Jun 18, 2011

3 New bishops for Japan

As I have already posted, Holy Father on 25 March appointed 2 new bishops for Japan.  Bishop John Eijiro Suwa for Takamatsu diocese and Fr.Paul Sueo Hamaguchi for Oita diocese.  Bishop Suwa will be ordained in Takamatsu tomorrow, 19 June at 2 pm and Bishop Hamaguchi will be ordained in Beppu near Oita on 26 June at 2 pm.

Then during the general assembly of Catholic Bishops Conference of Japan (CBCJ) this week on 13 June, Holy Father appointed yet another new bishop for Japan.  Bishop Thomas Man-yo Maeda has been appointed as a bishop of Hiroshima and, at the same time, Holy Father accepted the resignation of Bishop Misue as he had reached the age limit of 75 this year.  Bishop-elect Maeda is originally from Nagasaki and has been serving as the secretary general of Bishops' conference for 6 years.  Photo above was taken during the general assembly of CBCJ.  All the bishops were invited for dinner with nuncio in his residence in Tokyo.  From left; Bishop Maeda, Bishop Suwa, Bishop Hamaguchi and the Nuncio, Archbishop Bottari de Castello.  The Nuncio himself is on transfer to Hungary.  He served as the nuncio to Japan for 6 years.

The general assembly of CBCJ was held in Tokyo from 13 to 17 June.  We, the bishops, spent quite a long time to discuss about our response to the disaster which struck dioceses of Sendai and Saitama on 11 March.  We made several agreements among ourselves to respond to the urgent requests from Bishop Hiraga of Sendai.  We agreed to send 6 priests to Sendai diocese to assist its pastoral activities.  Nagasaki ecclesiastical province will send a priest to Kuji in Iwate while the Major Superior Conference may try to take care of Ominato in Aomori prefecture.  Then Osaka province will send 2 to Ofunato and Tsukidate, and Tokyo province may send 2 to the Sendai city pastoral team.  We also agreed that the Nagasaki province may try to support people in northern coastal part of Iwate, Osaka province may support  southern coastal part of Iwate and northern coastal part of Miyagi, and Tokyo province to southern Miyagi and Fukushima.  These support will not be only for Catholics but will cover general public in the area in cooperation with local Catholic communities.  Also it aims to establish long term relationship between the are and each ecclesiastical province.

Bishops also decided to issue a short statement to express our desire to collectively support victims of the disaster and also show our solidarity.  Japanese version of the message has been already published in the HP of the CBCJ and it may be translated into several languages within few days.

We also agreed to the final version of new translation of Hail Mary in modern Japanese.  The final text has been also published in the HP of the CBCJ.

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