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Who are we?

Introducing the members of Daughters of St. Paul

Sr.M. Elena Chiyoko Fukahori

Sr.M. Elena

I have been brought up in a fervent Catholic family in a Christian city.
However, on August 9, 1945, I lost everything because of the atomic bomb. I left Nagasaki thinking that I can no longer believe in God, and came to Tokyo, thinking that I can get away from God. The divine providence gave me a work, as secretary of a good Catholic person. And then, I had the occasion of meeting Sister Vincensa of the Daughters of Saint Paul, who had arrived to Japan not too long ago. God had been holding me tight, not to let me run away from Him.

Knowing that I was a Catholic, Sister asked me if I would not think of becoming a nun.
"Oh no ! a life in a convent ! certainly not." This was my answer.
"Then, look for a nice boyfriend, and you should get married". "Yes, I will"

After that time too, Sister came to visit my superior frequently. And one day, she invited me to the convent. I accepted the invitation by curiosity.

What I saw there, was a surprise for me. Foreign missionaries who barely spoke Japanese, had opened the entire convent to children and adults, and were preaching to them. The image I had of nuns changed completely. I had only been going to church on Sunday, but I changed 180 degrees, and began to be interested in missionary work

I wrote to my father for permission to enter the convent. But one of the priest said " If I were a girl, I would not become a nun." After wondering whether it was not a momentary feeling, and that it was not my real vocation, I made my decision of entering the convent supported by Sisters’ encouragement.

As my father expressed a strong opposition, I had to go back to Nagasaki trying to convince him. On the train, another divine providence made me encounter Father Zeno. At the station, Father Zeno congratulated my father about me, not knowing that he was opposing to the idea. The solution already came at the station.

I could be convinced that at every stage of our faith, God gives us His Holy Grace, through other people. And I entered the convent at Asagaya in 1950. At the ceremony of taking the habit, the following year, Sr. Vincensa whispered to me:
"You have really found a wonderful boyfriend." I can hear this word even now.

On August 7 1948, 3 Sisters arrived from Italy to the port of Yokohama, and opened the first house in Asagaya. The convent moved to the present Nogizaka area in December 1950...

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