Season’s Greetings From Us!
Fr. Ryuichiro Hanafusa, SJ
Merry Christmas! While there has been a substantial decrease in corona infections, we still do not know if another wave will occur. Nor are we sure what other unexpected things may be on the way in 2022. However, is it not meaningful for us to be spending the Ignatian Year in the midst of such a crisis? The motto of the Ignatian Year is "To See Everything New in Christ." There are good and bad aspects in everything that happens to us. Sometimes even bad experiences help us understand things in a better or newer manner. Let us try to look for something “new” in the New Year and try to see it through the eyes of Christ. I wish you a blessed New Year 2022!
Fr. Bony James, SJ
Director, John de Britto English Center
During the time of church closure, our parishioners sent origami cranes, representing themselves during the Mass. The paper cranes－some big, some small, some colorful, all beautiful, sitting shoulder to shoulder with each other in front of the altar -- remind me of the beauty and diversity of our parish. While being thankful to everyone who sent the paper cranes, sometimes I also felt lonely celebrating Mass in front of paper cranes! Now that the corona restrictions have largely been eased, my earnest prayer is that in 2022 all our parishioners can attend the Mass in person. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2022!
Sr. Flor M. Florece, FI
This is our second Christmas in the shadow of the pandemic. The threat of the corona virus continues to lurk around us. But it has not paralyzed us. “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has never put it out.” (John. 1:5). Instead, it has made us realize who we are, what we truly value in life. It has led us to new ways of “being Church.” It has made us more creative. In this Season of Christmas, let us not “slide back,” simply nostalgic for “what was normal” before the pandemic.
How about some time for PRAYERFUL SILENCE to reflect on how God has “passed in our life” in the year 2021 and to mull over the word GRATITUDE? St. Ignatius of Loyola in his Spiritual Exercises suggests that we enter into “Contemplation” of the Incarnation and the Nativity (101-117) or the “Contemplation to Attain the Love of God” (230-234). I believe it is only then that we can have authentic HOPE as we start the still unknown 2022. Not a false HOPE, but one grounded in God’s LOVE, an intimate knowledge of the many blessings received personally and by all of humankind. Yes, we are alive because God continues to sustain us. This is the GOOD NEWS we have to pass on to others! A grace-filled Christmas and a hope-filled New Year!
Sr. Leny Fery, FdCC
Again, this is a Christmas different from all others. Yet, no one else nor any other virus could stop us from believing that the “Word was made Flesh.” Even in the midst the pandemic, HOPE CONTINUES TO REIGN! Look at the street dwellers and homeless of Tokyo, the migrants living with their uncertainties of life, the poor living in depressed areas in other parts of the world who do not have the luxury of observing social distancing, the many people traumatized by deaths in their families, natural calamities here and there, insurgency, all sorts of sufferings. No matter how tough life may be, Emmanuel, “God with us," remains with us. He is the HOPE that never fades nor languishes. The pandemic may stay on for another year, but as long as we continue to anchor our lives in Jesus and keep our faith alive, we will be strong.
May Jesus be reborn in our hearts to give us life anew. May Christmas continue to be true in its real meaning and vitality - a child born to us imparting the gifts of joy, peace, hope, and love. Can we not be sharers of God's gifts to others this Christmas?