Jun 18, 2009

The vision of the mission in Japan

So we are on the Bishops assembly in Tokyo. Most of the agenda points were covered by Wednesday evening except several detailed discussion which was left for Thursday morning. Papal Nuncio invited bishops to his residence for dinner and private or intimate exchange of ideas last night. A chapel in the nunciature in Tokyo has been renovated recently and it was my first time to witness the beauty of it. Since several bishops could not attend the blessing of the chapel, Nuncio, Archbishop Alberto Bottari de Castello took time to explain the new design of the chapel by Italian Mr.Cecco Bonanotte. (Photo above. Nuncio explaining the design of the chapel.)

Then this afternoon, Thursday at 3 pm, in order to commemorate the opening of the year of priest, we celebrated an opening mass in St.Ignatius Church. St.Ignatius Church which is annexed to the Sophia University run by Jesuit is quite famous for its size of the community and its international atmosphere. It is the biggest parish in Tokyo. Though today was a week day, quite a number of people took time to travel to the church, even from Niigata, to attend the Mass and pray for us, priests. Mass was presided over by Archbishop Okada of Tokyo together with all the Bishops in Japan, Nuncio, priest delegates from all the diocese in Japan and number of priests working in Tokyo area. After the homily by Fr.Harada from Hiroshima diocese, all the priests present in the Mass renewed our promise which we had made during our ordination. I hope that this year will provide us time and occasion to reflect on our own vocation and identity as priests.

At 5 pm, we started a discussion on the future vision of the mission activities of Catholic church in Japan. For this, we invited a priest from each dioceses in addition to the each bishops. To make the best of this gathering, we asked 2 Jesuit Fathers to be our moderator or coordinator. I am chairing the discussion under the guidance of these 2, Fr.Sumita, the provincial of Jesuit and Fr.Mitsunobu, a professor of theology of the Sophia University. We will see what will be the results of the discussion which supposed to be based on the results, experience and efforts made after the NICE 20 years ago. (NICE is the nationwide congress to discuss about the mission initiatives of Catholic Church in Japan.)

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