Mar 13, 2015

Some of the Lenten activities

On 22 February in Niigata Cathedral, the rite of election for the Catechumen was celebrated for the first  Sunday of Lent and I presided over the Mass.  Five Catechumen were received as the elect during the rite to be recognised officially as candidate of baptism during coming Easter celebration. Three Catechumen are from Niigata and one each from Aoyama and Niitsu in Niigata city.

In fact, it was the first time in our Cathedral to celebrate the rite with Catechumen from other parishes together. It will be beautiful and meaningful if we could manage to call all catechumen in the diocese to gather together for the rite of election on the first Sunday of Lent and pronounce by their Bishop as official candidates for the baptism, geographical distance and bad weather usually hampers people to join. For example, those from Akita have to take 3 and half hours ride of train to Niigata with only 3 services a day. So we started from those parishes near the Cathedral this year.

Yes, only five catechumen for the rite were small number but physical presence of these Catechumen from other parishes remind the Cathedral community and Catechumen themselves that we all are part of one large community, the diocese, which, in turn, a part of universal Church which is one body of Christ. I hope to continue this practice and develop it further.

On 21 February, Saturday, I was in Osaka to preach one day recollection organised by Caritas Japan. It was held as a part of the world wide anti-hunger campaign of Caritas Internationalis. Caritas Japan started to organise Lenten recollection in different part of Japan since last year.

I spoke about the reality of poverty and hunger and what we can do to eradicate hunger by 2025. As Holy Father once mentioned in his message to the campaign, there are enough food to feed all people on the erath. However, we are wasting one third of total produce for quite selfish reasons.

Thank God, more than 120 people attended the Osaka recollection held at the Sacra Familia in Umeda.