Thursday, November 29, 2012

Gratitude and Remembrance

As S. Colleen recounts in this final blog her and S. Olivia’s trip to Japan, we are blessed to learn how deep is the mutual respect and love that grew up and endured between our American Sisters and the Japanese people with whom they worked and formed lasting bonds.

The greatest JOY that Sister Olivia had was viewing the mountains of Hokkaido! Daily she marveled at these views. Muroran is surrounded by/nestled in the mountain range. Daily walks involve going up and down all the hills. Good exercise is had by all - including the two Americans!

The Japanese demeanor is part of S. Olivia’s life. She is Japanese in stature: their humble posture of bowing is integral to WHO she is--her persona. Thus she finds it difficult to acknowledge that she is loved by so many and revered in every corner of Japan, but especially on the island of Hokkaido. She also maintains connections with the monks of St. John's Abbey, located at Trinity Monastery in Fujimi, Honshu, Japan (north of Tokyo) who connected with her and Sister Jane Weber, while they served in Japan.

This being November, the month when we remember especially those who have died, it seems appropriate to close by recognizing our foremothers who have gone before us and who laid the groundwork for the very special relationship our monastery has with the people of Japan: Sisters Francetta Vetter, Regia Zens, Ursuline Venne, Benedice Schulte, Euphrasia Ruhland, Mary Gertrude Maus, and also S. Glenore Riedner (who served in Taiwan).

There are others who are still in our midst: Sisters Olivia Forster, Jane Weber, Shaun O’Meara, Hilda Keller, Annette Brophy and former Sisters: Renee Genereux and Mary Feeley and, of course, Sister Renata Mori of the Japan community.

For all our Sisters who served in Japan and for the continuing blessings of our relationship with the people of Japan, we are are truly grateful.

Adapted from 'Observations and Notes' collected by Colleen Haggerty, OSB

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