Aug 14, 2013

Mass with Catholic community in Miyako @ Iwate pref.

On Sunday, 11 August, I made a visit to Miyako city in Iwate prefecture which had been heavily damaged by 2011 March 11 Tsunami. Fortunately, the parish buildings including the Catholic KG were not hit by Tsunami though number of members of the parish community lost quite a lot of their properties. 

I celebrated Sunday Mass with the congregation of Miyako Catholic Church where I had been baptised in 1958 and attended the KG. Volunteers from Sapporo diocese also joined the Mass.  The presence of these young volunteers from Hokkaido has been giving lively spirit to members of the parish.  Majority of the members are now quite aged.

Sapporo diocese has been operating a volunteer base in Miyako city (photo above) from very first month after the disaster and has been sending number of volunteers.  Cooperating with the local government's social welfare council, volunteers of the Catholic Church who has been operating under the title of Caritas Japan have contributed a lot to relief activities.  At present, volunteers are making regular visit to temporary housings for victims to listen to the stories of people over a cup of tea. 

After the Mass, one of my old friends took me to the town of Taro where tsunami had just destroyed everything including 10m high seawall. The local government is planning to relocate the entire township to higher land. But the process of relocation is moving very slow and people are still in anxiety with uncertain future.  Some residents already decided to leave the town and relocate themselves in other town.  Tsunami is a natural disaster but this delay of relocation plan is yet another man made disaster to destroy local communities in the area. This area in the photo used to be the center of the town with houses and shops. Behind my camera is the sea.

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