Hospital Sisters of the Third Order Regular of St. Francis

Sister M. Regina Hakataya

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 Paulwho, 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...