First American Nun Installed as Resident Minister of U.S. Nichiren Temple

by Sandra Seki/Myokei Caine-Barrett, Source: Nichiren Shu News, The Buddhist Channel, Sept 14, 2007

Cullen Oaks, Texas (USA) -- Rev. Myokei Caine-Barrett, the first Amerian (Afro-Amerian) nun of the Nichiren-shu Order, was installed as the first resident minister of the Myokenji Temple of the Nichiren Buddhist Sangha of Texas in a ceremony held in the Cullen Oaks Community Center on July 8.

Bishop Shokai Kanai of the Nichiren Order of North America witnessed the transfer of responsibility from Rev. Ryuoh Faulconer - acting minister of the Myokenji Temple and Rev. Myokei’s master - and he officiated the service, assisted by Shami Ryusho Jeffus.

The service was attended by nearly 60 family members and friends of Nun Myokei who had supported her throughout her journey to become a Nichiren-shu priest.

After the installation ceremony, Rev. Myokei performed her first conversion ceremony as Phil Hardy from Tucson, AZ, became a new member of the Myokenji Temple.

Back on February 9, 2003, Rev. Myokei Caine-Barrett started her journey to become a priest as she entered the priesthood under the guidance of Rev. Ryuoh Faulconer in Portland, Oregon.

Two months later, she traveled to Japan with Rev. Faulconer and two other shami to participate in the docho ceremony on April 4. She spent the next few years training at the Nichiren Buddhist International Center as well as in Portland, at the Hotoji Temple, where Rev. Faulconer was the resident minister.

The year 2006 was a busy one as Rev. Myokei attended the Sodorin at the Seichoji Temple in June, took the written test in September at Minobusan, and attended her final shami conference.

In March 2007, she took the oral examination in Tokyo and became eligible for the Shingyo Dojo. With the support of her daughter and her husband, Rev. Myokei left for the Shingyo Dojo in May, 2007. She was joined by them and her mother on
the final day of the Shingyo Dojo.

The remaining sangha members planned and prepared for the ceremony back home.