Meeting Pope Francis Face to Face
The whole of the “Catholic world” in Japan is now abuzz with preparations for the coming of Pope Francis. Likewise, the media, especially those who will be accompanying him in the retinue. Even non-Christians, given this chance, are curious to meet him. And surely, the privileged few are looking forward to their audience with him—the new Emperor, the Prime Minister, the Archbishop of Tokyo, among others.
How about the “ordinary people” like us in St. Ignatius? IF by some chance you will meet Pope Francis face to face on November 25, what will you say to him?
I will be speechless, incapable of saying anything, as I will be overwhelmed by the experience! Just smiles and tears of joy…!
(Perry, Filipino, Sunday Lunch Vendor)
I’m praying for you! May you always be guided by the Holy Spirit. Please pray for the conversion of the Japanese people to the Holy Roman Catholic Church, especially my husband, that he may become part of the Mystical Body of Christ!
(Karen Konno, Filipino leader of the Ushers Group)
Holy Father, we extend to you and one other Vatican official an invitation to attend our Faith Sharing at St. Ignatius on 2nd or 4th Sunday.........Mille Gratis!!!...
(Douglas Marvin, American, Faith Sharing Group)
Holy Father, thank you for coming to Japan. Please pray for peace in the world and the conversion of many Japanese who don’t know anything about God!
(Francisca Okada, Japanese-Filipino, Eucharistic Minister)
Which day do you think is more important, Easter or Christmas? What are some key aspects of a person with good Catholic faith?
(Taira, Japanese-American, 16 years old, Volunteer Catechist, English Sunday School)
It seems like these days the internet, books, and media are all terribly biased and giving false information. Sometimes I worry that it's impossible for the average person to navigate all of the bias and propaganda that is being offered online and elsewhere. What can we do to help ensure that the laity are not overcome by this "river" of false information?
(Ryan Hicks, American Blogger and English Bulletin contributor)
Continue to break barriers and help us to get closer with the lonely, the poor.
(Amantha, Sri Lankan, member of the SIIYM)
Welcome to Japan, Holy Father! I hope that your words during this visit will encourage many young Japanese Catholics to work in the world as collaborators of God.
(Otsuka, Japanese, Parish Office,)
Come to Japan more often!
(Lenga Lenjai, Tanzanian)
Since it was your desire to be a missionary in Japan, “Welcome to Japan!”
I admire you for being such an inspiration to young Christians like me, who feel blessed for being able to serve our Lord in St. Ignatius. Thank you for spreading the word of God.
(Eliana, 13 years old, Filipino Altar Server)
Walk with us! Continue to walk with us!
(Makoto, Japanese, Coffee Welcome Ministry Volunteer)
I feel blessed because Nov. 25 is my birthday! And I also want to thank you for being a great role model to the whole Catholic Church. My mother always tells me to be a good role model too for my younger brother.
(Phielle, 8 years old, Filipino, English Sunday School)
We believe that Pope Francis would also be interested in hearing the “voice and smell” of his “sheep and lambs in the field.” It has always been characteristic of him to pay attention to the “little ones.” We believe the Holy Spirit also speaks through them. And what would we say to him? Simply, “Holy Father, continue to be a COURAGEOUS instrument of the Holy Spirit! We need your leadership more than ever! We are praying for your health!”
By the English Center Team of Coordinators