EPM thanks GFGC for “Laudato Si” Concert

GFGC concert

With the generous support of the various members of the Filipino communities and their friends that led to the successful staging of the concert billed “Laudato Si,” the English Pastoral Ministry (EPM) of the Catholic Tokyo International Center wishes to thank everyone particularly the Gathering of Filipino Groups and Communities (GFGC) who had worked hard in organizing and inviting  choirs from different parish communities.  The fund-raising concert will help fund the preservation of the coral reefs project in Albay province.  The EPM commends the sacrifices made by the participating choirs and the very hard work invested by the leaders of the GFGC to organize this noble project.


CTIC joined JCaRM National Gathering

JCaRM gathering

In the annual national gathering of the Catholic Commission of Japan for Refugees Migrants and People on the Move or JCaRM held at Sasebo, Nagasaki last October 20 to 22, 2015, the Catholic Tokyo International Center (CTIC) had sent three representatives namely, Sr. Tomoko Kiguchi, Marilou Okuyama, and Therese Japitana to participate in the discussion of the current situations of migrants particularly those held in detention centers and the newly arrived migrants from different countries who are mainly employed as trainees.  At the said gathering led by Bishop Goro Matsuura, chair of JCaRM, the sixty plus participants had the opportunity also to visit the US Naval Base, the Omura Detention Center, and a ship building facility at Sasebo where many foreign industrial trainees are employed.  Such visit arranged by the organizer was a rare opportunity for all pastoral workers to migrants to further deepen their understanding of their pastoral mission.  The assembly was also great occasion for pastoral workers to learn from each other`s work in their respective dioceses.  The theme of this year`s JCaRM gathering is “We go by one ship.”

Seminar on “Laudato Si” at Yotsuya


laudato si seminar at yotsuya

In cooperation with the English Group of St. Ignatius Parish at Yotsuya, CTIC last October 24, 2015 had given another benkyoukai on “Laudato Si”.  The intention of holding such seminar was to promote the message of the recently released encyclical letter of Pope Francis.  “Laudato Si” carries Pope Francis` appeal to care for the environment based on the ecological crises as experienced by the world today leaving primarily the many poor people as hapless victims.  Given by Fr. Edwin D. Corros, cs the seminar was well appreciated by the parish leasers of Yotsuya.  Earlier in October, the Gathering of Filipino Groups and Communities or GFGC with the support of CTIC, has staged a fund raising concert billed “Laudato Si” to help a coral reefs preservation project in the province of Albay in the Philippines.


Message of Bp. Koda on World Migration Sunday

(Delivered on the occasion of the International Mass at Tokyo Cathedral)

FullSizeRenderAs auxiliary bishop and on behalf of the staff of CTIC and the preparatory committee for the International Mass in celebration of the World Sunday of Migrants and Refugees, I would like to share a short message.  In the Catholic church, we have the World Day of Migrants and Refugees and this year, we are celebrating the 101st year.  This annual celebration depends on every country.  In Japan, we celebrate it on the 4th Sunday of September.  In the Archdiocese of Tokyo, we are having this International Day celebration today.  We might come from different countries and for different reason but as a Church we gather as one, regardless of our differences.  Some of us might have come for job opportunities, others for business, while others come to study and some others are married to the Japanese.  For this year`s message of the Holy Father, “The Church without Frontiers, Mother of All” as theme challenges us in the church to accept our differences.  Pope Francis in his travel from Cuba to America for a pastoral visit had attracted a lot of news.  While in the US, he spoke at the United Nation Headquarters and his message was “The contemporary world so apparently connected is experiencing a growing and steady social fragmentation.”  Recently, the presence of the foreigners in Tokyo and all over Japan is very noticeable.  I wonder if we are really connected to one another?  There are many difficulties but we should over come our differences in order to be one.  Here lies the big role of the Church, on how to keep us united.  Hence, this celebration of International Day attempts to move towards that direction.

After the mass, there are three activities available for all of us.  First, there are food kiosks that would serve international food.  Secondly, there is the Bible Quiz for the children, which could be a chance for the children to meet other kids from other parishes.  And third, a cultural program which will showcase different presentations from various ethnic communities for all of us to enjoy.  Due to strict health requirements, the preparatory committee for this International Day can only offer Korean food from the Korean community.  The kitchen carts operators though they may not be Christians offer food from different countries.  What is important is the gesture of eating together after the Mass, which has a very significant meaning for us, Christians.  All these activities were prepared by CTIC staff and the preparatory committee for all to enjoy.  I wish to invite as much as possible all the children to take part in this rare opportunity.  As what Jesus has said, “Look, here are my brothers and sisters.”  Today together, let us enjoy each other`s company and experience the presence of God.

Justice and Peace Council organized Migration Seminar

To commemorate the 70th anniversary after the end of the Second World War, the Japanese council for Justice and Peace had organized in its 39th National Gathering last September 21 to 23, 2015 simultaneous conferences in Tokyo Archdiocese.  The places of St. Anselm in Meguro, Nicola Barre and St. Ignatius in Yotsuya were chosen as venues to seminar-workshops that dealt on peace and human rights.  The event began with a Mass at St. Mary`s cathedral where a Korean bishop was invited to this big event.  The Catholic Tokyo International Center (CTIC) was tasked to organize and facilitate the seminar on the situation of foreign workers in Japan.  Atty. Yuki Maruyama was invited as resource speaker.  About fifty people had participated in the seminar on migration.

World Migration Sunday at Tokyo Cathedral

International Mass 2015

At Tokyo Archdiocese, the celebration of the World Migration Sunday was recently held at St. Mary`s Cathedral.  The Catholic Tokyo International Center (CTIC) had organized varied activities to bring together members of foreign communities for the annual event.  With the local people, the celebration was an opportune time for foreign communities from different parishes in the archdiocese to come together to pray for the migrants, refugees and a people on the move.  To pray together for the same cause is an occasion that happens only once a year.  To be part of this special celebration merit indeed God`s mercy and grace for all who had attended.

In this year`s World Migration Sunday archdiocesan celebration, CTIC had reintroduced the cultural aspect of the event.  Six communities had presented a cultural number held at Koln Hall.  Over a hundred people had attended the cultural program.  They were entertained by the varied selections of cultural presentation.  A Bible Quiz for children was likewise conducted and animated by the CTIC staff and were equally participated by the children.  Earlier, after the Mass, everyone had the chance to avail of the varied food prepared from different countries of origin.  CTIC thanks all who came especially to those who had served in the Mass and other activities that made the celebration of the 101st World Migration Sunday successful.

(photos courtesy of Mr. Fumi Terada)

CTIC 25th Anniversary

July 20, 2015 the Catholic Tokyo International Center celebrated its 25th foundation anniversary starting with the Eucharistic celebration presided by His Excellency, Most Rev. Peter Takeo Okada, the archbishop of Tokyo at St. Anselm Parish Church at Meguro, Tokyo. After the mass, the congregation which numbered about five hundred were ushered to the parish hall where a simple lunch was waiting. After some congratulatory speeches, a toast was offered and lunch was immediately served. A brief cultural presentation highlighted the modest celebration. The event had gathered old friends, supporters and benefactors of CTIC, including previous missionaries and volunteer-workers who had worked at the center in the previous years. CTIC expresses its sincerest gratitude to all who came and joined its anniversary celebration.

(photos courtesy of Fr. Edwin Corros, cs)

Peace and Human Rights Conferences in Tokyo

Peace & Human Rights Conference (poster)A national conference organized by Japan Catholic Council for Peace and Justice will be held in Tokyo on September 21 to 23.  At its opening ceremony at the Tokyo Cathedral on September 21, besides the two bishops of Tokyo archdiocese, the chair of the Council for Peace and Justice of Japan, Bishop Katsuya and Bishop Yoo Heung Sik of Korea who will deliver a talk, will also be present. Following the opening ceremony, 22 seminars and workshops dealing on various issues of peace and human rights will be conducted at St. Ignatius Church at Yotsuya and at St. Anselm Church at Meguro.

On September 22, CTIC will give a seminar on the situation of the rights of foreign workers. After the seminar food of different countries will be served in an international food court at Meguro Church at 12:00 noon. Later on that same day, a Taize’ worship will be held at 6:00 PM at St. Ignatius Church.  In conclusion to the conference a mass will be celebrated on September 23 at 11:30 AM at Tokyo Cathedral where the three members of the Episcopal Commission for Social Issues, Bishop Matsuura, Bishop Kikuchi and Bishop Katsuya will concelebrate following a symposium commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the promulgation of the Dogmatic Constitution of the Church in the modern world of the Second Vatican Council. While registration to all 22 seminars and workshops are already closed, participation to the opening ceremony, the Taize’ worship, international food court, the symposium and the final mass are open to everyone.

International Mass (Migrants Sunday) 2015

international day 2015 poster1Every year, the Church celebrates World Day of Migrants and Refugees. In Tokyo Archdiocese, it will be on September 27, 2015.  It is a day dedicated to prayers and other activities in raising awareness in the church and society on the condition of migrants and people in the move. An international Mass at Tokyo’s St. Mary’s Cathedral will be celebrated especially for their intention.  The Church for many decades now has been expressing her profound concern on the situation of all people affected by migration, a phenomenon no longer new to anyone, but hardly understood by many. It is the complexities that come along with the phenomenon that make lots of people misunderstand the condition of the people most gravely affected by migration.Continue reading