of the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of the Cenacle from New York, USA.
"After forty years of doing retreat work, I had a longing desire to do mission work with the poor and destitute In 1992 I heard the call of God to go to Medugorje. My congregation gave me permission. The war was still on. There were hundreds of refugees arriving in and around Medugorje, refugees who had been “cleansed” from their homes and villages by Muslims and Serbs. I knew the good Lord wanted me to be here to reach out and help my neighbors. The English speaking pilgrims provided me the funds to begin my mission. I had no vehicle and did not speak the language. I met a local man who drove me from village to village delivering food. He also used his knowledge and skills of carpentry, electricity and plumbing as we rebuilt abandoned homes for some of the refugees to live in.
During these years, things were very hectic. I found myself and pilgrims (volunteers) aiding the victims of the war. The people of this country were in desperate need of everything (medical supplies, food, clothing and shelter). Many pilgrims from Europe, United States, Australia and Canada were arriving to assist in the war effort. For many of them, I became their contact, the worker in the field. Mostar at that time was in shambles.
The Irish had brought over two ESP vans. I was now really in business. When I was behind the wheel I truly felt freedom. I found myself in Mostar working with a retired nurse. Mostar was left in shambles after the war. We delivered hospital supplies that pilgrims gave. On a monthly basis we delivered to 400 elderly people. Donna, the nurse would take care of their medical needs. They with The Elderly. I always had the money to buy food for the poor and destitute. God always provided through the generosity of the pilgrims.
At the end of the war, many refugees and returnees were coming back only to find their homes completely destroyed. They needed roofs, stoves, food and clothing which I provided through the generosity of pilgrims. Our ministry is totally supported through donations from pilgrims and a few private donations from the States. The people of Ireland have been very supportive of my work. I base my ministry on Divine Providence, knowing that the good lord will provide for the work he wants me to accomplish.
In 1999, Mary Walsh came over to join me in my mission. Mary was a retired Revenue Office with Internal Revenue Service. Mary was in her hometown Church, St. Bernard, praying to our lady for guidance in her zeal to do mission work. After Mass, the prayer group took up a collection for a nun in Bosnia, Sr. Muriel. Mary wrote to me that she was a retired Revenue Officer. In the bible known as a tax collector. I wasn't impressed with that but I replied. I informed her that I provide no wages and that she must provide her own housing and take care of herself. This was music to Mary's ear as she wanted a grass roots operation where the aid goes directly to the people. At that time, I was having problems with the authorities as I operated as a humanitarian organization but without papers. Mary and I agreed to incorporate as a humanitarian organization; we registered in New York under the name St. Joseph The Worker LTD.