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Missionary Animation in Japan - Cardinal Fernando Filoni

By Our Own Correspondent

Tokyo, Japan, 22 September -- This year there are two provinces in our Region with a significant number of special visitors - Myanmar (MYM) does benefit from five SDB General councilors visit (between August and November) and at the end also the first historical visit of Pope Francis (Nov 27-Dec 2) and Japan (GIA) province already hosted the Secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelization of People (CEP or 'Progaganda Fide), Archbishop Savio Hon (August) and in these days is blessed with a high visibility animation visit of the CEP Prefect, Cardinal Fernando Filoni (September).

One week long visit (September 18-24) included stop over in many significant places like Nagasaki (Martyrs Place), Hiroshima (Peace Memorial), Osaka and Tokyo. The Missions Dicastery Cardinal delivered many talks to the Clergy, Bishops, Seminarians, Religious and Lay people, always focused on the Initial proclamation of Jesus in the Japan - Asian context. His talks available on the FIDES website ( or available on the Boscolink Agora.

Just two days before the 148th Salesian Missionary Expedition and few weeks before the missionary month of October the sharp and short input of Cardinal Filoni in Japan may become a suitable input for our missionary animation, which does also focus on the Initial Proclamation of Jesus through Don Bosco Preventive system environment, attitude and relationship. Among the main themes are:

  • The Essential work of the missionary is carried out the Grace of God and by the Holy Spirit

  • To announce - proclaim the Gospel is a great act of Charity

  • One becomes a disciple of Jesus due to His fascination or attraction

  • Some temptations of the Asian country Catholic: looking only at numbers or external social achievement of Church institutions.

We can get many valuable pointers for the future of Evangelization in Asia suggested by Cardinal Filoni: 'In some situations it is appropriate to "rethink our role in the various sectors of social, education, health or welfare services". And if the services that the Church makes in the various fields "are not adequate" said the Prefect of Propaganda Fide, "then the Bishops must have the courage to rethink how to give priority to this missionary purpose". Cardinal Filoni also encouraged the representatives of the Japanese episcopate to intensify the already initiated pastoral care of Catholic immigrants that "will be able to integrate in culture and become a promising resource for the evangelization of this Earth."

We can ponder rather strong insight: "The problem is faith; there is no intimate relationship with Him in prayer; when this is lacking the face of the Church is blurry, the mission loses strength and conversion goes backwards". Instead, in the current Japanese society, also marked by the solitude of the elders, the reduction of birth rate, the high rate of suicide, the Church can return to offer comforting words to all if it returns to propose the message of salvation in Christ.

Cardinal Filoni proposed again the model of St. Theresa of Calcutta: "Do not worry about the numbers. Help one person at a time and always start with the person closest to you", said Mother Teresa. It is the same evangelistic way of Jesus: to announce the good news of the Kingdom of God by looking into the eyes of individual people, in parishes, as in hospitals, in schools, in workplaces or in the streets, anywhere."




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  • vaclav 2017.09.28 22:24

    IS THE Gospel needed in Japan? 

    Tokyo (Agenzia Fides) - "A question remains carved in our minds and in our hearts. 

    A question that Cardinal Fernando Filoni provocatively left us during his pastoral visit: 

    Is the Gospel needed in Japan? Where and how to evangelize?

    This is the challenge that remains for our Church, especially for us Bishops": says to Agenzia Fides Bishop Isao Kikuchi, a Verbite missionary, at the head of the diocese of Niigata and President of Japanese Caritas, recalling the days of the pastoral visit which the Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples just concluded in Japan (September 17-26).
    The Bishop recalls: "The Cardinal met many faithful, priests, seminarians, religious, bishops. His presence and words are a real, concrete encouragement for us all. They ask us to sow and witness the Gospel in our society today".
    Mgr. Kikuchi recalls a particularly significant moment of the visit, linked to the present: "The Cardinal visited Hiroshima and also that part of the city that still today, 60 years after the disaster, is empty because at the time it was heavily contaminated. Cardinal Filoni recalled the importance of the supreme good of peace, therefore we need to pray and act. Today we must in any case ward off a new nuclear conflict in Asia", he notes.
    The central theme that every moment of the visit went through was that of evangelization: "It is up to us - the Bishop recalls - to proclaim and witness the joy of the Gospel to mankind today. The grace of Christ sustains us and guides us in this journey. We will talk about it in a forthcoming meeting in October, missionary month, in Tokyo, by the Commission for the New Evangelization, at the Bishops' Conference. There will be delegates from each diocese and lay representatives. As Bishops, representing the entire Catholic community in Japan, we have a strong impetus to put the theme of the mission at the center of our pastoral work. The love of Christ drives us toward the wounded humanity of our time. The little flock of Japanese Catholics, that listens to the will of God, is ready to offer the country its humble evangelical witness". (PA) (Agenzia Fides, 28/9/2017)

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