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Traditional joint Quinquennium meeting Japan and Korea

By Fr Taniguchi Ryohei, SDB

Nagasaki, Japan, 28 December 2018 -- Japan province is very happy to welcome our confreres from Korea to one of the memorial places of our faith and history during this joyful week after Christmas. We have this kind of joint quinquennial meeting every other year. Two years ago, it was held in Korea, so this time it is in Japan.

We, 7 confreres of Japan province including Fr Hamaguchi, the Provincial, welcomed 15 confreres from Korea province led by Bro Marco Choi, the provincial economer, at Fukuoka international Airport on the afternoon of 27 December, and then went on to Nagasaki together by car. During the first supper, Fr Hamaguchi mentioned the importance of Nagasaki for the Japanese faithful and the reason we chose Nagasaki as our gathering place. Introducing each other, we enjoyed the meal with a joyful Salesian atmosphere.

Day 2: today we visited Shitsu and Sotome. This memorable place was home to persecuted Christians during the ban on Christianity and is known as the setting for “Silence” the novel by Susaku Endo. Accompanied by flurries of snow, we first visited Shitsu, the place where a famous priest of the Paris Foreign Missions Society (MEP), Fr Marc Marie de Rotz was so active. Using his own private property, he built churches, a hospital, and a food-processing plant to help poor people there, especially the women in need of gaining independence. Then we went to Sotome to visit the Endo Shusaku Literary Museum, and saw the great view of the sea which the missionaries must have watched during persecution with sorrow and hope.

After the Japanese mass in Kurosaki Parish we had time for sharing in the parish centre. Meditating on the example of the zealous missionary and of the Christians under persecution, we had a significant time sharing our identity, happiness and difficulties in our daily life as Salesian priests or Salesian brothers.

Tomorrow, we are going on pilgrimage to the Nagasaki central area, organized by five small groups and will have a Korean mass this time. And on 30 December, we will go back to our own respective communities after the English mass at which Fr Michael Lap Haruyama, the vice provincial of GIA will be main celebrant.

    NB: Since 2002 the two provinces of Korea and Japan organize a joint Quinquennium encounter of young confreres every second year, alternately in Korea and Japan. These brief four day meetings contribute much to mutual understanding among the two nearby provinces.






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