My present dream is to become like Fr. Cimatti in Africa
By Cl. Chihiro Morito, SDB
Moshi, Tanzania, October 13, 2015 - It’s a very special story of one Japanese Christian, Salesian and Missionary vocation. Second year postnovice Cleric Chihiro Morito, SDB – born in Japan, but born as a Salesian in Africa (prenovitiate and novitiate in Kenya, Postnovitiate in Tanzania) shares his journey:
“When I was 18, I was in a Buddhist’s high school in Japan, and one day was taking a nap in my dormitory after coming back from school. I had a dream then that a strange man appeared in front of me, inviting to come to his side with his gesture. His appearance was so dazzling that I could not gaze at him at all. I was so scared and could not move while he kept on inviting to make my steps towards him. When I woke up, I could not stop my tears flowing down from my eyes.
When I was 23, I finally made up my mind to be baptized after several instructions by a Salesian priest Fr. Achile Loro Piana, an Italian missionary in Japan for over 50 years, and received the sacrament of Confirmation in the next year in Tokyo – Meguro parish.”
Consecrated and Salesian journey
“When I was 24, I had another dream about two crying youth and soon after I realized that they were crying for joy, they approached and took me to a very far place of which I did not have any idea. Some years later, I began to work for the homeless in Tokyo and the people with mental disorder as a psychiatric social worker. One day I heard that a certain homeless person had been hospitalised because of cancer, and I was on the way to visit him at his hospital. But I wanted buy some gifts for him, so I called by a shop in Tokyo. When I was walking about on the third floor of the shop, all of a sudden, I heard a voice which I had never heard, and which was totally different from my daily voice within during my prayer. He said, ‘‘Go to Africa and become a priest, and then you will know what you have to do there.’’ And since then I was thinking about going to Africa to be a priest.”
Missionary journey to Africa
“What is to be noted here is that I did not have any means to go to Africa. But after a year, I met again Fr. Loro Piana for the first time after seven years. I told him all the vocation experienced before. A few months later Fr. Ferrington, then Delegate of Sudan, during his visit in Japan, and I told him about my vocation. Before I left Japan, I had to quit my job and persuade my parents. My mother who is a Christian accepted it with tears, but it took long time to talk my father, who is an atheist, out of my decision.
Finally, I decided to leave everything behind to fulfil His call in 2011 - though it was the toughest decision in my life -, I came to Wau, South Sudan, as a volunteer for the street boys, and made the first profession in 2014 in Nairobi and now I’am studying philosophy and education in Moshi, Tanzania.”
First time as Salesian of Don Bosco in Japan - 2015
Cl. Chihiro arrived for the first time in Japan as professed Salesian after his first year of his Postnovitiate last summer 2015:
“I was moving around from table to table to meet my relatives and friends. As a result, I lost seven kilos when I was in Africa, but I gained six kilos here in Japan, only during 4 weeks of my family visit! Of course I had a great privilege to meet the Salesian provincial Fr. Mario, some other Salesians, the Apostolic Nuncio in Japan, many Catechists and witnessed the spiritual sufferings of the people in Japan.
What I discovered during my holiday is that I am not called by God to be on a mountaintop, but to be with the young, especially with the unloved and the unwanted in our society, to be the poverty of Christ, to be the humility of Christ, and to be the obedience of Christ. I have realized that I need more inner attitude of simplicity in order to understand what God placed among us.”
Dream about my Salesian missionary future
“My missionary dream is that after serving the people in the Sudan Delegation (AFE), to which I belong, for 10-20 years, I would like to be a missionary in a place where there is no Salesian at all, such as Somalia., and if this is God's call, I would like to be a martyr like Bishop Louis Versiglia and Fr. Calisto Caravario in order to be good soil for the Christians and non-Christians in such a place.
In order to face the issue of atheist and secularism, I think we should not start with the verification of God, but with sympathy with human beings, to suffer and live together with the little ones. But my present dream is to become a humble Salesian like Fr. Cimatti.”
Member of a missionary group in the Postnovitiate of Moshi
At present Moshi Postnovitiate (3 years course) is a large Salesian international formation community of 64 post-novices from 10 African English speaking countries (Tanzania, Kenya, South Sudan, Sudan, Zambia, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Swaziland and South Africa) plus one from Japan! There are five formators from India, Tanzania, Kenya and South Africa.
A missionary group of the post-novices has already well established traditions. At present there are 10 members (leader Cl. Joseph Abuto) who want to leave everything behind and go to a new mission land for the rest of their life. They animate the whole community through well prepared adorations, missionary exhibition, sharing. Last October 6, thanks to their Japanese companion, member of this group they shared about the EAO region with the special message of it’s Regional councilor: “There is no greater happiness than the joy of a missionary who left everything and give all his heart and life for the youth and the Gospel far away from his homeland! Wish that all of you would discover the deeper joy of self-giving as Salesians without frontiers.”
Chihiro concludes his sharing:
“This invitation to share through the AustraLasia news has renewed my missionary spirit. I want to be like Fr. Cimatti in Africa. You are always in my prayer. Please pray for me!”
During this missionary month of October we pray that many more young people would be challenged with the missionary drive to go out of their comfort zone and follow with their full heart Jesus Christ.