I ask that you obey the providence of the Heavenly Parent out of love with all your heart and joy, that you do not pick and choose your cross, that you are always cheerful, and that you use everything for good with great joy and trust.
On the 27th and 28th November, Sr. Junko Ikeda, Mother Superior of St. John’s Congregation gave three lectures during the Mass on the First Sunday of Pentecost at the Catholic Fuchu Church. As the situation of the corona infection has calmed down, the faces of the believers attending the Mass were cheerful, and unlike last year, I could feel that they could start preparing to receive Jesus slowly and peacefully. I remember that last year, I was so worried about the corona infection that I didn't have time to enjoy the waiting season. And then I realized that Jesus was born...! I look back on that situation. This year, Father Andrea, the head priest, recommended to me that I deliver a lecture. This year also marks the 20th anniversary of the birth of our Fuchu Community. We have walked together with the people of Fuchu Church. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to all the priests of the Milanese Order. I would like to continue to share my joys, sorrows, and sufferings with all of you to realize the Kingdom of God. Thank you very much for your support.continue reading
The St. John's Congregation held a sales event at the Fuchu Catholic Church on November 14. This was the second year that we held this event and the second year of Corona virus. While the main bazaar was not held again this year, the sisters prepared a variety of items. The items included a desk calendar for next year, Christmas cards, original cards, notepads, writing pads, angel dolls, handicrafts, etc. Some of the items were the same as in the past, and some were new, and the congregation seemed to have enjoyed themselves in doing so. The young sisters, volunteers, and novices who took part were extremely active and had a great time interacting with those who came to purchase. The event was blessed with beautiful weather, even if it was only for a short time. I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to Father Andrea, the head priest, Father Vincent, the assistant priest, and everyone at Fuchu Church. May God's grace and blessings pour forth upon all of you at Fuchu Church...♰
Everything is in the deep providence of the Lord of Heaven. Your thoughts will never be better than the Lord's.
When we look at the lives of Jesus, Mary, the martyrs, and the saints, we can hardly find any external happiness. However, the hearts of these people were always full of joy and gratitude.
The congregation has convents in Koganei, Fuchu and Oshino. With the aging of the population and the decrease in vocations, the number of sisters working in the field has decreased, but with the help of the sisters who support us with their prayers, we are doing our best, at least in numbers.
Those who are truly humble, those who are truly filled with the love of the Lord of Heaven, should always be filled with the fragrance of eternal happiness from this world, cheerful, grateful and joyful in all circumstances.
At Aiseien, the sisters took care of the children who had lost their parents in the war and were living with a sense of loneliness and pain, as if they were children entrusted to them by God. When they found out that some of the children were a little different and could not do the same things as everyone else, they built Konohara Gakuen in Hachioji for intellectually disabled children.
Our congregation, the Missionary Sisters of St. John the Evangelist, was born in a small village in Koganei in 1944, at the dawn of a difficult time that awaited Japan as the war was coming to an end. When everything was burned and there was no light to be seen, God gave us the grace.
Do not boast of the gifts you have received as if they were your own or your own credit, do not be overwhelmed and saddened by the cross that is the treasure of merit, do not envy others from your respective paths, and always fight cheerfully for the Heavenly Parent and neighborly love.
The staff of the school's food caterying used to have curry and rice on Fridays, but when the day of the week was changed due to an event, K-kun, who loved curry and rice, got upset because curry and rice was not served on Fridays. He had been looking forward to it so much. When the staff heard this, they were encouraged to make a special curry just for him.continue reading
People with intellectual disabilities, even if they are developmentally delayed, have wonderful personalities. They are kind, warm, honest, and pure-hearted, which strikes a chord with people. When newcomers come, they approach them with a friendly smile and ask, "Where are you from? Why are you here? Everyone is welcomed with open arms.continue reading
The winters in Oshino are much colder than expected, sometimes reaching temperatures of -16 to -20 degrees Celsius, and we needed a place where the residents could gather. It is a two-story gymnasium, partly raised and partitioned like a stage, with curtains that can be hung. It was used for various events such as Christmas parties, New Year's masses, and parent-teacher conferences, but on a regular basis it was used as a place for all the residents to run around.
The second phase of construction was suspended for about two years, and then resumed for another six months. The suffering of living in two places put a lot of strain on the inhabitants and staff who remained at the Konohara Institute, and the staff who remained at the Institute for a time called for a strike to protest their predicament. At a time when St. John’s was in the midst of the most difficult situation, the Archbishop of Tokyo, Seiichi Shirayagi, assumed the position of President. I think it is no exaggeration to say that St. John's Society is what it is today because of him.
After the death of the founder of Sakuramachi Hospital, Father Totsuka Bunkei, his collaborator, Okamura Fuku, was ordered by the then Archbishop of Tokyo, Doi Tatsuo, to found the Missionary Order of St. John the Evangelist and to take over the management of Sakuramachi Hospital.
One day, there were many cases of dysentery and epidemic diarrhea at the school, and Dr. Nakamura at the clinic was extremely busy. As a result of the stool tests, all the children and staff who had the disease were quarantined in the Mochitoku dormitory, where they lived together for about a month while undergoing continuous stool tests. At this time, the laboratory department of Sakuramachi Hospital was very helpful, and Sister Inagaki also came to the hospital to help out.
The staff and sisters took care of the children with all their heart and souls, and were supported and, in turn, learnt much from the children's innocense. They were often comforted by the children's gradual progress. The staff took turns praying before and after meals, but one day, a child who was eating before the others because he had to go out did not start eating even though the staff often encouraged him to do so.
The farmers in the neighborhood were kind enough to sell us vegetables and the grocery store provided us with food, so we were able to cook something that the children would enjoy, despite our poverty. One of the boys who oversaw the spreading of margarine on the cobbled bread for breakfast, dividing it into three equal portions and placing them on plastic plates. However, pieces went missing because the boy was popping them into his mouth while delivering it down the long corridor to the study room and cafeteria.
After the death of Father Totsuka Bunkei, the founder of Sakuramachi Hospital, his collaborator, Okamura Fuku, founded the Missionary Order of St. John the Evangelist in 1944, under the order of the then Bishop Doi to manage the hospital. When she was looking for a quiet place to build a training institute for the growing number of sisters, the head clerk of Sakuramachi Hospital came to her with a proposition.
Despite the Corona panademic, the flowers and grasses still find time to praise God.
We had a sales event for the St. John's Congregation at the Catholic Fuchu Church on Sunday, November 15th. This year, the annual bazaar which is usually held during this period was canceled due to Covid-19. Father Andrea, the presiding priest at the church, decided to hold this event out of consideration for the parishioners, just prior to Christmas, due to church events having been extremely restricted due Covid-19. Items produced by the St. John’s sisters, such as handmade cards, next year's calendars, stationery, bookmarks, stickers, and other handicrafts were sold.continue reading
I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him.
Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love.