ENGLISH PASTORAL MINISTRY

Word of the Week:

 

Easter
復活祭
ふっかつさい
(Fukkatsusai)

 

Pope`s Intention for the Month

April 2017:  Youth

That young people may respond generously to their vocations and seriously consider offering themselves to God in the priesthood or consecrated life.

http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2017/04/04/popes_prayer_intention_for_april_youth/1303314

Announcement:

Help the Victims of Flood in Peru

For monetary donation, you may send to Caritas Japan`s bank account:
Bank Name:  Yuucho Bank
Bank Account Number: 00170-5-95979
Account Name: Caritas Japan
Comment: “For the victims of flood in Perú”

*When using direct internet service of Bank Yuucho in sending money or bank transfer, insert these 4 digit numbers 6273.
*If you do not want your name to appear in the list to be published in the newsletter, “We are Caritas”, please add three zeros (000) after your own number.

For inquiries, please call Osako san of CTIC at 03-5759-1061.
http://www.jp-bank.japanpost.jp/en_index.html

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:

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

 What is the climate in Japan?

The climate of most of Japan is characterized by four distinct seasons.

The spring months generally are from March to May, summer month are from June to August, autumn from September to November, and winter from December to February.

The difference between winter temperature and summer temperatures is more than 30 degrees celsius.  Summer months, with high temperatures and high humidity, may be uncomfortable for those who are used to a dry continental climate.  In spring and autumn, almost all parts of Japan enjoy comfortable temperatures, but the weather is very changeable.

In the beginning of summer, all areas except Hokkidoo have a rainy season, which usually lasts from early June to mid-July.

Autumn is also a time of substantial precipitation.  From the end of summer to the beginning of autumn, typhoons generated in the western part of the North Pacific Ocean hit the country, sometimes causing extensive damage.

read more...

Q & A Living in Japan

Special Residence Permission 

Under what circumstances can I obtain a Special Residence Permission?

As explained previously, in order for foreign nationals to reside in Japan, they are required to have a Status of Residence as defined in the Immigration Control Act.  Besides the standard Status of Residence as defined by law, there are also cases where the Minister of Justice recognizes certain types of residence at his discretion.  This is what is referred to as Special Residence Permission, which is a type of long-term resident.

A person is granted this status if the Minister of Justice believes there is justifiable cause for the person to enter and reside in Japan.  There is no officially defined criteria for this special residence permission.

read more...

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

Meguro`s Hospitality Ministry held formation seminar

Probably for most ordinary Catholics the role of the ushers is considered the least among the liturgical ministries serving at the Sunday Eucharistic celebration.  Seeing them usually at the Church doors, their service may look so simple and yet many are not actually familiar of the functions and responsibilities expected of them.  In fact, some members of the Ministry of Hospitality or better known as ushers may not also be aware of the profound value and spirituality that come with this service that they offer in Church.  It is from this perspective that Fr. Edwin Corros had offered the ushers of the Meguro church serving the Sunday english mass a formation seminar.  Participants were made to understand and appreciate the service that they are doing in the parish.  In his seminar, Fr. Corros has expounded the role of the lay people in Church and the theological foundation of the ministry of hospitality.  Participants were moreover made aware that among the ministries serving in the liturgy, the role of the ushers is even considered most demanding.  With great humility, they were especially reminded that they are to welcome everyone in Church as if they are welcoming Christ in every parishioner who are coming to pray.  Unfortunately, in certain Sunday`s liturgy, some parishioners may not also be aware of their responsibilities and they can even disrespect the role of the hospitality ministers.

Sayonara Party for Fr. Nickolas of Akabane

At the parish hall of the Our Lady of the Assumption Church in Akabane last March 22, a simple Sayonara party for the outgoing parish priest was organized by the leaders and members of the Filipino liturgical ministry.  The outgoing pastor, Fr. Nickolas Swiatek, OFM Conventual will be assigned to another mission in Japan on April, specifically in Nagoya where he will assume several tasks such as in-charge of the community as superior besides being parish priest and helping in the school.  Led by their coordinator, Cecile Takahashi, the Filipinos in Akabane parish who had been recipients of his kindness had manifested their gratitude and good wishes to their favorite parish priest.  Many were emotional in greeting Fr. Nickolas with their farewell wishes.

The celebration began with the prayer and the blessing of the meals and was immediately followed by a simple dinner courtesy of the parishioners` generosity. After everyone had eaten, a very short program was held to entertain Fr. Nickolas and to offer him tribute.  Songs and messages of gratitude were offered to him followed by group pictures.  The two priests helping the Filipino community at Akabane, Fr. Jack Serate and Fr. Edwin Corros, who were equally present had also expressed their profound gratitude for the valuable support extended by Fr. Nickolas.  Just before Fr. Nickolas had sliced the cake to be shared with everyone, he took the microphone and gamely sang "My Only Sunshine" popularized by the Beach Boys.  The farewell party was an evening full of tears to the ardent followers of Fr. Nick, as we was fondly called, but they had been assured by the jolly priest that they will be in his prayers.

PhilMiss Bade Farewell to two Missionaries

At Kichijoji parish last March 6, sixteen missionaries had gathered to give their appreciations and bade farewells to two of their beloved members who have been serving the church of Japan for more than 20 years.  Sr. Marcy Jacinto of the Mercidarian Sisters and Sr. Carmen Segovia of Hijas de Jesus will soon finally go back to Philippines.

 The day started with the mass presided by Fr. Nelson Barbarona, SVD at the main chapel of Kichijoji church.  It was followed by a nourishing potluck lunch mainly prepared by the missionaries themselves.

At the farewell party a tribute for Sr. Carmen Segovia`s mission work in Japan was given by Sr. Rose Remegio, who belongs to the same Hijas de Jesus congregation.  She recounted that Sr. Carmen arrived in Japan in 1976 in response to the need for an English teacher in "Shotoku Gakuin" in Matsue, Shimane-ken and  other things that Sr. Carmen did for the school, church, and communities she was assigned to.  While in Japan, she had taught English Conversation classes to junior and senior high school and meticulously prepared students-participants for English speech contests both for local and national levels.  Later, she took charge of facilitating the Cross Cultural Course (CCC) program of the school where the students from Hijas de Jesus sister schools in Spain, South America, Taiwan and Philippines took a six-month homestay course.  While being busy in her school and community works, she also actively participated in the J-CaRM program in Hiroshima Diocese.  But one of Sr. Carmen`s most memorable achievements was her apostolate with the Filipinos in Matsue, and Shimane-ken, named Matsue Pilipino Kapit Bisig (MPKB), which gave the Filipinos recognition from the Japanese government of Shimane to become active members of society.  They were allowed to do research and studies that enabled them to progress in their skills.  A budget of two million yen was allotted for this valuable project.

Giving tribute to Sr. Marcy was Leny Tolentino, a lay missionary with whom shed been working with in the Yokohama diocese for a long time.  Leny narrated Sr. Marcy`s pastoral works in Japan including their working relationships in the English Center (ENCOM) and Kalakasan.  According to Leny, Sr. Marcy came to Japan in 1997 wherein during that time many Filipinos have no visa.  She helped them acquire proper visas to stay in Japan.  In her 20 years in Japan, she`d been rendering trainings to "Pastoral Workers" of Filipino communities, legal assistance pertaining to the acquisition of visa and civil marriages.  She also did detention visitation and works of evangelization through block rosary and prayer meetings of Filipinos who could hardly go to church regularly.

The very emotional "sayonara" gathering was also an occasion for the Filipino missionaries to hear the beautiful mission stories of the two lovely sisters in the mission.  Before the day ended, the group had discussed some important matters that will transpire for the whole year 2017.  All then departed not only with a full stomach, but also with hearts filled with inspirations and encouragements to enthusiastically and lovingly continue the Filipino mission in the church of Japan.

Seminar for Extra-ordinary ministers of the Eucharist at Meguro

There is always a consistent impression that less and less people are interested to serve the Church as full time ministers like the priests and religious.  While this could be so in comparison to the past, the reality that fewer children as well are born by most couples in the world today and the prospect of encouraging them to join priesthood or religious life is practically nil.

In the seminar that was presented for those aspiring to be extraordinary ministers of the Eucharist at Meguro parish, one of the interesting topics that was initially discussed, was the increasing number of Catholics throughout the world.  While it is true that Europe which used to be the source of many foreign missionaries ministering globally, the population of the Catholics in such region had tremendously declined.  Hence, the once upon a time a great source of priests and religious missionaries could not anymore be depended upon to help mission countries like Japan.  Meanwhile, the increasing number of Catholics in the new mission in the world requires as well the need to produce their own priests and religious to continue the work that has been started by the previous missionaries from Europe.  Unfortunately for Japan, the population of local Catholics did not only increase, but the foreign Catholic migrants have consistently arisen.  The demand to help the priests to dispense the Holy Communion is more needed, particularly among the migrant communities.  Hence, the seminar was given by Fr. Edwin Corros in response to the request of the parish priest of St. Anselm`s Church.  After the seminar, the names of the participants were submitted to the parish priest and they will be endorsed to the archbishop who has the sole authority to allow them to function as extraordinary ministers of the Eucharist.