Aug 7, 2011

Hiroshima and Nagasaki; The 10 days for Peace

Inspired by the peace message delivered by Blessed John Paul II in Hiroshima in 1981, Catholic Church in Japan has designated 10 days between Hiroshima memorial day which is 6 August to the memorial day of the end of WWII which is 15 August as special period of prayer for peace.  This period also includes the memorial day of Nagasaki which is 9 August.  The day when an atomic bomb blasted over 350 thousand people in Hiroshima on 6 August, 1945, it was a very hot and shiny day.  More than 140 thousand people lost their lives by single bomb blast.  Every year on 6 August, public memorial service has been held in the peace memorial in front of the remaining building which is now called the atomic bomb dome (photo).  Catholic diocese of Hiroshima also organises its own peace memorial service during this period.  Nagasaki archdiocese is also preparing their own peace memorial service on and around 9 August.

The president of Catholic Bishops Conference of Japan, Archbishop Jun Ikenaga, SJ, Archbishop of Osaka, has issued his message for this year's 10 days for Peace.  You may read his message in English.  Click and follow the link.

In Niigata diocese, the Justice and Peace commission headed by Fr. Tsutomu Sato has already organised a study session on human rights on 31 July in Niigata Cathedral for this year's Peace Memorial activity in Niigata.  I will also preside over the Mass on 15 August in the Cathedral and will pray for the World Peace.  Mass will begin at 10 am on 15 August in Niigata Cathedral and followed by BBQ party.  You are welcome to join us.

Today, 7 August, I have been  to Takada parish for confirmation.  14 people received the sacrament.  Among them 11 were young boys and girls in junior high schools.  The parish priest, Fr. Mario Canducci, OFM, has been on sick leave for sometime and been staying in Tokyo OFM house in Seta.  However, he was given permission by his doctor to return to his parish for a month before he leaves for his home leave and, therefore, celebrated the confirmation Mass with us today. (Photo: Fr. Mario is my right side)  It was good to see his smiling face.  Because of his absence, parish council president asked the congregation to take responsibility to guide those 14 members preparing for the sacrament.  Then one lady volunteered to teach catechism to them.  Wonderful collaboration by the congregation.

I am leaving for Bangkok this evening for 2 days for a meeting of Caritas Asia.  I will return on Wednesday.

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