Monday, August 5, 2013

August 2013 News Letter


On Prayer

I have made the text on the reflection of Fr. William Grimm, MM. It is so meaningful to me that i would like to share it here on this section. It`s on PRAYER 

Do you pray as well as you wish? I don't mean "when you pray for something do you get it". The answer to our prayer is up to God and though God always answer our prayer, we know that sometimes tha answer is "NO". 

I mean, when you pray, do you really feel that, as the old catechism definition put it very inadequately, that you are " lifting up your mind and heart to God"?"

In today's Gospel, one of the disciples sees a chance to find the formula.  Jesus has been praying.  The disciple realizes there is something about the prayer of Jesus, that seems to make it a deeper communion with God than the disciple thought himself or herself capable of. So, the disciple approaches Jesus and say " Lord, teach us to pray as John taught his disciples. ". A rabbi, usually taught his disciples prayers they could use as a way of bringing his teaching into their prayer. And Jesus does it, teaching a prayer that has become the hallmark of his disciples through all ages in all places and among all the different groups that call him Lord.

Having taught the words though, Jesus goes on to say that they are not really that important. Our problem ( and this is where the catechism definition was misleading) that we think that prayer is primarily something that we do.

It is, of course something we do, but what we do is not the most important thing. Prayer is our relationship with God. God is the chief actor. 

When I focus upon myself and what I do in prayer, I become so caught up in formulas, postures, breathing exercises and such. That I forget that the whole reason why I pray is to remember who is God is, and with in that relationship, who I am?

Jesus gives us two important lessons on a commentary upon the disciple's request. The first is the story about someone awakened in the night by a neighbor who needs bread. At first, the groggy one is unwilling to help. However, eventually he gets up and helps his neighbor, if only to get back to sleep. "So I say to you, ask and it will be given you, search, and you will find, knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who ask receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks the door will be opened". 

What Jesus is telling us is that the important things about prayer is not much how we do it as that we do. God will hear us. If sleepy heads like us respond to our prayers addressed to us, we can be sure that God hear us and respond. Therefore, we can and should pray with confidence. The first principle of prayer, is that God will always hear us and respond. 

Jesus second point is, perhaps, more important to those of us who worry about praying well or properly. He uses example to teach us. The first example is that of a child who asking a parent for a fish. In such a case, the child will not receive a snake. The second example, is of the child asking for an egg. The child need not worry about getting a scorpion. On one level, Jesus is telling us that when we pray, we need not worry that God will do evil  for us in response to our needs. God does not tease. 

But, there is another level to what he says, it involves puns. In the Aramaic, Jesus and his disciples spoke, the words for "fish" and "snake" and the words for "eggs" and "scorpions" sounded similar. Perhaps there were even situations where mix ups could occur. For example, when someone warned that there was a scorpion Ina basket, reached in planning to make an omelet. Jesus is telling his disciples that we need not worry that God will not understood our prayers. We do not have to use proper formulas , the right words. God loves us so much that our inadequate prayer suffice. In other words, the disciples anxiety to learn the right words to us in prayer was misplaced. There is is no right words, there are no wrong words. God will not misunderstand us. So what we do? PRAY


Mizusawa Church Filipino Group

St. Augustine said, to "sing is to pray twice". Songs in our masses are inspiring they lead us to prayer especially if we sing together. 

Maybe we have met the group of choir from Mizusawa - Kitakami Catholic Church they have been helping us in our masse here in Ofunato, Ichinoseki and Ishinomaki. Every other month, we celebrate mass in Mizusawa Church and the Filipino group always prepare the songs for the Japanese-English mass (International Mass). 

When we have an event in other communities, we invite the group to help us sing during the mass. When we think of what we can for the other people, I believe that singing is the best expression. I really appreciate the group who came all the way from Mizusawa with their guitar and drums last March to help us in the singing for our mass as we commemorate the second anniversary of the Tohoku disaster in Ishinomaki. 


Shirakawa Mass and Rosary 

From July we will have the monthly Tagalog mass in Shirakawa Church and the transferring of the statue of the Virgin Mary to a new house for the block rosary. Our first mass was attended by around 25 people. Sis Marcy, Sis Margarete and Lenny join us in these prayer gathering. 

Fr. Tanaka's Birthday

Our group from Shirakawa church celebrated the birthday of their parish priest surprising him on his special day.  Fr. Tanaka was very happy indeed that the Filipino group from his parish made time and effort to celebrate his birthday even they are very busy with their work.  Fr. Tanaka told me that the group had made his birthday, the most unforgetable day of his life.
Happy Birthday and God Bless.

Noda Machi Church Mass

Last July 7, we celebrated our first mass in Noda Machi Catholic Church.  After a long time of request from Kaye and the group of Noda Machi, I was able to talk to Fr. Thomas our parish priest in Noda Machi and he willing said that we have our Tagalog mass in the Church at 4 pm every first Sunday of the month.


Barbeque  party din pag summer time

Sendai group barbeque party last July 7.

 Filipino Community of Sendai Celebrated Philippine Independence Day

Consul General Marian Jocelyn R. Tirol-Ignacio inducts the newly elected
officers of Fil Com Sendai
The Fil-Com Sendai celebrated the Philippine Independence day together with the induction of the new officer of the group and the celebration of the second anniversary of the group. Marian Jocelyn R. TIROL-IGNACIO (Minister and Consul General) (Consular Affairs and Assistance to Nationals) graced the event and did the induction of the officers. Congratulations and more power to the Fil-Com Sendai group.

Kessennuma Care Giver group featured in Miyagi International Association

Members of Bayanihan group Kessennuma were featured in Miyagi International Association. The full article can be downloaded in the website of the MIA. It features those who are working as care giver. The interview and the article is in Japanese


Hirosaki Commuty Mass and Birthday Celebration

thank God for another fruitful life I recieved.In behalf of Filipino community in hirosaki Our deepest thank's to Fr.Garry Gestoveo Who offered us mass every 2nd wednesday of the month . Kahit malayo ang beyahe galing ofunato ,makikita mo pa rin ang napakagandang smile abot nang langit sa kabila nang pagod ... We feel blessed by hearing the gospel so much ...and i would like to take this opportunity to say  " THANK  YOU " from the bottom of my heart to my friend who pray and supported me in my struggles in the hospital , may the Lord God bless us always ....
May all of my family and friends who need miracles be blessed , may whoever is feeling weak be given strength .may all of those who carry heavy  burdens have their load lightened .Amen ...
               Gina Naito

Miho Chan with her Dad.

40th Anniversary of Fr. Gabriel's Priesthood

We thank GOD for our dear Father Gabriel who is celebrating 40th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood.We are very fortunate to have you here in Hirosaki city ,a very approachable and a smiling priest .You serve us all for our benefit ! We thank GOD for all who heed the call to the Priesthood ! Congratulations ! and the Lord's blessings for many years to come in the service of the Lord and the Order .
             Allow us to express our heartfelt thanks for allowing us to unite every second wednesday of the month to celebrate an english mass ang to pray the Rosary and novena to our Blessed Virgin Mary A Very happy fortieth ordination .May heavenly Father change this to GOLD , DIAMOND and PLATINUM........
             May the Good Lord Bless you in abundance and grant you many more blessed happy healthy priestly years .Best Wishes !
          Pat Kikuchi


Ofunato Church

This month we are greatly blessed to have the baptism of the three children here in Ofunato Church. The PAG ASA community of Ofunato and Rikuzen Takata together with the Japanese christians in Ofunato are one to welcome our new members. They are Sei Takahashi whose baptismal name is Francis of Asisi, Koyuki Sasaki whose baptismal name is Angela Chrisei and Kaori Shibata whose baptismal name is Christine were baptised in Ofunato church. We pray for these children that they will always be blessed by God and that their family and their God-parents (Ninongs and Ninangs) will help them grow in their faith. 

Rikuzen Takata Members Join in cooking class with Kokusai Kouryu Kyoukai

Good day to all of us, can I just share a little about our cooking we did last july 13.This is the first time that the KOKUSAI KOURYU KYOUKAI make activities to show their support and concerned to the foreigner, after the tsunami .We cooked japanese food. Some member of PAG-ASA (takata) joined  the event.The participants were Theresa, Marife, Christine, Rosemary, Rosalinda, and also the Japanese joined with us.
We cooked aji gohan, pasta, imuno, warabe and soup. And while cooking nagkwentuhan, tawanan kami and the japanese also participate and laughed with us.We ended up with sharing about our experiences last 3/11 disaster

By Haydee Kaiyama

PAG ASA Group Join in the City Celebration in Honor of Yamaura Sensei

In celebrating with Yamaura Sensei for recieving the Papal honor for his work in translating the Bible into the local (Kessen language) language, the city had prepare a special program for his honor. PAG ASA members offered a dance for his honor and they event invited Yamaura sensei to dance with them. It was indeed a great honor for the Ofunato Catholic Church and the whole Catholic church of Japan that one of our members recieved a highest honor from the Pope himself.

Home Visit

With block rosaries, we were able to visit homes of our members and share a meal together. It also an opportunity to meet the family and have some deeper shadings about our situations here. After the rosary in Ofunato church we decided to visit Ryori Cho and meet Tate san, Rina san, and Gina san.

We also visited Christine Sasaki in preparation for Koyuki's baptism.

Had the general meeting and Rosary in Takata in Rose Marie Sasaki

Seamen's Visit

Last August 5, we have an opportunity to meet the seafarers from Indonesia. We were invited to eat supper with them. Fr. Harnoko share his reflection on the visit.

Today, I met Indonesia ship-crew in Ofunato, bringing them to shops and visiting their cargo-ship. I was so touched by the captain's story..."It's a hard life but God is always with us! It's a wonderful experience to meet friends here."

Thank you and Sayonara

We would like to thank some special people who had become part of our journey here in the Sendai Support Center for Foreigners. They have been of great service to all of us especially in the time after the disaster. Miss Maria Sol Velez, a lay missionary from CTIC had help us in organizing ourselves here in Ofunato and Takata. We would never forget how you gave your time to all of us. Thank you and we hope the best for you and your family.

Another person we would like to thank is Sister Nogami. Thank you for your patience to teach us Japanese for our Kaigo lessons. We hope for the best for you in your new mission.


August are Matsuri time its also O-bon Festival.
O-bon Festival is a series of of rituals where Japanese Welcome the spirits of their ancestors and then send them off into the great unknown. Rituals vary by region; Morioka holds the Funekko Nagashi, where they send a burning boat down the river, while in Kyoto they celebrate the Gozan no Okuribi, where five giant bonfires are lit on mountains sorrounding the city.
These events are both help on August 16 every year.

images taken from the internet