Jun 16, 2012

National Sendai Support Meeting by CBCJ

Japanese Bishops Conference (CBCJ) has organised a meeting of representatives from all 16 dioceses and from male and female religious congregations in Japan to share information and ideas on the rehabilitation effort of Sendai Diocese after the March 11 disaster.  This meeting in Sendai on 13 June at Sendai Cathedral was the second meeting of this kind to be organized by the Bishops' Conference Sendai Support Desk which I am in charge of.  

More than 60 people joined the 3 day event in the diocese.   First 2 days were dedicated for on-site tours by participants. Participants were divided into several groups to visit volunteer bases in the diocese.   There are 3 volunteer bases run by Sendai diocese, Kamaishi, Yonekawa and Ishinomaki.  Also 3 ecclesiastical provinces, Tokyo, Osaka and Nagasaki also run their own volunteer bases within Sendai diocese in Fukushima, Ohunato and Otsuchi respectively and Sapporo diocese has one in Miyako.

After the 2-day tour of the disaster affected area which gave the participants deep insight of what had been going on the area and with local people, then they gathered in Sendai Cathedral in the morning of third day to listen to the sharing of those who have been working in several volunteer bases ans also number of local Catholic leaders who have been organising their own local NGOs to know the realities and needs of people. After lunch, Mass was celebrated with many more people joined from the diocese. The cathedral was packed. Bishop Hiraga of Sendai presided over the Mass with 3 other bishops, Bishop Suwa, Bishop Hamaguchi and myself.  I gave a homily.

Jun 14, 2012

Pastoral Council held in Sapporo Diocese

I have been in my second diocese, Sapporo, to attend its Pastoral Council in a hotel in Sapporo city from 1st to 3rd June.  (Photo: left is Fr.Uesugi, my VG and right is Fr. Katsuya, the president of the former priest council)

As you all know it quite well but I have been an apostolic administrator of Sapporo since November 2009 in addition to my own diocese, Niigata.  We are waiting for an new appointment of a bishop for the diocese more than 6 years since the previous bishop, still strong at 81, turned 75.

Though, strictly speaking, the pastoral council does not exist while the diocesan see is vacant, I thought it wise to organize such a gathering of representatives from priests, religious and laity among in this huge diocese to have discussion or our present situation to provide enough information for new bishop to make any decisions for the future of the diocese once he is appointed.  Also as the diocesan vision had never been discussed after it was decided in 1997, I thought it wise to ask the council to reflect on the validity of the vision..

34 people attended the 3-day meeting which was concluded with Sunday Mass.