May 17, 2009

One thousand gathered in Yonezawa

So we had the Thanksgiving Mass for the beatification of Luis Amakasu Uemon and 52 of his companions on Saturday, 16th May in Hokusanbara, Yonezawa. For our great surprise, more than 1000 people made a great effort to travel all the way to Yonezawa to attend the Mass. I presided over the Mass together with Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Alberto Bottari de Castello, Bishop Tani of Saitama and Bishop Hiraga of Sendai. Also more than 40 priests from all over Japan joined the Mass including Fr.Marcelo, the parish priest of Khabarovsk, Russia, our neighbour. Weather was fine, no rain nor not too much Sun shine.

Mayor of the city of Yonezawa, his excellency Mr.Sanjyuro Abe also honoured our invitation and attended both Mass and party. Also in attendance were several delegates from local Christian Churches and Buddhist monks . Thanks for all these made effort to join the celebration.

Nuncio celebrated Sunday Mass, today, in Yamagata as his official visit to Yamagata district of Niigata diocese. With this visit, he completed his official visit to entire 4 districts of Niigata diocese. Nuncio was so happy to be welcomed by the parishioners of Yamagata this morning that he sang several Italian songs which was really appreciated by many. Thanks for your visit, Archbishop. ( The photo above is the Parish Newsletter of Yamagata published this morning writing about the Mass yesterday in Yonezawa.)


  1. It is Time to Move on
    Dear Bishop Isao,
    Thank you very much for officiating the Thanks giving Mass at Hokusanbara, Yonezawa last Saturday.
    Our thanks also extended to all who had organized all things very well, especially the parishioners of Yonezawa and Yamagata District. It was really a solemn celebration. I my self was really impressed with the altar boy and girls, that they were able to join and took part on that big event of the Church.

    Our small group from Yokote (we were 7 alltogether)were talked about the martyrdom of Luis Amakasu Uemon and 52 of his companions on our way to and from Yonezawa. We also had free chat about the prensent situation of our parish Yokote, and Niigata Diocese. We found out that the number of Chatolics `seems to be going down`is a fact of matter. But,it does not mean that we lose our courage to move on. If in the past the blood of the martyrs were the sign of strong faith to God, in our time a strong good will to make contribution to the society we live in, and at the same time a strong commitment to bring Good News without fear is a token of good faith. May the spirit of our Martyrs of Japan inspire us all to move on in this modern society of Japan. May God bless you and all your flock in Niigata Diocese as well.
    Martin of Yokote

  2. Dear Bishop Kikuchi,
    Congratulations for the meaningful celebration of the Yonezawa event.We were all moved by this experience.I love the song Yonezawa no Junkyousha Uta so much. Once I learned the tune of the song, I kept humming it in my ears and in my heart. I made the English version of the song. I will show it to you when I see on Sunday, June 7 for the Shinto Taikai of Nagaoka District, Niigata. God bless.

    Sr. Malou Razon
    Nagaoka District