Salesian Family Day Japan 2018 with the Rector Major
By Chihiro Okawa and Mitsuhiro Tateishi, EXDB
Tokyo, Japan, 11 November 2018 -- On the afternoon of Sunday 11th November, the Salesian Family Day 2018 with Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, the Salesian Rector Major, was held at Seibi Gakuen School compound (FMA, Kita Ward, Tokyo) and about 400 people participated.
The first part of the program was the Academy. When the Rector Major entered the hall and joined in the dance, "Himno Bienvenido Don Bosco" on stage with young people, the hall was filled with thunderous applause. Then, each group of the Salesian Family in Japan gave their introduction and report of activities to the Rector Major.
The Rector Major said in his talk, which was mingled with humor, "Today I was able to have a wonderful time with you. Please be aware that you are members of the big global Salesian Family. The best thing we can witness to the world and society is to become united like we are today, especially, to become one for others. Let us advance with creativity and pray and share with one another in order to realize this."
Holy Mass followed, presided by Bishop Mario Yamanouchi, SDB (Saitama Diocese). Concelebrating were the Rector Major, Fr Horacio Lopez, the Provincial Fr Jacob Hamaguchi and other SDBs. During the Mass, four new Salesian Cooperators were initiated. The new Cooperators were blessed and congratulated by the Rector Major. Bishop Mario said in his homily, "As a Salesian, I think Saitama Diocese is the Diocese which is the most hopeful in Japan, because there are a lot of people in need. Every day, I feel strong connection with the Salesians even after becoming a Bishop. The Rector Major blessed me when Pope Francis appointed me as a Bishop. Don Ángel, thank you very much for your generosity."
The third part of the program was the banquet. After the toast by the Provincial, Fr Jacob Hamaguchi SDB, everyone enjoyed encounters and sharing over the meal. Fr Fernandez generously responded to requests to take photos with him and the long queue continued as the Salesian Family members and friends showed their love for the successor of Don Bosco.
There was also entertainment. Led by Fr Peter Sekiya and the FMA and SCG sisters on stage, everyone was invited to join in the Don Bosco Ondo dance (Japanese style song and dance created for Don Bosco’s bicentenary). Fr Mickey Muramatsu’s magic show drew applause and laughter as the Rector Major became Fr Mickey’s assistant, together with a little girl, and reacted humorously to Fr Mickey’s tricks. In return, Fr Fernandez, and his Secretary Fr Horacio Lopez, and Bishop Mario treated everyone to a hearty performance of songs accompanied by guitars.
Filled with lively and joyful atmosphere, the day ended with the Rector Major’s Buonanotte – Good night talk. Reminiscing over the beginnings of Don Bosco’s works, Fr Fernandez invited everyone to imagine the Pinardi chapel, where at the end of the day, Don Bosco would look on his boys and give them good words from a father’s heart, and reminded us that the first Buonanotte was given not by Don Bosco, but by Mamma Margaret, who creatively conceived it in her mother’s heart, trying to help the boys they had started to take in from the streets, which was not always an easy experience. The Rector Major reminded us and emphasised that we are a family, and this is at the heart of all Salesian works. Finally, the 'Casetta di Don Bosco' (Our Father's Home) composed by Don Cimatti was sung, the blessing of Mary Help of Christians was imparted on everyone by the Rector Major as the joyful gathering came to a close.
Rector Major visits the Boys’ Home
Tokyo, Japan, 11 November 2018 -- The Rector Major visited the boys’home, Salesio Gakuen, on 11 November. About 80 boys who need care and support live here, They are from 3 to 18 years old. The home was started by Salesian missionaries after World War II to provide a home for abandoned orphans who flocked to the streets of Tokyo at that time.
The Rector Major started his visit with a liturgy of the Word celebrated by Fr Provincial, Jacob Hamaguchi, with the children, staff and Salesians who live here as one big family. After the liturgy, the boys played music by hand-bell that they love so much. The Rector Major then gave a short and inspiring talk to the boys and staff. Father said everyone needs to keep his dream and his dream for each one of them is a good future. Taking pictures together was not forgotten in this joyful moment with the Rector Major.
The Rector Major wanted to know their home, so he visited the houses and asked them questions. The staff and Salesians explained the life of the boys in this home.
In the end, Father Kitagawa,sdb accompanied the Rector Major to the Salesian primary school and junior high school in the same compound.