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Pope’s Prayer Intentions for December 2019

That every country takes the measures necessary to prioritize the future of the very young, especially those who are suffering.

Mission 2030 Prayer Intention for December 2019

In this season, may we not just exchange material gifts, but we may reach out and give consideration to the little ones and those in difficulty as an offering of our hearts to Jesus.

Missionaries In Our Midst

 

Some of the missionaries in our midst came to Japan before we were born. Others arrived only “recently.” They come from different parts of the globe, speak different languages, belong to different cultures, and are members of different Congregations, but all are called by the Lord to work in His vineyard in St. Ignatius Church, Japan. Are we aware who they are, how many they are, and how long they have been serving us?

 

 

On the occasion of the Extraordinary Missionary Month proclaimed by Pope Francis, we would like to thank the hard-working missionaries who have been helping us on our spiritual journey. The Bulletin cannot cover them all in this article, but we spoke to some and asked them what the biggest challenge has been that they faced or are still facing in their missionary work in Japan. We share with you their responses, a “glimpse” into their hearts

 

 

Missionaries In Our Midst

Cyril Raphael Veliath, SJ (Society of Jesus)

Nationality: Indian but now have Japanese nationality.
46 years in Japan
Biggest challenge: To understand the Japanese language and culture. The Japanese people have always been exceedingly kind and gentle towards me, and I have always been extremely happy in this country. I have never experienced any prejudice or hatred. However, even now, when I prepare my Japanese sermons, I have to be very careful, because I do not want to say anything that could hurt people or cause them any sorrow. It is very easy for me to prepare a sermon in English, but very difficult in Japanese.

Sr. Flor M. Florece, F.I. (Daughters of Jesus)
Nationality: Filipino
23 years in Japan
Biggest challenge: The Japanese language continues to be my greatest challenge - reading, writing, and speaking. The more I find myself immersed in the culture and engaged in various apostolic and multi-tasking evangelical tasks I realize I need greater facility in the language. I tend to “freeze” before a big crowd. Thanks be to God, He supplies me with the necessary graces to survive. Also, the Japanese are very "charitable" with "my Japanese"!
Robert Chiesa, SJ
Nationality: American
59 years in Japan
The big challenge I find is our competitive society. Access to food, housing, education, and daily conveniences unavoidably demands so much energy that little leeway is left for individuals or families to share material goods and seek higher spiritual values.
Sr. Leny C. Fery, FdCC (Canossian Sister)
Nationality: Filipino
5 years in Japan
Biggest challenge: Many, like when I experienced the loss of a family member while I was in the midst of adjusting myself in the language, or the unique culture and way of thinking of the Japanese people. Human relationships were a really trying experience and the challenge to remain faithful to my “Yes to God” in fulfilling his mission for me here in Japan. But I realized it was actually part and parcel of my missionary journey in order to anchor my life only in God alone and in Mary, our Mother.
Donal Doyle SJ
Nationality: Irish
61 years in Japan. I left Naples by ship on July 31, 1958. It took three weeks to reach Hong Kong and I arrived in Yokohama on September 3, 1958.
My biggest challenge was (and still is) the Japanese language - reading, writing and speaking. Writing Japanese is a problem for me.
Ivette Sánchez Chacón. MC (Clarissan Missionary Sisters)
Nationality: Costa Rican
18 years in Japan
My greatest challenge: To bring the Gospel to others. Rather than with words, with the testimony of dedication and joy in daily life.
Generoso M. Florez, SJ
Nationality: “Born in Spain, made in Japan”
59 years in Japan.
The biggest challenge: The tremendous difference of culture in general. How to present or introduce the person of Jesus Christ to those who do not know Him. Concretely speaking, the Japanese language. More than to speak, it is so difficult to understand, though not impossible. The way to express affection and feelings. Food in general, (although I love sashimi and atsukan). Sitting down on the floor. Taking off the shoes. The tsuyu or rainy season, the humidity…

Adelfa Armentia (Teresian Association)

Nationality: Filipino
51 years in Japan
Biggest challenge: I came to bring Christ to the Japanese people, but I found that God was already present in their lives: they love others, help others, and live out Gospel values. However, making them aware of God's presence and accepting His love and gift of salvation prove to be difficult. In the present world, materialism and greed for money and power have displaced God. In our work of evangelization, putting God at the center of our lives, our families, and our societies is the challenge. Prayers are needed, and so is Mary's strong intercession.

 

Let us continue to pray for our missionaries at St. Ignatius Church and for missionaries all over the world. May the good Lord continue to strengthen them in their work so that they will be able to win more souls for the Lord. The “harvest is plenty, but labourers are few” (Luke 10:2). Let us also pray for more and more missionary vocations!
 

 

 

By Raymond Gasu

 

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