Sister Rose Ann Nakata, MM

Born: December 8, 1909
Entered: July 4, 1932
Died: October 5, 1970

On October 14th we received official notice from Japan that Sister Rose Ann Nakata had died at Seibo Byoin (Blessed Mother Hospital) in Tokyo on October 5th.

Sister Rose Ann, Anna Mary (Yasuko) Nakata was born at Matsumoto, Japan, on December 8, 1909. In 1928 she came to Seattle on a scholarship and, having heard about the Maryknoll Sisters’ work with the Japanese, she contacted them for help in learning English. She announced that she did not want to hear anything about religion, just English. However, Yasuko’s background in Japanese philosophy was an entree to interest in the Catholic Church. Notwithstanding the opposition of her sister, who was her guardian in the United States, Yasuko was baptized a Catholic, May 26, 1928, and received the name “Anna Mary.”

Mother Mary Joseph arranged for her to come to Maryknoll and then to study for her degree at Catholic University where she lived on campus with our Maryknoll Sisters.

Her desire to become a Maryknoll Sister deepened during the four years in Washington, and on July 4, 1932, Anna Mary Nakata came to Maryknoll as a postulant. She was professed January 6, 1934. After working with the Japanese in Dairen, Manchuria, for five years, Sister was assigned to Japan where she lived out her dedication through true apostolic zeal.

Sister Yae Ono tells us of Sister’s last illness and death, and I want to share these details with you: “I have never seen anyone so long-suffering, patient, thoughtful of others, and even humorous in the midst of so much pain. Sister knew that she did not have long to live and expressed a desire to see Sister Sabina before it was too late. Sister Sabina, who had shared so much of life and work with Sister, went to Tokyo on September 27, and was with her these last days on Earth.”

Sister Yae, Sister Marie Elise and Sister Rose Ann’s own sister watched with Sister Sabina as Sister Rose Ann, showing signs of recognition to the end, quietly went home to God.

The wake and beautiful liturgy of the Resurrection were held at the Kichijoji Convent, which could accommodate the great number of guests more conveniently than the parish church. Burial on October 7th was in the Fuchu Catholic Cemetery, not far from our Convent.

Our Sisters everywhere are reminded to remember Sister Rose Ann’s precious soul at the Eucharistic Sacrifice and in special prayers for our departed.