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Sr. Maria Cecilia Yoko Ikeda

Sr. Maria Cecilia

When I was little it made me happy to see a Sister. I would ask her from which congregation she was and where does she live. I loved to look at her long habit and see her beautiful smile. When I was in my 3rd grade at school, our teacher asked to each of us, “ What would you like to be when you grow up ? “ I was rather nervous waiting for my turn. “How about you Yoko ?” “ I am going to be a nun.” I answered in loud voice. As the time went by, my wish to become a Sister , seemed to become smaller.

During the period of rebelliousness, my wild behavior made my parents very sad. One day, opening my pencil box at school, I found a small holy picture. On the back was the little note: “ I am praying for you. Mother” I was moved to tears.

Ever since, I got absorbed in sport, and became a champion for volley ball. Our school team went for far away match. I really enjoyed the relaxing student life. When I graduated, everything looked new and fresh, I made new friends, and enjoyed openly my youth. However, when betrayed by a friend whom I trusted, it took me a long time to recover.

One day my mother was helping me to wear a kimono. Feeling her warm hands, I told her: “I am so happy. When I am sad, I can hide under your wings…” She did not say anything but held my hand very tight. Tears came out, and I wanted to go to church.

Church was right in front of my house. Kneeling in front of the Eucharist, I could not stop my tears. My entire life event came to my memory one after the other like the kaleidoscope. Then I realized that someone has been guiding and protecting me so that I would not get lost. I felt very sad that I had only been enjoying this society, without even going to Mass. People can change. But the love of God never changes. This was such a great experience. I realized the Love of God through my mother’s love for me. I could no longer turn my back to God who has been inviting me, ever since I was a little girl. Let us proclaim the joy. I made my decision to become a walking missionary.

At the present, I am working in our convent in Osaka, in gratitude and full of joy.

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