Jun 14, 2009

Confirmation in Takada

Christ the King Parish in Takada is celebrating its 100th anniversary of the foundation this year. In 1909, a German SVD missionary visited Takada first time to start the evangelization. It was just 2 years after their arrival in Japan from Steyl, Holland. Then first baptism of 3 people were recorded in the register on 19 March, 1911. Over the difficult time of wars, the parish was run by SVD and handed over to Franciscans from Bologna in 1956. Present pastor is Fr.Tarcisio Canducci, OFM who is popularly known as Father Mario. It seems that Fr.Mario has special talent for management as well as talent to attract people to assist him. Because of that, he is now running a home for elderly, KG, a shelter for women and many other activities. Also because of his initiative and assistance from many others, the parish is well known in the area for supporting migrant workers who are facing difficulties and in need of help and also for supproting migrants who have married with Japanese or having a family in Japan.

So today on the solemnity of Corpus Christi, 12 people received a sacrament of confirmation in Takada including 5 junior high students. It is quite unusual to have more than 10 for confirmation at a time in this diocese. But in addition to this surprise, Takada parish organises confirmation of more than 10 people every year. How they manage to maintain the number, I do not know. For one thing, increased number of migrants in the area have contributed to maintain high number of turnout for the confirmation. In fact, several of youth confirmed today were kids of migrants. Fr.Mario was wondering today that the present economic crisis may affect the local community to promote exodus of migrant workers back to their origin and, in consequence, the parish community may loose some of its important members.

Though facing difficulties to establish an integrated community of locals and migrants in the parish and, as I heard several opinions about community formation last night during a gathering with some parish members, a kind of feeling existing among migrant community that they had been treated as guests and not as members, I still have to congratulate Takada Parish community for their tireless effort to overcome these difficulties and trying to find the best way to form better community. (Photo above. Fr.Mario with his altar boys in the sacristy this morning)

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