Hospital Sisters of the Third Order Regular of St. Francis

Sister M. Rosa, Yuriko Tsutsumi

My name is Sister Rosa, Yuriko Tsutsumi. I was raised in a devout catholic family. My great-grandfather on my mother's side was a persecutor of Christians at that time. However, he converted and became a Christian. I was born in Wakayama, which is south of Osaka, and I have seven siblings: three older brothers, two older sisters, and a younger sister. I was baptized on the third day after I was born. My father had come up with a spiritual name for me, after the Holy Family (Jesus, Mary and Joseph). My baptismal name is Mary. Joseph holds Jesus and holds a staff with lilies in bloom, so my Japanese name is Yuriko. “Yuri” means lilies in Japanese. My father was a catechist who was mainly an interpreter for French missionaries. He was born in Hirado, Nagasaki, the first place where St. Francis Xavier landed in Japan.

I learned about the Religious life when I entered the mission school “Osaka Shin-Ai Jogakuin High School”.

I came to know about our Congregation through my father's hospitalization at St. Francis Hospital, Nagasaki.  I felt God's grace as my father recovered from his near-death condition and was able to leave the hospital. When I was 23 years old, I got a job at St. Francis Hospital,

The following year, as I was watching Sister Fridolin and Sister Barbara at work, I began to think, "I want to be a part of that.” That's what medical nursing looked like, from serving patients and taking care of their meals and cleaning.

However, I felt I couldn't follow the Latin prayers coming from the convent's chapel which is connected to the hospital. After the Vatican Council, Sister Asumputa and I attended a religious study group once a week, and gradually my heart changed. As if carried with a wave, I was led into the Congregation.

Looking back on it now, I feel that I really wanted to become a sister a little earlier, because I saw my two brothers going to seminary and trying to become a priest. I prayed for them. One of my two brothers received ordination to the priesthood and I was thinking of becoming a Sister. The other brother started working at an orphanage in the diocese of Osaka. At that time I forgot that I want to become a religious.

At the age of 27, after giving my mother a hard time – she was the one who most desired to see me as a religious – it gradually became clear to me, that Jesus is the one I want to marry.

The following year, 1967, at the age of 28, I joined the Congregation, and made my first vows on September 3, 1970. I professed my final vows on September 3, 1977, the year we became a Province. I worked as a nurse at St. Francis Hospital in Nagasaki, St. Mary's Hospital in Himeji and Easter Village in Ashikaga.

In 1990, I went to Korea as a foreign missionary. I worked hard to learn the Korean culture. In Korea, I cared for the elderly and served the poor, and in 2008, after finishing my time in Korea, I returned to Japan. Even today I have a missionary zeal for Korea.

Last year, 2020, I celebrated my 50th anniversary of religious life. I look back in gratitude. Everything happened by God's grace.