May 5, 2011

Baptism in Shinjo

On 1 May, all parishes in Niigata and Sapporo diocese celebrated thanksgiving Mass for beatification of late Pope John Paul II.  I celebrated the Mass with the Shinjo Catholic community in Yamagata district.  Majority of parishioners of Shinjo are mothers from Philippines, those who had been invited by local governments to be wedded to local farmers.  There are only 2 Japanese as their original members and rest of them, probably more than 100 are from Philippines.  Of course, these mothers bring their kids for baptism, therefore the Shinjo community is one of the youngest in average age in Niigata diocese.

On the day of beatification of JPII, Shinjo Catholic Community welcomed 2 additional members as a father and his son were baptised during the Mass.  Mother of the child and, of course, the father's wife is also from Philippines.  Congratulations!  Now the community got one and only grown-up Japanese male member.

To join the celebration of baptism, Fr. Honma came with a group of parishioners of Yamagata.  After the Mass, all of them joined a party in which we enjoyed wonderful Filipino foods and professional singing by one of them.

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