Friday, December 11, 2015

December 2015


Illusions are soft comfortable things usually.  They are cushions against reality.  Whoever thinks that faith is a flight from reality must never have read the psalms or the New Testament.  What we see there is an overwhelming realism.  There are few of us, probably, who wouldn’t describe ourselves as realists; but you could have realism coupled with self-indulgence, or with heroic pessimism, or with cynicism…. In the Scriptures realism is coupled with faith in God.  “They will make the Son of Man suffer.”  
Jesus predicted his suffering, to prepare his disciples for the shock.  But otherwise he never talked or complained about it.  When you talk about your suffering you are creating a distance between it and you; you are not ‘suffering’ your suffering (‘to suffer’ originally meant ‘to allow’).  It cannot work its chemistry in you if you don’t let it come near – in fact, nearer than near: you have to become one with it.  When you are one with it, there is no distance and therefore no talk.  
When you talk about your suffering, people are usually too polite to change the subject.  How awkward a subject it can be!  People have too much suffering of their own, they don’t know what to do with yours.  If you said you had a leaking roof they could offer to fix it for you, but what can they do about your suffering if all you can do about it yourself is talk?  And behind the talk they can often sense a plea for pity and sympathy; they sense that you are trying to make capital out of it.  Instead we have to make a life out of it. 

4th Anniversary Block Rosary in Ofunato

Iwate Ken Ichinoseki  Catholic Church Mass with Fr. Edgar

Fukushima Iwaki Catholic Church Mass with Fr. Edgar

Aomori Ken Hirosaki Catholic Church Mass with Fr. Garry

Friday, November 6, 2015

November 2015

For Our Reflection

Most people know the old cliché question “Do you see your glass as half empty or half full?” that determines if one is an optimist or pessimist. Well, I heard something on the radio that shattered my half-empty glass mentality completely.

The woman said something along the lines of: “You miss the whole point with that question. You can always refill the glass.”

Mind. Blown. It doesn’t matter if you’re optimistic or pessimistic, there’s always more room for things to get better. Although it may be harder for the pessimist to believe that statement, it’s rational and makes a lot of sense.

When I think about my glass and faith, I imagine that my glass is half full. But I want to fill it back up. It’s something that I am trying very hard to do. For the past few days, weeks, perhaps months, my faith has been in flux. Some days, it feels like God has abandoned me. I’m having one of those days today.

So what can I do to refill my glass? For me, I’ve found that straight-out praying is hard in times such as these. Reading the Bible is easier, as is reading religious books, even if it’s just a short passage. I also found that if you have a friend you can lean on and talk to, that helps fill the glass up even quicker. Sometimes emptying out your worries and your fears can help fill your glass back up with hope.

reflections taken from

Filipinos in Tono Church 


FR. Niko

Fr. Edgar Celebrates Mass in Mizusawa Church

Fr. Edgar celebrated the mass in Mizusawa Church last Oct. 3. 

Motodera Bazaar

Hirosaki Catholic Church

Ofunato Rosary

Ichinoseki Mass

Sunday, October 4, 2015

October 2015

For Our Reflection

Ways to Find Peace in a Troubled World
  • When you look at the headlines and feel a pit in your stomach, kick it out and let hope take its place in your heart instead. Here are a few ways to help you achieve this.
  • Look around you and notice the good in life

  • The world is full of kind and caring people. A story in "Reader's Digest" told of a woman driving home in a blizzard. Her tire blew and she pulled off the road. The man in the car behind her pulled off, too. He quickly jumped out and fixed her flat.
    "I was going to get off two miles back," he said. "But I didn't think that tire looked good." The world is full of people who care. Notice them. Be one of them. It diminishes feelings of despair.
  • Stay positive

    Recently a woman reported that when she was a young child, her family lived in London. It was during the war, and bombs were being dropped too close to home. After hunkering down in a bomb shelter with his family, her father came out with them, hugged them and said, "All is well. I have my family. And look; the roses are still blooming." She said his positive attitude became her own, and she has been able to find joy throughout her life.
  • Be thankful for what you have

    If you have food to eat and a place to live, count your blessings. Look at your family and cherish them. Being genuinely thankful for what really matters takes away feelings of gloom.
  • Share your bounty with others

    We became aware of a doctor friend who had taken his wife out for a dinner date. In the restaurant he saw a young couple, holding hands at a nearby table. He thought they might be young married students at the local college. He had the server give him the young couple's bill. He secretly paid it and left. He and his wife smiled all the way home, and we can only imagine that the young couple did, too. Sharing what you have is a great way to chase a dark cloud away.
  • Be a light in someone else's life

    If you're worried about the terrible things that are happening in the world, bring a little light into someone else's life. Our widowed aunt was good at this. In her later years she spent time visiting the elderly at care centers and playing the piano for the patients there. She knew all the old favorites, and they loved it. They loved her. A nurse reported that it was the best medicine ever. And our aunt was happier as a result. Fill your life with good deeds and you'll spend less time worrying about the dire situations that are going on in the world.
  • Turn a deaf ear to the doomsday proclaimers

    Sometimes that may mean turning off the news. When those who declare bad tidings show up in your life, turn away. Be selective in your listening. You never have to listen to someone who is threatening that the world is coming to an end on a certain date. These doomsday folks have been coming and going for years, and guess what? The world is still here.
  • Keep on having fun

    Fill your life with good times. Life can't feel gloomy if you're having good, wholesome fun. It takes a conscious effort to plan these times. Enjoy a concert, have lunch with friends, take your family on an outing, go for a walk and enjoy nature's beauty. There are so many things you can do to have fun in life. It's pretty hard to feel gloomy if you're having a good time.
  • Be prepared for emergencies

    Emergencies come -- job losses, illnesses, stock market crashes and raging wars. They have been going on for as long as any of us can remember. They are part of life, but rarely worthy of panic if you plan ahead. Anxieties can be minimized when we are prepared with a few life-sustaining items on hand. Having some food and other necessary commodities in the pantry can bring peace to your mind. A nice little nest-egg savings can help, too.

  • Keep your faith in God alive

    People who realize that God has a plan for them feel much more secure during troubled times. There is nothing quite like having faith in a Heavenly Father who loves you. Knowing that He is watching over you is significantly comforting. Plant that in the minds of your children and they will feel less fear. Faith chases away fear. Keep it alive in your own heart and in the hearts of those you love.
     Give them a try and you'll find yourself smiling. 

Ofunato Church News



Hirosaki Mass

Last September 9, we had our regular mass in Hirosaki Church. I also celebrated the sunday mass of September 6 here in Hirosaki Church.  From this month, we will be helping in the first district of Aomori for their masses. I stayed for five days in Hirosaki Church and had visited some places. 
During our mass we had a birthday celebrant and we had a simple birthday party celebration. Since i have my mass in Oshimizu home for the aged, i left immediately just in time for my 2:30 mass. 

Japanese Proficiency Exam Preparation

Shirakawa Community is preparing for the Japanese Proficiency Exam this coming December.

after the review for the exam - minna gambare

Ishinomaki Hawak Kamay Community

Migrant Day Mass

Some pictures during the Migrant day mass here in the diocese

In Sendai Motodera Church

in Kitakami Church with Fr. Insen

in Ofunato Church with Fr. Edgar

Happy Birthday Fr. Edgar

Last September FR. Edgar had celebrated his birthday with the Ofunato  PAGASA community.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

September 2015

For Our Reflection

The Parable of Ten Bridesmaid [Mt. 25:1-13]

It is very difficult for us to understand this parable. Why are ten virgins waiting outside for the bridegroom? Why do they need lamps? Even scholars are not sure. What is definite is that these virgins are not the brides. Our best guess is that they are more like bridesmaid; they are waiting to process the bridegroom into his feast.

Let us forget about the foolish virgins and consider two details about the wise virgins. First, they have flasks of oil with them. What do these flasks signify? We do not know. They are something extra, something beyond, but what they are is uncertain. After all the virgins fell asleep, they need what is in the flask. Perhaps it is prayer or study. The wise virgins had a stronger foundation of prayer and studying the Scriptures and the Catechism, so they were able to be ready when the time came.

The oil in the flask could also be a symbol of the Holy Spirit; oil often is used to symbolize the Holy Spirit. Then we would say that the light of faith burned out in those who were relying only on themselves for faith. The Holy Spirit is the only fuel for our faith that is sure to be there when we need it.

The second detail could be called holy selfishness. The wise virgins do not let the foolish virgins share what is in the flasks. There are many people in this world who would like to keep you from doing what you need to do to be ready for Christ, people who will complain that you are praying or studying or going to Mass when they need you for their own purposes. Do not let them prevent you from being prepared. Be selfish!

We do have human relationships which demand our time and effort. Failing to live up to them is not a holy thing. A mother who did not care for her children but spent all her time in prayer as if she were a nun would not be practicing true devotion. Nevertheless, our relationship with God comes first. We must not allow the world or anyone in the world to demand that we stop praying and studying, to demand that we give up whatever is in the flask that allows us to keep the fire burning. We must be selfish because we will not be able to do any good if we do not first seek God.


Hirosaki Mass

We celebrated our monthly mass in Hirosaki Church last August 12. We also planned to have the farewell party of Fr. Tou Paul who will be returning to Kenya at the end of the month. During our gathering Ate Pat came all the way from Saitama to be with us for our celebration. 


First Communion of Shiori Tanabe 

Last August 15 during the Feast of the Ascension, we celebrated together with the family of Tanabe Shiori san her first communion. After some months of preparation, she was able to have her first communion. She thanked Sister Kitagawa who helped her prepare for this great blessing. 


Sayonara Party 

I was invited to the sayonara part of the Tokyo dress last August 15. The Tokyo dress is a company here in Hachinohe. The workers were mostly from Cebu and they had been very active in the church acting as choir to our English mass and during the international mass here during the fourth sunday of the month. By October 6 Tokyo dress workers and of course our choir members in the church will be returning to the Philippines. I am very happy to be invited during the sayonara party. To all of you, we would like to thank you for your unfailing support for the activities in our church. We will always pray for all of you.

Blessing of the Chapel in Ofunato


Mass in Ichinoseki

Fr. Edgar celebrated the mass in Ichinoseki this month. There seems to be a growing number of mass attendees in Ichinoseki. We hope we will continue to celebrate and gather together every 3rd Saturday of the month in Ichinoseki Church.


Baptism in Hachinohe Church

We had a baptism of Rika Takemoto chan last August 23 here in Hachinohe church. Rika's parents are from Ninohe but they ask me if they could do the baptism here. After consulting with Fr. Sato, I ask them to prepare Rika for baptism. Rick's grandparents were also here and joined her during her baptism.


Bishop Otsuka shares about Takayama Ukon in Kuji Church

Last August 24, Bishop Otsuka of Kyoto came to Kuji Church to celebrate mass and to give a sharing about Takayama Ukon. This is the second time or the third time that the bishop made the visit to the church after the March 11, 2011 disaster. This time through his request he celebrated the mass and met the christians of the church. There several Filipinos who attended the mass and the talk which the bishop really appreciates because Takayama Ukon who will be beatified next year here in Osaka had a connection with the Philippines. And the presence of the Filipinos during the mass and the talk was really a meaningful moment for the bishop and the Kuji community.  

with the Filipinos in Kuji


The Event - After the Rosary

This the common event here in Ofunato after the block rosary. We had been doing our rosary for four years and we are always blessed with the number of children who are present during our Rosary. And of course the walang sawang kainan. Di yan mawawala. More power to everybody and more blessings.


Meanwhile in Kessenuma

The Filipino group had conducted a cooking class on Philippine food. They shared their knowledge about how to cook our Lumpia prito, lumpia saging and sago at gulaman.


How to be Happier