Hospital Sisters of the Third Order Regular of St. Francis

Sr. Elreda Huser

Year 2011 marks the 86th year of my life as a child of God. As the 13th child of Frank and Anna Huser. sharing became a normal way of life at an early age. While the older brothers and sisters grew out of their clothes it was a “hand-me-down” affair. So, the Franciscan way of life was not really new to me, also because my grandmother was a Third Order Member of St. Francis. My mother and father both being from immigrant families of the late 1890’s, they were used to hard times, but strong in trust in God, and insistence of prayer together. We lived in the rural area of Wisconsin.

When I was about 4 years old my two older sisters entered religious life, one in the School Sisters of Notre Dame and the other in the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis in Springfield. As I watched my mother weep softly on their departure from home, I attempted to console her by saying: “Don’t cry! I’ll be a sister too when I get big.” I followed 12 years later as an aspirant at St. Francis Convent, Springfield. I was in my last year of high school, after receiving the grace of experiencing that the pleasures of this world could not ensure true happiness.

After the novitiate and while thoroughly immersed in the nurses’ training course, and experiencing the joy in caring for the sick and its satisfaction, I somehow knew this is not why I came to religious life. I needed something to keep me on a more constant way of following Christ: I had felt somewhat distracted from the goal of giving myself completely to Christ. From then on, I was attracted by a missionary way of life, and with God’s help I have been here in Japan for over 50 years. Yes, it requires trust! Clinging to God! But isn’t that what life is all about?