Sunday, March 2, 2014

March 2014

For Our Reflection

My Winter Reflection

The news of heavy snow had affected our activities, but we rather choose our safety than to go out there and be struck in a snowy road. People were complaining that they are tired and sick of the snow, they shoveling and cleaning everyday made them sick of seeing the snow. Some even prayed to stop the snow.

I have to say that while the snow is falling, it's amazing but once the snow is piled up to 2-3 meters, you begin to panic  and if you are driving  you begin to imagine you might be trapped or will not be able to move.

The whole experience reminds me of how hard life can be. There is a certain perseverance one has to have to make it through the relentless days of winter - the same thing can be said for any life's problems.

Instead of falling into the insipidness of winter, I am trying to accept it for what is it. The same holds true for the problems I have in my life - some things you just have to accept and wait for solution to present itself.   I have to trust in God’s plan for me and his timeline, not mine. 

It may not make the winter any warmer, but perhaps it will make it more bearable.


News From Tacloban and Cebu

Last month we received a news from Sister Nari about the situation in Tacloban. She sends us picture of the children with a thank you message for the school supplies and the school uniforms they received.  Sister Nari is helping an elementary school in Tacloban that was washed out by the typhoon. Our March charity concert will be for the benefit of these children especially for their school uniforms because after the typhoon the children lost all their belongings.  We hope for your full support for our up coming charity concert here in Ofunato. 

In Cebu, I received a message from Fr. Fernold Denna, CICM, president of St. Louis School of Mandaue in Cebu that they received 9 boxes of goods from Japan. Here is Fr. Fernold's message;

"Hello Garry! Just to inform you that the boxes you sent to Francis Kupang through SLC-C arrived some days ago. Kupang entrusted the distribution to the typhoon hit areas to us. We will facilitate its reaching the intended recepients:the typhoon victims in North Cebu. we will update you later. Meanwhile, our sincere thanks to your generous parishioners and friends in Japan. Please relay the info to Gerry or Harnoko. Regards and inga
a heartwarming message from one of pupils in Tacloban


Mass in Mizusawa

Fr. Edgar celebrated the mass in Mizuwasa last Feb. 2.  Father Edgar will be helping us for our masses here in the area.

He said he was impressed by the choir of Mizusawa church. They sing very well and have a good blending in their singing. He was especially impressed when the group sang "May Bukas pa" during the communion.

Block Rosary in Rikuzen Takata

Fr. Edgar attended the February block rosary in Takata. Every first saturday they move the rosary from one house to another. After the rosary Fr. Edgar guided the group to a sharing and a short catechism. We hope that we will continue the practice and little by little be able to deepen our faith.

repeat performance after the rosary

Kuji Mass

The news on heavy snow did not prevent me from going to kuji to celebrate the Tagalog mass this. I have been looking forward to meet the group.

I was met by the Japanese Christians when I arrived. Fr Sato was also there. Then there were three Filipinos who arrived and we did some practice for our songs and to assign the readers.

I feel that they too are excited to celebrate the Tagalog mass.
And since there were Japanese in the group I tried to give my homily in Japanese and Tagalog .
They said there are 60 Filipinos in kuji area. And they will inform them from now on that we will have a regular Tagalog masses every second Saturday of the month.


Shirakawa Block Rosary and Tagalog mass

Every first saturday the Shirakawa community meet together for a mass and block rosary. 
Last Feb. 1 Fr. Harnoko visited the community and celebrated mass with them in Shirakawa church then after that they brought the Statue of the Virgin Mary to the house of Kim san and the group offered the rosary.
Sisters Margarete and Marcy  from Yokohama also were present.
They helped in the faith formation of the group.

Iwaki Mass

After the mass in, we had a simple gathering in the church hall. I noticed one man who was not during our mass. So I ask him where he is coming from and he told me that he was with Juliet and that he is a seafarer. He was the only one who was able to come to the church since the other companions have work.

I ask him where he is in the Philippines and he said Tacloban. So I ask him how is his family. He told me that they lost their house but the family members are all safe. He told me that he wanted to go home after the typhoon to see his family but his contract is not yet finished and leaving early before his contract will finish will entail a penalty. So he decided to stay until he will finished his contract and go home.

After our simple gathering, the Iwaki Community gave him a support money for his family in the Philippines.

We ask you to pray for our people in the Philippines who are still suffering after the typhoon. We hope that we always remember them, pray for them and support them.


Fr. Haru Celebrated Mass in Watari Church

Fr. Harnoko celebrated the mass in Watari Church last Feb. 22.  There were around fifteen Filipinos and Japanese Christians who gathered together for the mass. After the mass, there was a simple thanksgiving party for Fr. Harnoko.
Fr. Harnoko with Fr. Jose also prepared those children for baptism. We have three children baptism by March in Watari Church.

Indonesian Mass in Sendai

with Indonesian students in Sendai
Fr. Harnoko celebrated the mass with the Indonesian group in Sendai last Feb. 23 in Motodera Church. Fr. Insen joined Fr. Harnoko in order to introduce him to the group and for the continuity of the mass for the Indonesian in Sendai from now on.


Thank You so Much for Singing in our Mass

Mass in Hachinohe

The heavy snow did not dampened the spirit of our kababayans to celebrate the mass together in hachinohe. The snow was so heavy I could not recognised the city. I  lost my way, and was moving around the area of the church until I recognise the convenience store. Thank God I safely arrived for the mass. We waited for some members of our choir and started our mass at 1:30 in the afternoon.

After the mass, we gave a chance for some members of our choir who is going back to give s short message because some of them had finished their contract with Tokyo Dress. There were 6 of them. They thank the group for the welcome they received while the were in Hachinohe. In return we also thank them for the services they offered in our masses here in Hachinohe. 

thank you so much

Introducing Japanese Culture

February Festival and Practices in Japan
February 3: 節分 (Setsubun, "Bean-Throwing Ceremony")

Literally the the "seasonal divide", spring setsubun is also called risshun (立春) and part of the Spring Festival (春祭 haru matsuri). Japanese perform a ritual called mamemaki (豆まき, "bean-throwing"), conducted at people's homes or in temples and shrines in order to expel evil spirits and disease by throwing beans outside their house and exclaiming: 鬼は外! 福は内! (Oni wa soto! Fuku wa uchi!), which translates as "Demons out, luck in!" The number of beans thrown (and subsequently eaten) usually corresponds to a person's age.
February 14: バレンタインデー (Valentine's Day)

Introduced in Japan in 1936 and popularized in the 1950s, it is the day when Japanese women offer chocolate to men. Giri-choko (義理チョコ) is given by female employees to their male counterparts (giri 義理 meaning "obligation"), while tomo-choko (友チョコ) and honmei-choko (本命チョコ) is reserved for friends, respectively boyfriends and husbands. Men have to reciprocate twice or thrice (三倍返し, sanbai gaeshi, literally, "triple the return") what they have received one moth later, on White Day.

MARCH 5 is Ash Wednesday


Here are the poster for our upcoming Charity Concert here in Ofunato. We are inviting everyone to come and support this concert. This is for the benefit of Yolanda victims. For further information please call the Sendai Support Center for Foreigners - 090-5666-1747

This is also a commemoration event of 3.11 disaster. 

3.11 Anniversary Memorial Masses

Ofunato Church with Bishop Suwa of Takamatsu Diocese @13:30

Kamaishi Church with Bishop Otsuka of Kyoto Diocese @13:30

Miyako Church with Bishop Hiraga of Sendai Diocese

Please join in the commemoration masses and prayers in your areas or offer you own personal prayers for the victims of the disaster. Pause whatever you are doing at 14:46 on March 11. Believe me you prayers and thoughts will support and continue to uplift the spirit of the people here in Tohoku.