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Who are we?

Introducing the members of Daughters of St. Paul

Sr. Maria Sebastiana Setsuko Miki

Sr. Maria Sebastiana

As an adolescent, I attended the Buddhist Jr. high school in which the whole school together chanted a sutra at morning meeting with the school principal,a Buddhist priest.In such an atmosphere, I asked myself about my life with questions such as "What is life?" and "For what purpose do we work to live our whole lives for?". Focusing on sports activities at school, I tried to ignore these voices which flew from my heart.

It was on the evening of October 21, I never forget the date, an acquaintance of my friend asked us if we were interested in visiting a church with her, while we were walking together. So we stopped by one of the so-called Kamaboko (boiled fish cake in demi cylinder shape) barracks of US occupation forces used as a temporary chapel at that time.

Inside the church, the air was filled with a fragrance of incense and I heard people praying the Rosary. A moment later, I knew intuitively that I found the answer to my questions. For the next several days until the end of October, I jointed in the Rosary every evening.

I also took catechism classes taught by a foreign priest for a while. However, I could not comprehend the contents well because the priest spoke broken Japanese. Although I attended all lectures, hoping to find the answer to the questions.

One day, some senior members of the church's youth group took me to the convent of Daughters of St.Paul where, later I finished all catechism with the help of one Japanese sister there, and then I received Baptism.

The sisters seemed to be anticipating without doubt that I would become one of them since I was very obedient and serious in learning. All of a sudden, I woke to their expectation of me. "I would like to make my own decision on my future.", I replied and stayed away from the convent.

Despite that, I remained active in church related activities:I was responsible for distributing brochures in the parish and also for picking up people who were interested in visiting the church for the first time, and studying catechism. I was trying to be a missionary on my own terms to let people know who is Jesus Christ.

Finally, I came to realize that even if I kept out of the convent, nothing was different from what I would have done as a nun. This time I made up my mind to join with them devoting my youth as a gift.

As a result, my mother had to give up her wish to watch me grow mature. She was in tears and said "Choose your own way, as I will go before you". I heard she had been sick in bed for quite a long time after I left home. I should never have taken her sacrifice in vain:Without her sacrifice, I would have not been here today.

There was always somebody on my way to my vocation who helped me find my way to Christ. So I would like to be one of them and lead people to Jesus. I play this role hoping to introduce Christ to people throughout my life.

Translated into English by Chieko Sekine from the original Japanese text written by Sr. Miki.

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