May 24, 2009

Been to Wakayama

Summer has already arrived in Wakayama, it seems. I've just been to Wakayama over the weekend to give a talk on the activities of Caritas Japan. At 2 pm on quite a hot Saturday, more than 40 people made effort to attended the study session in Yagatamachi Parish in Wakayama city. Since I 've been helping Caritas Japan for more than 14 years, beginning with 1995 experience as a coordinator in Rwanda refugee camp in Zaire, I have quite a lot of accumulation of ideas and information which I want to share with others on the Caritas activities. So it was a difficult task for me to put all these ideas together into 90 minutes talk. As it is said now a days that without PowerPoint, there would be no power nor point in the talk, so I did prepare the PowerPoint presentation for the talk. I hope it helped people to understand my talk a bit.

Then today, the Ascension Sunday in Japan, I celebrated Mass in Yamagatamachi Parish with Fr.Ohta, a member of the Blessed Charles de Foucauld's community, the Little brothers. They also asked me to bless the statue of Holy Mother which was brought from other station recently.

Fr.Ohta and other brothers of the community of the Little brothers are living in a typical Japanese style apartment which is quite old and without bath facility. They are hiring 3 rooms, one of them are converted into a quiet and beautiful chapel. After the lunch with them together with Mr.Tadokoro, the director of Caritas Japan, Fr.Ohta took us around to see their activities to help homeless people in the city. Caritas Japan is also assisting their programme. Fr.Ohta's group hire several rooms in different apartments to encourage these homeless people to have, at least, their place to survive and also, more important to receive government support, their own address. The photo above is empty aluminium cans which these people go around the city to collect to make money out of them. 1 kg of empty aluminium cans could be worth 50 yen. Depressing but this is one of the realities of present Japan.

Fortunately, the parishioners of Yagatamachi are very eager to help these activities.

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