Sr. Barbara Anne Hogan, fmm, 81 of Our Lady of Hope Community, Brighton, MA, died on July 30, 2015 at Maristhill Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Waltham, MA. Born in Woburn, MA on October 5, 1934, Sr. Barbara, was the daughter of the late Michael J. Hogan and Anne G. (O’Leary) Hogan.
She entered the pre-novitiate of the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary on September 15, 1952 and made her first and final vows, March 19, 1955 and 1958. In 1959, Barbara received a diploma in nursing in Brighton, MA and while a student nurse, she cared for mentally challenged children at Kennedy Memorial Hospital (later this became Franciscan Hospital for Children).
Sr. Barbara was missioned to Japan in June of 1962 and was assigned to a large Franciscan Missionary of Mary Hospital in Japan called Seibo (Blessed Mother) while she was studying Japanese. She was a clinic nurse there and while during her time in Japan, she made some family visits back to the USA and several renewal courses in France, India and Rome, her presence at Seibo Hospital was very consistent and she was actually in Japan approximately 52 years.
Some years before returning to the United States for good, Sr. Barbara was assigned to work at the reception desk at Seibo Hospital where she was an interpreter for foreign patients.
In 2011, Barbara was given an award from the Foundation for Encouragement of Social Contributions In Tokyo for her professional nursing at the hospital but also for volunteering in service to refugees and migrants, as an interpreter-clerk, helping to pay medical bills for indigent patients and even when necessary, making funeral arrangements for patients who passed away.
Barbara was a good friend of Catherine Schultz, fmm, who was also missioned to Japan. Barbara and Catherine studied together in Kobe for the nurse’s exam which nurses needed in order to practice nursing in Japan. The exam was given in kanji (Japanese language characters) and was very difficult for foreigners, even for those who understood and spoke Japanese. They approached it together with hard work and prayer and both passed. Some years later, they were united again when Catherine was in a hospital in Totsuka suffering the effects of a bad accident. Barbara’s comforting presence was with Catherine when she died.
Within the context of her nursing experiences and her whole life, Barbara could be described as gentle, humble, unassuming and kind. She was also someone who smiled and laughed easily, always able to appreciate a humorous situation or funny story. She was a skilled nurse who worked over 50 years mostly in Seibo Hospital where she was revered by foreign priests and missionary sisters as well as lay people who came there with medical needs or serious illnesses and, who appreciated her prayerful and encouraging bedside manner. Barbara must be present in the hearts and memories of many native Japanese and international people who experienced her gentle, Christ-like love, as well as everyone else who ever met or knew her.
She is survived by her sister Grace Hogan who is in a nursing home in Massachusetts and a brother, Richard Hogan from Woburn, MA, and several nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews. Her brother, Daniel is deceased.
She will be greatly missed by her family and devoted classmates from St. Charles High School in Woburn who have remained in close contact with her over the years.
Her funeral will be held on Tuesday, August 3, 2015 at 11:00 am in Holy Family Chapel, 399 Fruit Hill Avenue, North Providence. Burial will follow in Holy Family Cemetery. Visiting hours will be from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday, Aug 2, 2015 , with a Wake Service at 7 p.m. (www.boyleandsonfuneralhome.com)