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Japan joined the CP Province

Gratitude for 10 years - SSND Central Pacific Province
Central Pacific Province
2011 - 2021

By Sister Eileen Nakamura

In 2009, Sister Mary Maher, general superior, visited to Japan with the general councilor as their official visitation. The future of the region of Japan was one of the major topics of their meetings with the regional council. Reflecting on the aging reality of the membership and slower pace of new vocation in Japan, Sister Mary suggested to consider the region to be integrated into Central Pacific (CP) Province. Thus, we started the process of discernment for reconstruction of the region of Japan.

Sister Beatrice Tanaka, Principal, Notre Dame ElementarySchool, Kyoto with students visiting in St. Louis in 2012.

In 2010, we invited Sister Joanne Hanrahan to come to Japan to help our process of discernment to get started. When the quad provinces were integrated into CP Province, Sister Joanne led the process from the former St. Louis Province. We knew we could learn from her how to involve the membership to move into the unknown future, going beyond anxiety and worry. Although, I was a member of the ‘reconstruction committee’, I myself had worry, anxiety and doubt.

During two and a half years from 2011 to 2013, we had five Assemblies of the Whole to pray, to share and to listen together to discern. It was overwhelming for us to think about our differences in language, culture, society, law system and so on from the rest of the province and our geographical distances. Each time, when we share and listen to understand each other with the sisters of the province, we need to go through translation and interpretation. When we won’t have regional assembly any more, how could we participate in the governance? How could we live the spirit of You Are Sent without participation? These were a serious questions.

Sisters Joanna Suh, Mary Anne Owens and Mary Eileen Nakamura hold a photo of Sister M. Judith Kamada, who was not able to travel to St. Louis to be part of the 2016 Jubilee celebration.

But after two and a half years, communal discernment process helped us to believe in new life together with hope even though we still had concerns and anxieties. Toward the end, we still had two sisters that hoped to stay as the region and we continued to pray and to dialogue. We finally reached the consensus decision. Thus, in August 2013, the region of Japan became an extended assembly of the CP Province. It was God’s work!


Read more reflections and stories celebrating our 10 years as the Central Pacific Province.

Gratitude for 10 years


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