Oct 19, 2009

Honjo's 50th anniversary

The Holy Family Parish in Yuri-Honjo city in Akita has celebrated its 50th anniversary of foundation on last Sunday. Yuri-Honjo city is a new city made up of 2 different cities, Yuri and Honjo. Since the Church is in the former Honjo city, we usually call the Church "Honjo Catholic Church". According to his article in the commemorative booklet prepared by the Parish, the Parish Priest, Fr.Kiyoaki Momota, SVD, wrote that 11 January, 1959 had been set as the date of the foundation since that was the day of the very first Mass in Honjo by a SVD missionary. In the same year, a kindergarten was also established in the Parish which celebrated the 50th anniversary together with the Church.

I was a main celebrant of the Thanksgiving Mass on Sunday. Fr.Ichise, the SVD provincial and Fr.Otaki, diocesan chancellor also joined the concelebration. During the Mass, 2 members of Honjo received a sacrament of confirmation. Though the Honjo community is a small one with only 10 to 20 Sunday Mass attendance, more than80 faithful, including several SSpS sisters from Akita gathered together to celebrate.

After the Mass, we moved to a nearby Hotel for a party. During the party, not only singing a popular song on their native Nagasaki with Fr.Provincial, the Parish priest mentioned quite important point on the future of the parish. He said though the Japanese population is aging and decreasing in the area, number of people coming from other countries are increasing in Akita area which includes number of Catholic faithfuls. So from now on, they have to think about the way to create a Catholic community with these members from other countries and that will be a real challenge for the future.

Photo above is a small performance planned by Mr.Morita from Niigata during the party. The second in the line is the Parish Priest.

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