Catholic Diocese of Niigata is celebrating its centenary this year. It was established as the Apostolic Prefecture in 1912 and pastoral care was entrusted to the Divine Word Missionaries (SVD). Then it was made diocese in 1962 with the appointment of first bishop, Bishop Shojiro Ito. The centenary celebration in Niigata will take place on Sunday, 7 October. Thanksgiving Mass will be con-celebrated with 5 Bishops and more than 40 priests, including Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop of Tokyo, Bishops of Yokohama and Sendai. On 8 October, the Diocesan Assembly will be held in the Cathedral with more than 400 laity, religious and priests representing entire Niigata diocese. For this august occasion, the diocese has come up with the "Centenary Mission Statement" which, I so wish, will be signed by each and every member of the diocese and will be presented to the alter during this assembly. The Mission Statement is based on the three priorities in evangelization of the diocese.
We have prepared A4 sized document which will be submitted during the assembly with the signature and individual resolutions. Also we will distribute a card with the Mission Statement which should be kept at home. Now following is the Mission Statement of the Niigata Diocese.
CATHOLIC DIOCESE OF NIIGATA
CENTENARY MISSION STATEMENT
We, the Catholic Diocese of Niigata, comprising the civil prefectures of Niigata, Yamagata and Akita this year mark the centenary of our foundation as a diocese. We have always striven, as disciples of Lord Jesus, to live according to the Gospel, and to be witnesses of the Gospel while seeking to grow as Church communities.
Though we are a small community in this area, we have tried to discern and live out our following the way of disciples of Jesus as one firmly rooted in the local community.
Building on 100 years of history, we are determined to proclaim and witness to the value of Gospel in contemporary society.
As we make our first steps towards the next 100 years, we proclaim the following points as our priorities.
1: To build "our Church", one which is filled by joy and compassion through overcoming differences created by age, nationality and cultural diversity.
2: Realizing the responsibilities of the Catholic Church in society through exchanges of information within the diocese, districts and parishes.
3: To continue to nurture and deepen our faith, so that we may be witnesses of the Gospel both through our words and deeds in the midst of contemporary society
We hereby pledge, encouraged by the witness of Blessed Louis Uemon Amakasu and the 53 Blessed Martyrs of Yonezawa, our forefathers in faith, that we will face the realities of contemporary society with courage and through our actions will strive always to witness to the love of Christ.
8 October, 2012