Tokyo, Japan, 18 February 2023 -- On 31 January 1888, before leaving his boys, Don Bosco said: “Dite ai miei ragazzi che li aspetto tutti in Paradiso” (Tell my boys that I will wait for them all in Heaven). Today the Province of Japan solemnly announces: Our confrere, Fr Joseph Tani Satoshi, was called to Don Bosco's garden on February 17, 2023 at 7:26.
Father Tani was born in Osaka on 18 July 1954, and joined the Salesian Congregation in March 1984. He was ordained a priest on 12 October 1991. Then he worked at a Hyuga High school (Myiazaki) and Kodaira Orphans home (Tokyo), then for many years in Seiko high school in Osaka - always loved and trusted by children and young adults. After working as educator and pastor in 2014 in Osaka, he was teaching subjects while serving as the chairman of the Yokohama Salesian Academy until today.
Fr Joseph has passed away, but he has left behind many teachings and a shining life witness. We share a short story of encouragement given by Fr. Tani before the class "Morning Heart" (=Good morning talk) with the theme "The way of being":
"The 'Naked King' didn't realize he was naked until a child laughed at him. The man who adorned himself with honor and authority did not realize that his clothes were invisible to others, that he was naked, until he was laughed at. People who are proud of themselves for being able to do something have contempt for those who can't do better than themselves and a feeling of inferiority towards those who can do better than them. Even if you can't do anything, you have respect and affection for everyone who lives to the fullest.
When our ideal selves collide with the selves who cannot live according to their ideals, suffering arises in our hearts. No one can live an ideal life from the beginning. So don't rush and slowly get closer to your ideal.
Even if you get everything you want, it won't satisfy your heart. Only the love that is born between people can fill the emptiness of the heart. Think about sharing rather than getting.
In December, it becomes even colder. May you take care of your physical health and be ready for your exams. I hope you have a good day today.”
Let us pray that Father Tani's soul may rest in peace!