News from the Order of Preachers in Japan
“We hear them speaking in our own tongues of the marvelous acts of God” (Acts 2:11):
Preaching and Culture / Community Preaching
May you be blessed in the holy names of those
Who, without you knowing it,
Help to carry and lighten your pain.
May you know serenity
When you are called
To enter the house of suffering.
May a window of light always surprise you.
May you be granted the wisdom
To avoid false resistance;
When suffering knocks on the door of your life,
May you glimpse its eventual gifts.
May you be able to receive the fruits of suffering.
May memory bless and protect you
With the hard-earned light of past travail;
To remind you that you have survived before
And though the darkness is now deep,
You will soon see approaching light.
May the grace of time heal your wounds.
May you know that though the storm may rage,
Not a hair of your head will be harmed.
Our Dominican Family in Japan
Dear Fr Brian (Fr Brian Pierce – Promotor General for the Nuns of the Order)
Thank you very much for your prayer and heartfelt sympathy.
At last we could get through to our sisters in Morioka a while ago. The lifelines of electricity and water were restored there. Thanks to God, our sisters in Morioka are all safe in very difficult situation. The buildings of their monastery collapsed here and there. It was not so much damage, but there is no telling when the repair will be done. The aftershock is still continuing there (also in Seto).
We cannot get through to our sisters in Bandai. The whole north-east district of Japan was terribly damaged. Our brothers in Tokyo are all safe, but we have not heard about our brothers in north-east district. According to the news, the number of the dead will surpass 10.000. We do beg for the mercy of God.
Thanking for the solidarity with the Dominican family,
Sr. Marie Thomas NOTOHARA, OP
(President of the Association of Dominican Monasteries in Japan)
Dominican Sisters of Apostolic Life
Sr Cecille Espenilla, DSI coordinator for Asia Pacific, sends news about our sisters in Japan: The Asia-Pacific region is again at the centre of unimaginable catastrophe. We all have seen in our TV sets how the earthquake and tsunami struck Japan. Japan is terribly devastated. We have three Dominican congregations who are in Japan. All of them have informed me that they are safe and no one was hurt nor any property destroyed. Sr. Rita Burdzy, Maryknoll, told me that while she was emailing to me, the convent was shaking from a strong aftershock. Sr. Charina, of the Missionary Sisters of St. Dominic, who writes for her Provincial in English is saying that their neighboring prefectures have already been evacuated and they might come next. Sr. Ikeda of St. Dominic of Roman Congregation said that they are all well. They are requesting for our prayers.
Thank you for your concern. I am fine as well as the Christian community, as far as I can know: the communication are still difficult. We are without electricity and water, and food is already limited. The biggest fear: the nuclear usine nearby is risking to contaminate the local population: 200000 have to be evacuated. Thank you for your prayer and your fraternal attention.
Raymond Latour OP
Dominican Friars in Japan
Regional Vicariate of Japan (belonging to Our Lady of the Rosary) (Regional Vicariate)
Sei Dominiko Shudokai (Hombu) Kinuyama 5-1646-6Matsuyama-shi Ehime-Ken
Regional Vicariate of Japan (belonging to St. Dominic of Canada) (Regional Vicariate)
18-13, NAMPEIDAI SHIBUYA-KU 150-0036 TÔKYÔ
Sei Yosefu Shudoin Kinuyama 5-1621-1 MATSUYAMA-SHI, Ehime-Ken 791-8025
Couvent Saint-Dominique (TÔKYÔ) (Priory)
18-13, NAMPEIDAI SHIBUYA-KU 150-0036 TÔKYÔ
Sei Dominiko Shudoin Satsuki-ga-oka 13-71 Nishinomiya-shi HYOGO-KEN 662-0875
461, KAJII-CHÔ, HIROKÔJI KAWARA-MACHI, KAMIGYÔ-KÛ 602-0841 KYÔTO
Sei Josefu Shudoin Ota-ku Sanno 1-33-11 143-0023 TOKYO
2-23-27, HYAKUNIN-CHÔ SHINJUKU-KU 169-0073 TÔKYÔ
Sarashina Genbashimichi 5086Yamagun Bandai, Fukushima 969-3302
Maruyama 1671-2 NishinoshoKonan, Kagawa 761-1406
Ueda-Matsu-yashiki 2-32 Morioka, Iwate 020-0102
92, Higa-shinagane Seto, Aichi 489-0871
Ministries owned by Dominicans
4-8-21 Maidashi Higashi-Ku 812-0054 FUKUOKA
4-2 Matsuki-Chô 906-8018 FUKUSHIMA-SHI, Fukushima-Ken
1-15 Hashimoto-Chô Minami-Sôma-Shi
975-0006 HARAMACHI-SHI, Fukushima-Ken
13-1 Hanabatake-Chô Onamaha 971-8162 IWAKI-SHI, Fukushima-Ken
3-1 Dône-Machi Taira 970-8026 IWAKI-SHI, Fukushima-Ken
13-1 Toramaru-Machi 963-8014 KÔRIYAMA-SHI, Fukushima-Ken
Katorikku Kyôkai San Bancho 4-5-5 MATSUYAMA-SHI, Ehime-Ken 790-0003
Dominican House Aza Himegahara 169O Aza Nagashi, Nakajima-Cho ONZEN-GUN, Ehime-Ken
2-5-25 Tôri-Chô Aoba-ku 981-0915 SENDAI-SHI, Miyagi-Ken
The Catholic diocese of Sendai was the first victim of Japan’s tsunami following the earthquake. Covering a land area of 27864 square miles, the diocesan territory includes the cities of Aomori, Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima. Initial reports suggest that Miyagi and Fukushima were the first to fall victim to the 33ft tsunami caused by the megaquake. In Sendai, where a major oil terminal exploded when its cooling system failed, Catholics form 0.15% of the total population of 7,207,624. In Tokyo Catholics are 0.51% of a total population of 18,552,995 people. In both cities, the predominant religions are Shinto and Buddhism.
There are approximately 509,000 Catholics in Japan, of whom 10,944 are in the diocese of Sendai and a further 95,877 in the archdiocese of Tokyo, which also felt the force of the earthquake even though it is situated more than 250 miles from its epicentre.
Although relatively small, the Japanese Church is vibrant, perhaps nurtured by the seed of its many thousands of martyrs during the 500 years of its history of Christianity. As a result of a period of persecution which lasted from 1614 until 1858, Japan apparently has the world’s greatest number of Catholic martyrs. In the 17th century alone, it is estimated that there were between 200,000 and 300,000 martyrs. The most famous were the 55 who were executed in Nagasaki on 10 September 1632. After 1632, so many died for their faith, often accompanied by excruciating and virtually unimaginable torture, that it became impossible to collect all their data.
In spite of the importance of the Japanese economy to the world at large, the country’s wealth does not always filter down to the Catholic Church. Japan is proof that a country does not to be poor and part of the developing world to be grouped amongst those that need support from Missio-worldwide. Yet, through Missio-Japan, Japanese Catholics contribute approximately £600,000 annually to help the Church in places where people are in greater need.
Missio is not an emergency aid organisation: its purpose is to be present ‘for the long haul’ in the Church wherever it is young or poor. It is impossible within a few hours of the initial earthquake to know what the needs are and where they should be directed. ‘At the moment, all we can do is to pray’, declared Mgr John Dale, the National Director of Missio-England and Wales. ‘When we know more, we can do more.’
On 22 February, the earthquake that hit Christchurch in New Zealand initiated a campaign of prayer amongst the 150 countries in which Missio is represented. Fr Paul Shannahan SMA, the National Director of Missio-New Zealand remarked at the time that ‘The biggest ‘damage’ is to people. Many were traumatised in the 7.1 quake last September but this one is worse in that it was in the middle of a working and school day. It hit with such vigour. It shook whole building violently. Hundreds have sustained injuries but shock and fear is scaring them even more.
Thousands are trying to get home and many more are leaving the city to stay elsewhere.’
The effects on Japan and the Pacific will be considerably greater. We offer our prayers and the promise of future support. Sr Janet Hearns for Missio
Words are inadequate to express our compassion for the people of Japan. We can only pray that all, especially our Dominican Brothers and Sisters, will have the courage to go on, knowing that they are being prayed for and supported by their family throughout the world.
Our Solomonese Dominican Family heeded the tsunami warnings, and joined the rest of their villagers in the hills. There was some high water at Loga, Nila and Wagina, but no damaging waves, thank God.
Fr Henry Paroi was able to say that “no problem has been reported. But this says something wonderful about mobile phones, otherwise we would have never found out what was going on until it was perhaps the next day.”
The whole experience must be very tough for those who have gone through a devastating tsunami before, we offer our prayers for courage for these people too.
There are usually no Dominican Feasts celebrated during Lenten days.