The First Anniversary Of Pope Francis’ Visit To Japan
“Protect all life in the post COVID19 world”
His Holiness, Pope Francis visited Japan last year - from November 23rd to 26th . His visit occurred 28 years after Pope Saint John Paul II’s visit in 1981. Pope Francis' presence among us was short and dense: Masses, speeches, public and private meetings, etc. But at the same time, his visit was a time of prayer and grace. Etched in our hearts is his smiling face and contagious joy.
The visit of the successor of Saint Peter was an opportunity for us Catholic faithful in Japan to be once more confirmed and encouraged in our faith. It was an occasion likewise for all people of good will, regardless of religious traditions and affiliation, to meet the Pope and hear his message, meant not only for Japan but for all the world: Protect all life! With this theme, Pope Francis calls for abolition of nuclear weapons because it is a sin and for protection of our “common home.”
Pope Francis' meetings with young people, both in Saint Mary’s Cathedral and in Sophia University, were deeply moving events. In his address to the youth at Sophia University, he emphasized the fact that in a society oriented towards competition and innovation like Japan, it is important that young people be rooted in the spirit of true wisdom and discernment. “What matters is not ‘what do you live for?’ but ‘who do you live for?’”In Saint Mary’s Cathedral, the Pope concluded
his message with these words: ”Dear friends, never lose heart or set aside your dreams. Give them plenty of room, dare to glimpse vast horizons and see what awaits you if you aspire to achieve them together.”
One year after Pope Francis’ visit to Japan, Sophia University, through the Catholic Jesuit Center and in collaboration with St Ignatius International Youth Ministry (SIIYM), plans to hold an online event to commemorate the occasion. This event will be held on Saturday, November 21, 2020 with the theme “Protect all life in the post Covid-19 world.” Participants will share about what they got from his message last year and reflect on the strong connection between “Protect all life” and the challenges which our world is facing with the Covid-19 pandemic. Thus, this event is an opportunity to see how the Holy Father’s message is a kind of viaticum for the post Covid-19 world.
The event will be hosted on ZOOM but will also be live streamed through Facebook. It is open to all both
English and Japanese speakers, as translations will be provided. However, pre-registration is required, as only 100 slots are available on ZOOM on a first-come-first-served basis. Those interested in attending this event can register through the QR code shared below.
by Brother Mukadi Christian SJ