Sister Grace Mary Kuji

“My life as a Maryknoll Sister has been “With a Big Dream but Deep Root.” Not knowing how to express my gratitude, I present a passage from a book by Mtsuo Aida, learned in Zen. “Hold up Your Signboard and Walk. Nobody’s Signboard but your Own, the Signboard of Your Own Being…”

gmkuji2_lgIn the photo Sister Grace Mary stands beside a photo of Mother Mary Joseph, Founder of the Maryknoll Sisters, on the day she celebrated sixty years as a Maryknoll Sister.

Grace Mary Kuji, was born in Tsingtao, China, of Japanese parents. She completed her high school in Chinto Women’s High School, China, and received a B.A. in Social Science from Japan Women’s College in Tokyo in 1950. Through her contact with Maryknoll Sisters in Manchuria she became a Catholic years before entering the Maryknoll Sisters Congregation in l951.

Sister was assigned to Kyoto to do pastoral work in Maryknoll Fathers’ Parishes. Eight years later she and five other Maryknoll Sisters started the Maryknoll Girls High School in Yokkaichi which became well known for its quality of education in Japan. Sister Grace Mary was a dedicated teacher in the school for thirty years.

In Tokyo she became involved in prison work, visiting detainees from other countries as they had no family or people to defend them. She also worked in two Centers for the Homeless and did parish catechetical work. In the Kichijoji parish, Sister enjoyed teaching religion and the Bible, giving her the opportunity to share her faith with other people.

In 2001 Sister Grace Mary returned to Maryknoll Sisters Center in New York. She shares her talent of flower arrangement on special occasions, beautifyng the chapel with her colorful arrangements. With her generous spirit she also helps the elderly sisters.

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