Word of the Week:


Ash Wednesday
(Hai no suiyoubi)


Pope`s Intention for the Month

February 2017:  Welcome the Needy

Comfort for the AfflictedThat all those who are afflicted, especially the poor, refugees, and marginalized, may find welcome and comfort in our communities.



CTIC`s Office Schedule:

The Catholic Tokyo International Center (CTIC) will be open every 1st, 3rd, and 5th Sunday of the month from 11:00am to 4:00pm but will be closed on Mondays that follow.

2017 Sunday schedules:
January 29
February 5, 19
March 5, 19
April 2, 30
May 7, 21
June 4, 18
July 2, 16, 30
August 6, 20
September 3, 17
October 1, 15, 29
November 5, 19
December 3, 17

CTIC Planner 2017:


The 2017 CTIC Planner that has this year replaced the Kalakbay Planner is still available at CTIC.   It is a good companion to record short appointments and reference to daily Gospel reading.

This planner contains the following:

  • Prayers in english and romaji;
  • Mysteries of the Holy Rosary;
  • The Rite of Penance;
  • Daily reading guide;
  • Japan National Holidays;
  • Church feasts and holidays;
  • List of Catholic Churches in Tokyo-to, Chiba-ken, Saitama-ken, and Kanagawa-ken;
  • Spouse Violence Counseling Support Center contact number; and
  • Emergency call numbers

Talking About Japan


Where on earth is Japan located?

Imagine a world map with Japan in the center.  In any country, people make maps with their own country in the middle, and such is the case with the Japanese.

If you are in Europe. Japan is in the Far East, and you would get there by heading east starting from the southern tip of the Italian Peninsula.  You would go through Athens, continue to make your way east along the 36 degree north latitude of Iran and then after traversing the Asian Continent across China and crossing the Sea of Japan, you will reach the center of the Japanese islands.


Q & A Living in Japan

Change of Status of Residence

What kind of administrative procedure should I undertake if I need to change my status of residence?

If there is a change in circumstances on which your status of residence is based, you can apply to the Immigration Bureau for a change in status of residence.  For example, if you initially came to Japan as a university student and you go on to graduate from that institution, or your status of residence is based on the fact that you are a spouse of a Japanese national and you get a divorce, you must apply for a change to your status of residence.  If you do not obtain this change, you will not be able to stay in Japan.  Also, if your status of residence was initially based on your work, or your purpose was only for a short stay but you subsequently married a Japanese national, you can apply to change your status of residence to "spouse of a Japanese national".

In applying for a change in status of residence, you  must explain in detail the reason for the change of status, and submit supporting documents and other relevant material to substantiate your claim.  You should consult the Immigration Bureau to find out what documents to prepare, since the type of document you will need to submit will depend on the status of residence you  need to obtain.

Not all applications for change will be approved.  If you have formally married a Japanese national, and this marriage is not a marriage of convenience, the change of status of residence to "Spouse or Child of a Japanese National" should be readily acknowledged.  However, other applications for a change in status are reviewed on a case by case basis.

There are cases where, because of the change in your status of residence, you will not be able to engage in certain types of work which had been previously permitted.  For example, as the spouse or child of a Japanese national, you  may have been able to engage in any kind of work, whereas once your status of residence is changed, you will only be permitted to engage in  activities within your status.

"Living with the Japanese Law:  A Guide to Foreign Nationals in Japan (Q&A 101)"

Filipinos are Applying for Refugee Status in Japan

Reports about some Filipinos in Japan applying for refugee status are no longer rumors.  A priest who had met four Filipinos in one of the parishes where he celebrates mass regularly has proved this story true recently.  The four Filipinos had arrived in Japan, a month ago according to Fr. Edwin Corros, who had actually met the four young Filipinos.  Based on their personal account, while still in the Philippines, someone had convinced them to come to Japan in order to find jobs and could apply for a refugee status.  They flew to Japan with a visitor`s visa.

Aware of their situation, these Filipinos were informed about the difficulty to obtain such status if they have the intention to stay in Japan and to work.  It was explained to the four that it is practically impossible for them to become refugees in Japan considering that the Philippines is known to maintain a democratic system of governance.  Report of any political, social and religious persecution is practically non-existent in the country,...


First Gathering of Youth from the International Communities


It was last December 17, 2016 when the youth of the international communities gathered for the first time at the Diocesan Seminary in Nerima, Tokyo. The Catholic Tokyo International Center (CTIC) organized the event to strengthen the bond between the international groups through their youth.  The gathering was graced by the attendance of 3 Japanese, 5 Koreans, 7 Indonesians, 1 Filipino, and 7 Vietnamese.

The gathering started with the orientation and introduction of participants and then followed by the "Ultimate" sport...


First Gathering of Youth from the International Communities

(photos credit to レー・ファム・ギエフー)

Funds from Filipino mass at Akabane given to Tokyo Archdiocese

15941515_10154955959859083_6087542017577578779_nTaking advantage of their free time to attend the New Year`s Party organized by the Gathering of Filipino Groups and Communities (GFGC) last January 14, 2017, the Filipino parishioners of Our Lady of the Assumption Parish in Akabane had turned over the funds coming from the whole year of weekly mass collection at Akabane parish.  Led by its coordinator, Ms. Cecile Takahashi, they had turned over its funds to Fr. Kenji Takagi, the current director of the Catholic Tokyo International Center of the Archdiocese of Tokyo.  The accumulated amount of 831,414yen for the year 2016 was given to Fr. Kenji Takagi who represented the Archbishop of Tokyo.  After thanking the community of Akabane, he told all present that the fund turned over to him will be given to the archdiocese on Monday, January 16, 2017.


GFGC New Year`s Event Attracted Numerous Participants

To welcome the New Year and to bring the members together of the Filipino communities involved in their respective parishes for a light social event and fun-filled occasion, the Gathering of Filipino Groups and Communities or GFGC had held a New Year`s Party at St. Anselm`s Parish at Meguro last January 14, 2017.

Braving the very cold winter, the participants started to arrive for registration as early as ten in the morning.  Upon their registration, they were given a gift pack of shampoo and conditioner.  These gifts were solicited by the GFGC chairperson, Dr. Mel Kasuya and were given away as post Christmas gift in appreciation for their participation.  In her welcome address she has thanked everyone for their presence and equally acknowledged all of them for taking a huge sacrifice to travel from their place of residence.  Among those who came from afar were the parishioners from...


GFGC New Year`s Party 2017

(photos credit to Marlyn Endoh and Juliet de Vera)

PhilMiss Christmas Event at Ashikaga Parish

Fr. Nelson Cabasisi, the parish priest of Ashikaga church, with lay missionary Neddie Codog and some parishioners in Saitama had hosted the PhilMiss Christmas party held last December 12, 2016.  Considering that the venue was a bit far from the places where they usually gather for meetings or hold their annual event, many of the members who had been busy in their areas of work during December were not able to attend.  Only twelve missionaries were able to make it to the Christmas event.  Yes, they were sorely missed but that did not stop the rest of the missionaries in Kanto area to enjoy the Christmas season.  At the mass, they were especially remembered.


PhilMiss Christmas Event at Ashikaga Parish


Christmas Party in Different Parishes

Children at Xmas Party Fr. Nickolas Xmas Party at AkabaneDecember, being the known as the month attributed to the birth of Jesus Christ was especially characterized by a lot Christmas parties in the parishes.  For the foreigners in every local parish, the Christmas party was the best way to gather together and celebrate the birth of the savior, Jesus Christ.  At Meguro, the African and the Filipino communities after the English mass last December 25 had gathered together at its parish hall for a great sharing of food and pleasantries.  No less than the ambassador of Cameroon was present among the African communities while the parish priest of St. Anselm`s, Fr. Marco Martinez was busy tasting the varied African and Filipino dishes available in their long buffet table.

At Nish-Chiba last December 18, the Filipino leaders had also prepared a big bash for the foreign community after celebrating English mass.  Unfortunately however only the Filipinos came to attend besides the few Japanese parishioners who opted to participate.  Many children came to join the party.

After their Tagalog masses at Kiyose parish, the Filipino community celebrated its own grand Christmas Party were food flooded the table even before they gathered for the Eucharist.  The parish leaders prepared lots of food and gifts for everyone to enjoy.  Fr. Francis Ito, the parish priest had graced the occasion, beside Fr. Edwin d. Corros who celebrated the monthly Tagalog mass.

On December 23, which was Friday, the Filipino community at Akabane had its own Christmas Party held at the parish hall of Our Lady of the Assumption Parish.  The participants had feasted well on the Filipino food that was overflowing and practically went home with a gift from the organizers.  They won prizes from the various fun games raffles and Bingo.  The children received a lot of goodies form Santa Claus, but the other exciting part was the cultural presentation provided by the different ministries and guests.  The participants were extremely amused by the surprise number presented by the parish priest of Akabane. Fr. Nickolas Swiatek who delivered a song and a dance number.  After the party they all proceeded to the Church to celebrate the last novena mass of Simbang Gabi.

Feast of Santo Niño in Tokyo

Goi Santo Nino1 Santo Nino at Yosuya

Overseas, wherever the Filipinos are residing or had migrated to the statue of Santo Niño will be equally present.  So huge is the celebration of his feast either in Cebu, Kalibo or Tondo that the feast of Santo Niño has now become also familiar event among Filipino overseas.  For many of the devotees, his feast is an occasion to come together, first to pray and then to share food together, after all it is a feast to enjoy.

Just like in big cities in the world where the Filipino communities stage a huge commemoration for the feast of Santo Niño, some parishes also celebrate his feast in the archdiocese of Tokyo. Districtly celebrated in certain parish was the one in Goi, where a group of Filipino ladies had held a nine-day novena until they concluded it with a Mass where the Sinulog dance was held inside the parish church.  The Eucharistic celebration was presided by Fr. Nonoy Plaza.

At Yotsuya parish, Fr. Nelson Barbarona had celebrated the mass at 3pm, while in Akabane and Kiyose, Fr. Edwin Corros had celebrated the mass in honor of the infant Jesus.

Simbang Gabi in Tokyo


The Filipino tradition of going to church for nine days from December 16 to 24 or better known as Misa de Gallo or Simbang Gabi had attracted large number of devotees in three different churches in the Archdiocese of Tokyo.  The Simbang Gabi held at Meguro was frequently by a big number of Filipino parishioners from all over Tokyo and nearby dioceses.  The nightly masses was presided by seven different priests including its parish priest, Fr. Marco Martinez and his assistant, Fr. Kenji Takagi.  Led by the cultural attaché of the Philippine Embassy in Tokyo and with the help of the Philippine Assistance Group (PAG), the Simbang Gabi at Meguro was hailed very successful.  Four years ago, it was organized to help raise funds for the victims of super typhoon "Haiyan," or locally known for Filipinos as Typhoon Yolanda.


Simbang Gabi in Tokyo

Lenten Recollection

lentAs early as December last year, some communities in Tokyo and nearby diocese had already sought the English Pastoral Team of CTIC to schedule a parish lenten recollection.  The Filipino community in Gunma for instance had requested through its pastoral worker, Sr. Rose Remegio for a recollection on March 25, while the Filipino community at Machida had asked for March 18.  Meanwhile, Akabane had earlier scheduled its recollection on March 4 while Ichikawa will hold its recollection on March 11.  The Lenten Season will begin with the celebration of the Ash Wednesday, which this year is on March 1st.  During this season, every Catholic is especially invited to spend more time to pray, fast and do charitable acts.  Normally, Lenten recollections are provided by parishes to assist those parishioners who wish to deepen their faith appreciation and need for continuous conversion.