Sunday, 04 August 2019 13:36

After over six decades in Japan, missionary returns to Springfield

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08 04 2019 HS Missionary returns from Japan after 63 yearsAfter serving 63 years in Japan, a Hospital Sister of St. Francis has returned home to America and Springfield. Sister Elreda Huser, OSF, came to Springfield earlier this year to celebrate the 100th birthday of her sister, Sister Elvon Huser, OSF, in March. While she had intended to remain in the United States until September and then return to Japan, she has requested to remain here permanently.

“While a part of my heart remains in Japan with my Sisters, I am happy to have come home to Springfield in this chapter of my life,” Sister Elreda said. “After the novitiate and while immersed in the courses at St. John’s Hospital School of Nursing and experiencing the joy and satisfaction in caring for the sick, I knew this is not why I came to religious life. I needed something to keep me on a more constant way of following Christ and from then on, I was attracted to a missionary way of life.”

She volunteered at the Hospital Sisters’ mission in Arizona and served at St. Isabel’s Mission as a catechist. In 1956, the superiors asked for volunteers for their mission in Japan, and Sister Elreda was chosen. There, she served for over six decades.

In late July, Sister Maria Fidelis Furukawa, provincial superior of the Japan Province, and Sisters M. Laetitia Matsunaga, M. Gratia Maihara and M. Magdalena Tomii traveled to Springfield to honor Sister Elreda. On July 24, they presented her with a Bloodgood Japanese Maple tree in gratitude for her service to the Sisters of the Japan Province. The tree is planted at St. Francis Convent in Springfield.