Confession to a Jesuit priest
by Rev. Fr. Roman C. Sagun, Jr.

Rappeport was born in Yokohama on 20 July 1869. She was 35 when she sailed from Saigon for Dumaguete. Here’s more from the shipboard diary:

The chapel (in the home of the Sisters of the Assumption) was very pretty. We received Holy Communion after confessing to a Jesuit priest who understood French, but who seemed too bashful to speak it.

Sister Josephine, modestly recollected, did not notice that another Sister was about to confess on the other side. She devoutly made her confession and waited for the usual exhortation, instead of which she heard, “I am at the other side.” Thinking that the priest was telling her to go to the other side, she made a movement to do so; but she called her back, repeating, “I am at the other side. You do not understand!” At last, she understood and prepared to repeat her confession.

At around 9:00 the next morning, we were surprised to see the Archbishop arrive. He wanted to bless us once more. He told us that he found us very courageous, for we were going to an unknown country without knowing either its language or its customs. He added, “You will find in me a father and a protector whenever you find yourself in trouble.” His Excellency also told Sister Superior that we were under his authority and that he recommended her, until we were settled, to relax the Rule for us and to hold more to its spirit than to its letter, in order to alleviate our first difficulties. I tell you, my good Mother, the Lord Bishop showed himself to us a father full of kindness and tack.

After his departure, the good Sisters showed us their school. The children are very nice. In general, they have a modest and sober bearing which pleases at first sight. Everything is well organized, richly furnished. Nothing is lacking, except misery. Moreover, Manila is a rich city and does not lack resources.

Time passed and the Archbishop’s secretary came to look for us to escort us to the ship. Two cars were waiting for us and we took leave of our hosts after expressing to them our heartfelt gratitude for the warm welcome that they had given us.

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