Interesting Summer Sight in Japan

Every summer, the heat it brings seems greater.  This has been the usual observation of the weather not only by the Japanese but also even by the foreigners who had made Japan their home.  Blame it to the climate change.  The typical hot and humid summer of the country had generated as well several impressive activities that everyone could enjoy.

The first and usual event that is so common in Japan is the matsuri.  Most if not all villages celebrate a matsuri or festival.  In fact, summer is the season of Japanese traditional festivals.  It is always characterized by a lot of street dancing such as the Bon-odori that attracts everyone with interest.  Young or old, men or women, locals and visitors wearing always the traditional Japanese summer clothes are welcome to participate.  For foreigners, this is the best time to wear yukata that comes in various designs and dance to the beat of the drums following a repeated rhythm of the simple dance steps and hand movements.

The second common sight during this season is the firework event.  Again, probably, all around the country, the local government would organize firework events, where people would gather to watch the fireworks and forget momentarily their sadness or difficulty while drinking some bottles of beer and indulge in a lot of finger food.  This is one event to find a space amidst thousands of people, who wish to enjoy the dazzling vibrant fireworks, is a real challenge especially if one comes in a large group.

There is also the beer garden that people could enjoy.  It is one event that gathers the neighbors to exchange pleasantries over some drinks and lots of food as well.  Visitors are also welcome to join.  Besides the beer garden, the people also indulge in a lot of ice shaves or kakigori.  This finely shaved ice comes in variety of flavors such as strawberry, lemon, mango, melon and other popular fruits.  Having them helps beat the heat of summer.

Aside from the above-mentioned events, another usual scene you see in the country is the use of fans or locally known as uchiwa  and sensu.  Local companies are normally advertising their products and services by distributing fans in front of train stations to help commuters battle the unrelenting humidity.  Unlike in other countries, in Japan it is normal for men to fan themselves with artistic and even colorful fans.

Summer in Japan could be best enjoyed not only in the variety of activities to participate, but also on the places to visit, besides the beach, the mountains and the rivers.  If one is in Tokyo, one need not travel faraway, as the nearby fireworks, Bon-odori or beer garden events are so common from nearby village to another.  They are mostly held on weekends.

Word for the Month:



Pope`s Intention for the Month

August 2019:

Families, Schools of Human Growth

That families, through their life of prayer and love, become ever more clearly "schools of true human development".


Pope Francis` Apostolic Exhortation


CTIC`s Sunday Consultation Service Schedule 2019:

January 20

February 3, 17

March 3, 17

April 7

May 5, 19

June 2, 16

July 7, 21

August 4, 18

September 1, 15

October 6, 20

November 3, 17

December 1, 15

PhilMiss Annual Gathering will be at Nasu

The Filipino missionaries not only composed of religious, but also of lay people will hold its annual national gathering at the Betania Sisters Convent at Nasu, Tochigi on 19-21 of August 2019.  With the theme "Looking Back," the missionaries are expected to gather by three o`clock in the afternoon for registration and orientation.  They will also join the evening prayer of the Trappistine Sisters.  After dinner, the participants will revisit the vision-mission and membership requirements of the organization.

A talk on "Samurai Martyrs of Yonezawa" by Fr. Chito Lorenzo, SVD will be oneof the most awaited parts of the gathering, when missionaries are expected to learn more about the early Christians in Japan and their persecutions.  The annual gathering allows participants to touch base with their fellow missionaries in Japan, compare notes and learn from each other`s experiences.  The annual national assembly will end on Wednesday after lunch.

Parishioners at Kiyose Catholic Parish are Back to Catechism

Last 21 July 2019, the Filipino migrant community of the Nativity of Our Lord Parish at Kiyose went back to their catechism class after a long time.  The catechism class has to give way to the usual birthday celebration that is held monthly by the parishioners, which normally would last until about six thirty leaving no more time for the catechism class.  With only a few of the birthday celebrants attending recently, a catechism was immediately given a priority.  Only about a dozen had decided to stay and joined the catechism that lasted for almost an hour.  Fr. Edwin D. Corros normally teaches catechism in parishes where he celebrates mass on Sunday.

For parishioners who wish to deepen their appreciation of their faith, they would always choose to stay behind after the Mass for the catechism.   Fr. Edwin has started teaching catechism at Kiyose since 2014, but when the schedule of the Filipino mass was moved to 4:00 pm from 1:30 pm in February 2017, many parishioners find it difficult to attend, because they actually reside far away from the parish.  Some have to travel for two hours to catch the Filipino mass.  Others are even hoping that someday, they will have their own rest day on Sunday so that they can still participate in the Sunday mass and catechism.  Many Filipinos in Japan are actually missing Mass because of their work that requires them to report even on Sunday.

2019 Simbang Gabi Funds will Benefit Negros Church

The funds that had been raised during the novena for the Simbang Gabi held last December 2018 at St. Anselm`s Church in Meguro was finally turned over to the officers of the Philippine Assistance Group (PAG) and the Philippine Embassy at the conference room of the Catholic Tokyo International Center (CTIC) last Tuesday, July 23, 2019.

Mrs. Eleanor Fukuda, the outgoing president of PAG and who had represented its various Filipino organization-members, had received the money from the current parish priest of St. Anselm`s Catholic Church at Meguro, Fr. Ryohei Miyashita.  The donation amounting to 779, 705 Japanese yen will benefit four projects in Negros Occidental already identified and chosen by the PAG leaders.  Just like in the previous years, PAG has been helping in providing food to parishioners attending the nine day novena Masses.  The Simbang Gabi initially organized by the Cultural Attaché of the Philippine Embassy and PAG have been supported by CTIC and the Catholic Meguro Church.

GFGC Concert to Assist Two Beneficiaries

As announced during its annual assembly early this year by its chair, Dr. Mel Kasuya, the Gathering of Filipino Groups and Communities (GFGC) is now preparing for the annual concert it organizes with two beneficiaries already identified:  The Assumption Iloilo Educational Foundation, Inc. and the Mercedarian Missionaries of Berriz in the Philippines.  Both organizations have requested GFGc for its programs in the Philippines.

Billed, "A Love to Last a Lifetime" will bring the famous Filipino singer-composer Jose Mari Chan to Tokyo where his fans will get the chance to listen to his famous music from the 80`s and are still being appreciated until today.  The concert will be held at the Tower Hall Funabori, in Edogawa City on Friday, 20 September 2019 from 7:30 in the evening.  See posters for more details.

The Journey is as Rewarding as the Destination

A reflection of GFGC Pilgrimage to Nagasaki

By Eric Tesalona of Catholic Kiyose Parish Church

The very first pilgrimage to Nagasaki organized by GFGC and CTIC was held last July 5 - 7 with 43 pilgrims from various parishes in Chiba, Tokyo, Saitama, and Kanagawa Prefectures.  With Fr. Edwin, CS (spiritual director), Fr. Charlie Pomuceno, OSA (on-site coordinator), with Erlyn Regondon and Nelly Naka (pilgrimage staff), and Mel Kasuya (GFGC Chair), the pilgrimage was a successful journey, spiritually and historically, for all of us.

The first reward was our early morning assembly (8:30 AM) at Narita airport and flight to Nagasaki by Jetstar.  Despite heavy rain in Kyushu a couple of days prior to the pilgrimage, we were blessed with fair weather upon arrival at Nagasaki Airport where Fr. Charlie warmly and joyfully welcomed us.  The long journey by bus going to our first destination, Unzen Hells, was the second reward wherein we prayed the Holy Rosary and learned from Fr. Charlie about Nagasaki`s religion and politics, and about Unzen Hells.  In the bus, Fr. Edwin introduced the theme of our spiritual journey, "Persecution of Christians and the House of God".  In Japan, Nagasaki was the best of both "worlds".  Not only a place wherein many Christians were persecuted and martyred during the 16th and 17th centuries, but Nagasaki has been the home of Kakure Kirishitan and is host to around 50 historical churches in Japan.  Significantly. this is where our patron saint San Lorenzo Ruiz died a martyr.

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