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By Cl. Kenji Lorenzo Ruiz Hasegawa, SDB

       Chofu, Tokyo, Japan, 12 February 2023 -- In mid-January of this year, the whole Salesian world celebrated the Spirituality Days with this year’s Strenna of the Rector Major: As the Yeast in Today’s Human Family. Japan Province, as a way of deepening the understanding of the Strenna, held a Salesian Spirituality Seminar online for all the members of the Salesian Family in the province. The Youtube program was broadcast from the Salesian Formation House in Chofu, Tokyo on 11 February, 2023 as organized by the Commission on Communication and its staff. Fr. Nobuyuki Tamura, SDB served as host of the said program beginning it with the Prayer for the Salesian Family.

       Fr. Joseph Phuoc, SDB, the East-Asia Oceania (EAO) Regional Superior (on his Extraordinary Canonical Visitation in Japan) gave a welcome greeting to all the members of the Salesian Family in attendance online. In his message, he urged the participants to embrace the Strenna as a personal goal to be achieved as an entire community discerning for ways to living the Strenna in the very society of Japan for the young people. He elaborated that everyone is invited, as Jesus called to participate in the Kingdom of God as the yeast of the dough, which makes the whole basket of dough become the bread for life.

       The main session for this seminar was preached by Fr. Nakamaro Abe, SDB, a theology professor. He helped the participants identify the 7 key points in the Strenna Message of the Rector Major: 1. The yeast of the Kingdom; 2. The Kingdom of God continues to grow in our world, amidst light and shadow; 3. The human family needs responsible sons and daughters; 4. The layperson: a Christian who “sanctifies the world from within”; 5. Don Bosco‘s Family called to be yeast; 6. In the shade of a large tree with beautiful fruit; and, 7. Our young people as YEAST in today’s world.

       Fr. Hideaki Hamaguchi, SDB, the Provincial Superior of Japan Province, delivered his concluding remarks. He emphasised the point of becoming yeast for today’s society – being socially aware and concerned for the issues and situations both locally and globally citing the importance of being aware of the circumstances in the recent earthquake in Turkey and Syria, Russian invasion of Ukraine, and Myanmar coup d'état, as each one faces also the social concerns that surround him.

       The Salesian Spirituality Seminar ended with the annual release of “Strenna Rap” performed by Fr. Nobuyuki Tamura, leaving a deep impression of this year’s Strenna. You can watch on the Japan province YouTube channel.
















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