Nov 15, 2013

The 19th Korea Japan Catholic Bishops' exchange meeting @ Kanazawa

The 19th gathering of both Korea and Japan Catholic Bishops were held in Kanazawa in Nagoya Diocese from 11 to 14 November and attended by 19 Korean Bishops and 17 Japanese Bishops. 17 Bishops from Japan means entire Bishops Conference of Japan attended the meeting.

Bishops had 2 study sessions on the "PACEM IN TERRIS" of John XXIII which celebrates 50th anniversary of its publication this year. Each Bishops Conferences provided one lecturer respectively on the issue. It was quite interesting to learn about the background history of the encyclical and also realise contemporary meaning of the teachings of the Pope.

Also during the gathering, we visited historical sites related to Takayama Ukon whose cause for beatification Japanese Bishops are working on. Takayama Ukon was one of Catholic feudal lord born in 1552. Because of his faith he had to give up everything he had including his status and his territory. From 1588 till 1614, he was given a refuge by Maeda family in Kanazawa and stayed there till the Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu ordered him to leave Japan to Manila.  He died in Manila on 3 February, 1615. Catholic Church in Japan through consultation with Holy See has been working for his cause for beatification as a martyr since he lost everything of his life because of his faith in Jesus Christ and died in exile.

On 13 evening, we had a Mass with parish community of Kanazawa joined by the Apostolic Nuncio. The last day, half a day, was dedicated to group sharing. It is not so easy to have such sharing because of language difference but we manage to do so thanks to number of interpreters.

The 20th memorial gathering will be held in Korea next November.

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