Interview with Br. Takeshita Naokatsu (GIA)
Tokyo, Japan, 23 November 2017 -- From April 2016, Br. Takeshita is an associate editor of the monthly provincial newsletter 'Bonta' and dedicates himself to this work with joy, competence, respect. Since May 2017 is also in charge as editor of the monthly video messages of the provincial (during the sabbatical year of Fr. Michael Lap, now in Ireland). Next year will join the Sandor Community in Paranaque for the specific formation of Salesian Brother (FIN).
What makes you joyful as Salesian Brother?
According a short experience as consecrated Salesian, my joy is to share the gifts God gave me for the Salesian mission to the young people. When I offer all for the sake of the young people, I'm most happy. Important for my happiness as Salesian Brother is to get some professional preparation. I'm most inclined to the music or social communication ministry. Ideal of my joy is to stay amidst the young and develop my gifts to serve them better.
Do you have any models as Salesian Brother?
After reading the biographies of 33 Salesian Brothers in the beginning of the Congregation I felt the attraction of Br. Giuseppe Buzzetti. Although they are different from our times, they offer many meaningful inspiration on my vocation journey.
Then are many good role-models or examples: First encounter with Br. Raymond Callo (‘Mon’) in February 2017 in Tokyo. Also during the EAO Soc.Com. delegate meeting in Tokyo (2015) I was impressed by Br. Ephrem, he inspired me a lot in my vocation journey. Also Br. Sudo, who is member of our community is for me a vocation point of reference. And finaly I respect very much one senior Salesian Brother in Chofu community - Br. Fumio Akabae, as revered model of Salesian Brother.
What is the specific contribution of the Salesian Brother to our mission & community?
Charismatic element is felt very much. We need both faces of Don Bosco - as Priest and Brother. Like the presence of Br. Tono in the provincial council (Provincial Economer), or the presence of Br. Sudo (future provincial secretary) in the Provincial Project Team does contribute to the full expression of our charism in Japan.
How to make the vocation of Salesian Brother more visible in the Church?
We need the presence of Salesian Brothers in our parishes. We need to talk and introduce this vocation to the faithful. Senior Salesian Brothers were working much only ‘within the houses’ and were almost invisible in the Church. For example the proposal of Br. Kikama, who was in Beppu as member of the Oita diocesan commission for vocations, it was very important for us. Also in the Japan context the evangelizing presence of the Brother as catechist in the Catholic school would be a very precious witnessing presence.
What does sustain your vocation?
I'm growing in my vocation with stronger convictions: inner motivation as light from God, that I was chosen personally by our Lord. I'm stronger in vocation when I listen to His interior voice. Especially the week long annual spiritual retreat is very helpful for me and does strengthe my inner vocation conviction. Also in my every day life, when I'm facing some challenges in my work or relationship, I use to return to listen to this inner voice. It give me energy, it's very helpful.
Any expectations for the path towards the 2018 Salesian Brothers Congress?
First of all, I would like to find myself with same Salesian Brothers from different countries and cultures. Although I have some concern about the common language, I will find common points of the Salesian vocation within the diversity of many countries of our region.
The photos are taken in Chofu during the video production of the November Provincial message with the two newly arrived missionaries Cl. Abuto (Kenya) and Cl. Jeswin (India).