Missionary Animation in Japan - Cardinal Fernando Filoni
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 (http://www.fides.org/en) 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."