Within a few hours, month of October will be over and November is starting with, it seems according to the weather forecast, drastic weather change from fall to winter in Japan. Just to catch up the glimpse of fall, I have been to SADO island on Thursday and Friday. Weather was fine and sea was very calm. I had a choice of 2 and half hours Ferry boat trip or just an hour Jetfoil (very high speed ship with turbine jet engine) trip. In the Ferry boat, I would be able to move around and enjoy sea breeze but in the Jetfoil, I have to buckled down to a seat just like an airplane. To maximise my time in SADO island, I took Jetfoil this time on both ways.
The Church building of SADO which has been chosen by the local government as one of the best 100 local treasures in SADO was built in 1887 by a Paris missionary (MEP). The present parish priest is Fr.Kawasaki who has been my Vicar General and the director of the Kindergarten adjacent to the parish. Sado has been enjoying a lot of attention because of existence of TOKI, Japanese crested ibis. The bird is the original species in Japan and, unfortunately, the last wild one died a few years ago in Sado. It is almost the extinct species. However the Japanese government managed to borrow several of them from China and now trying to breed them artificially in order to bring them back to the nature. As at present, they have released several TOKIs in Sado and many of them are surviving. I could not see any of them in wild but visited the center where TOKIs are artificially bred and trained to return to the nature.
SADO has been known as an island of gold mine for many years and also as an island of exile in Japanese history. According to the history, many Christians are sent to the island during the persecution times and died here. There is a place called HYAKUNIN ZUKA (A hundred people's tomb) in middle of the island in top of a mountain where, according to the tradition, the executed Christians were buried. Very important place for us.
By the way, two meetings were held in Niigata today, Saturday. In the morning, a meeting of the Khabarovsk group met together to discuss about next year's planned youth gathering in Khabarovsk. The group will come with a concrete plan for the gathering very soon to inform our youth to join the event. I also hope to organise another visit of Khabarovsk at least once in next year other than the youth activity. The group is hoping to organise the gathering from 23 to 30 August next year.
In the afternoon, a meeting of the committee which organised the 10th National Assembly of the "KA-SHO-REN", Catholic Association of Disabled Persons of Japan held in Niigata in August was held. The representative from the central office of the association also joined today's meeting to discuss about the possibility to establish the local association of disabled Catholics in Niigata. We could not come to the conclusion today but I hope that some kind of the structure would be realised in near future in the diocese.