22nd February 2021
The Missionary Sisters of St. John the Evangelist - Mother Okamura Part 3

 
  Fuku Okamura worked day and night to serve those who were poor and suffering from lack of access to medical care. Sometimes people came to her covered in dirt, and she gave them a bath, cleaned them up, and served them a meal. There were many tragic occasions when we were called in the middle of the night and when we went there, the patient was a mother, cold with her baby crying. While helping Father Totsuka, she became a neighbor and mother to the person in front of her.
  
  Father Totsuka was busy not only with his daily medical activities, but also with establishing the Catholic Medical Association, working for the Catholic newspaper, and writing lectures, which made his original heart condition worse. While the Sakuramachi Hospital was in the middle of construction in Koganei City, Father passed away at the young age of 47. Mother and those who had helped Father Totsuka completed the remaining hospital. She went to the Archbishop of Tokyo, Doi, to talk about handing over the hospital to the Archbishop, thinking that it would be fine without them. However, Archbishop Doi told her to establish a congregation and run the hospital themselves. The girls, who had been dreaming of handing over the hospital to the diocese and joining a convent of contemplation, felt great anxiety about the future. Mother didn't answer right away, but prayed for a few days and sought God's will. Not her own desires, but God's. Like Jesus in Gethsemane, and like Mary, she accepted God's will. As a symbol of this, and so that we too may always accept God's will, the word Fiat is inscribed twice on the back of our congregation's medallion.

  Mother founded our congregation in accordance with the words of Archbishop Doi, not knowing what the future held. She did this together with Fuku Totsuka and Shige Murai, who had worked for Father Totsuka. While the management of Sakuramachi Hospital alone was difficult, Mother Okamura often said, "God often does great things through small, trivial things so she prayed, thought, and made decisions. Father Poonsman, a member of the Society of the Divine Word, became the guiding priest for the congregation. In the midst of a difficult wartime situation and the cooperation of our mentor, the constitution of the congregation was born and permission was granted by Rome through Archbishop Doi. The permission to found the Society was received in February 1944, at the height of the war, with destruction all around. As the number of volunteers increased, the congregation grew with the help of the sisters of both the Holy Spirit and the Visitation. When it became difficult to run the hospital, Mother was able to survive with the support of the mothers of her alma mater and Father Totsuka's friends.

  Through this, the fact that the congregation was established by God's providence clearly resonated in our hearts.

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MISSION STATEMENT

 I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him.
John 15:5

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ENTERPRISES

Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love.
John 9

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CONVENTS

A new commandment I give to you,
that you love one another.
John 13:34

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BLOG

If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be.
John 12:26

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We express God's deep love through our service to:
"the sick,
the suffering, and
the marginalized"