Mar 6, 2010

Easter poster from the CBCJ

The communication department of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Japan has been providing a poster for Christmas, Easter and for other special occasions so that parish communities and other Catholic institutions could inform and invite general public to visit Catholic Church for the occasion. As for this year's Easter, the department decided not to distribute printed posters but to upload the data file of these posters on their web site. You may choose from 9 different posters and insert your own names of the parish and other messages in it though you are not allowed to save the file with your own original insertion. Try to print your own poster for this year's Easter. Click here for the web site of the CBCJ.

A few days ago, I got a phone call from Ghana, my beloved country. (By the way, the Crown Prince of Japan is visiting Ghana at this moment. He will visit Kenya after Ghana.) Through the conversation, I got both good news and bad news.

The bad news. Fr.Justinus Toda, SVD died on 20 February in Ghana while he was leading a station of the Cross with youth attending a retreat. They organised the station of the Cross out side, on a nearby mountain. When they finished the 11th station, Father Toda did not get up and that was the end of him. Father was only 54 years old. Father Toda was one of the first group of Indonesian confreres assigned to Ghana province. He arrived in Ghana when my term in Ghana was approaching to the end. He was sent to our district to learn the local language and, there, I met him. He was a wonderful and cheerful missionary priest. After so many years, in the end of January this year, I could communicate with him through phone. One evening I got a phone call from a seminarian who was visiting Asutsuare parish in southern Ghana. He told me that the parish priest is Fr. Toda. As soon as we completed our phone conversation, I got yet another call from Ghana. This time it was from Fr.Toda. He found out that the seminarian was speaking with me and he wanted to just greet me. No change of his character. He was cheerful as ever not knowing only a few days later heavenly Father would call him home. R.I.P.

Then the good news. This seminarian, the one who gave me a phone call from Asustuare, will be ordained a priest on 8 August this year as a Divine Word Missionary appointed to Japan. He was a member of the alter boys of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Osonson more than 20 years ago when I was a parish priest of them. I hope to be there in Ghana to ordain Frt. Martin Akwetey Dumas, SVD. Kindly pray for this young missionary to Japan.

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