Dec 27, 2009

International Christmas in Niigata

On the Christmas day at 2 pm in Niigata Cathedral, English Mass was celebrated especially for non Japanese speaking Catholics. Though majority of them were from Philippines, there were much more nationalities among those who joined the celebration. Also number of them came with their families. There are many cases of international marriage with Japanese in this area. The usual English Mass in Niigata Cathedral is scheduled for first Sunday of every month which has been attended by more than 50 people regularly. Unfortunately 25 December is a working day in Japan and the attendance for the Christmas Mass was not so much. However, those who managed to join the celebration got together at the Parish Hall after the Mass for a party.

The party which was attended by around 30 people, both Japanese members of the Parish and English Mass community members together with their families, was well organised by themselves. Singers prepared well and the Bamboo Dance was excellent. I think even those who are advanced in age, especially among the Japanese members, enjoyed several games, including playing musical chairs. I also joined and sung two Japanese songs and, more over, we all enjoyed powerful performance of the Parish Priest, Fr. Junichi Ebe, with his bamboo flute (SHAKU HACHI).

Thank you for those who prepared for the party. I really enjoyed the time with the group. As I said at the beginning of the party, you have been sent to Japan to be a witness of the Gospel. You do not have to go out and proclaim the good news, rather you should be a living testimony of the message of God among your families and communities where the traditional Japanese Church could not reach out. You are missionaries in this diocese. I count on you.

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