Sister Elreda is honored
July 25, 2019 4:34 PM
Pictured: Sisters Laetitia, Maria Fidelis, Elreda, Maureen, Gratia and Magdalena
Sister M. Elreda Huser came to Springfield earlier this year to celebrate the 100th birthday of her sister, Sister Elvon, in March. While she had intended to remain in the USA until September when a team of medical professionals and Sisters return to Japan after their visit, she has requested to remain here permanently. Sister M. Margarete, General Superior, and Sister Maria Fidelis Furukawa, Provincial Superior of the Japan Province, and Sister Maureen O’Connor, Provincial Superior, have granted this request. Sister Elreda will remain a member of the Japan Province with an assignment to reside in Loretto Home in the American Province.
Sister Elreda has served in Japan for 63 years and became a member of the Japan Province when it was established in 1977. She was very instrumental in the development of the Japan Province and held leadership positions including Novice Mistress (1958-67), Regional Superior (1967-77), Provincial Vicaress (1977-83), Provincial Superior (1986-93), and Provincial Councilor (1993-97). While a part of her heart remains in Japan with her Sisters, she is happy to have come home to Springfield. A native of Hansen, WI, Sister Elreda professed First Vows with the American Province in 1944 and volunteered to be a missionary in Japan in November 1956.
On July 24, 2019, Sisters Maria Fidelis, Laetitia, Gratia and Magdalena presented a Bloodgood Japanese Maple tree to Sister Elreda in gratitude for her service from the Sisters of the Japan Province. The tree is planted in St. Francis Park (near Convent Entrance) and is displayed along with other gifts from the Japan Province.
On September 3, 1977, the Japan Province was established after 29 years as a Mission of the American Province. In gratitude to the founding American Province, a Japanese Gate Lantern was commissioned and later presented in 1979 from the Japan Province. In the upper portion there is an image of the Blessed Mother and Child, this is to symbolize the devotion to Mary in which the Sisters have sown the seeds of faith in the soil of Japan. It is also significant in respect to the Christians in Japan. During the early years in Japan when Christians were persecuted, Christians carved an image of the Blessed Mother in the lantern base and then buried the base so they would not be discovered. All that was seen was the lantern. The image of the deer is reminiscent of those animals that gather near the lanterns in Japan.
The Japanese maple trees on either side of the lantern are also gifts: the tree on the left was given in 1979 from the American Province in recognition of Sisters from the American Province who served as missionaries in Japan; the tree on the right was given in 2004 from the Japan Province in gratitude to Sister Angelista Miosga for her service in Japan (1949-2003).