Hospital Sisters of the Third Order Regular of St. Francis
My (Sister Regina Hakataya) parents came from Nagasaki prefecture. My father came from an island where there was a round church near Goto city in Nagasaki. My mother came from Kashiyama where Fr. Doro was engaged in missionary work near Sotome-town in Nagasaki city. Sotome town is a Catholic town, blessed with many vocations to Priesthood and religious life.
The eastern part of Kashiyama that was my mother’s hometown, was a village where all were hidden Christians. In the western part of Kashiyama town, that was across the road, has hidden Christians but completely distant from Catholicism.
Before I entered the community, Hidden Christian abjured their faith in Kashiyama town. They escaped to a mountain from far away at the persecution period in which there was a temple, thinking that the temple might protect them. The temple carried on for 7 generations. The second daughter of this temple married my uncle.
Almost all of those from Mizukata were baptized and had a Christian name. When we celebrated Christmas, we prayed a particular prayer secretly.
I was baptized when I was in the third grade of high school without knowing anything. I belonged to Shimonoseki Hosoe Church of the Hisohima parish. On the occasion of graduating from high school, I returned to the hometown of my mother. Unexpectedly, I was introduced to the hospital where a second cousin of mine worked as a nurse. On visiting the hospital, I met the foreign Sisters. I was astonished at the thought: “I am a Roman Catholic”.
As my mother died in 1946, I felt the futility of life. After having known the existence of God at baptism, I turned my mind the origin of true happiness. My younger brother who was the only other member of my family, died in an instant in 1963 and I entered the Community in October in that year. After entering the Community I have been serving in office work for 50 years.
The biggest impression of my religious life was the pilgrimage to Rome and the international Eucharistic Congress of 2000. I was deeply touched by the figure of Pope John PaulⅡwho, though ill, was discharging his duties.
We had a chance to visit Assisi. It was just on August 6 that we visited Mount La Verna. It was a good thing that we could participate in the ceremony of the Transfiguration. We could not move because many people participated in it.
It was a time for me to wonder whether it was only a dream. During the visit it rained hard; then it stooped quickly and we left for home at a sunny interval. From now on, I proudly walk the way of religious life as a daughter of Francis...