Tokyo, Japan, 16 December 2020 -- After many years of hospitalization, one of the most senior confreres of Japan Province, Fr. Cesar Fraga was called to God in Beppu, Okajima Hospital, on the morning of Dec 15, 2020. His funeral Mass will be held at Salesian Parish Church in Beppu on Wednesday, Dec 16, 2020. Fr Fraga was 91 years old, professed Salesian religious for 74 years, missionary for 68 years and Salesian priest for the past 65 years.
Salesian Father Adrio Cesar FRAGA (1929-2020) was born in Cangas, Pontevedra (Spain) in the diocese of Santiago de Compostela. He joined the Salesian Congregation at Mohernando novitiate in 1945-1946 and after a few years he was sent by the Rector Major as a missionary to Japan in 1952. After finishing his initial formation at Chofu, Tokyo he was ordained to the priesthood in 1955 (Tokyo-Meguro parish).
During his 68 years of Salesian missionary life he became well known for his 'hospitality and cooking' missionary approach, especially in the not-so-easy very small Catholic communities on Kyushu island. Fr Fraga was an outreaching missionary parish priest in Adachi (Tokyo), Bundo Takada and Kitsuki (Kyushu) and ministered in Tokyo-Suginami, Miyazaki, Yokkaichi, Oita, Nakatsu and Beppu. His two volumes of Cooking recipies were published a few times in Japanese and found good acceptance among Catholics as well as building a bridge to many non-Catholics alike.
Like Mons Cimatti and many other missionaries in Japan he developed a specific approach in his missionary life and action. In order to reach out to many non-Catholics and also to build the family spirit of small Catholic communities, he was creative in developing a 'hospitality-cooking' missionary approach (e.g Food-Drink-Word of God).
Among his first greetings to faithful Catholics or other guests: “Did you have a meal? Are you hungry? Would you like to drink? There is such delicious food. Would you like to eat?" Fr Cesar had a deep conviction: "I am a real Salesian. I never let anyone person go hungry from my Salesian house”. Every one knew that Fr. Fraga, SDB, offered outstanding hospitality to all.
Father Fraga was able to interact with any kind of people, always with the spirit of hospitality. He used to say: “Eat and drink first, then they open their heart”. We think this was his own way to make friends and to evangelize. Most Christians around his mission stations in Kyushu (Oita diocese - South of Japan), were senior and lonely. So after each Sunday Mass he offered them some Spanish dishes and drinks, like Paella (a very rich and typical rice dish), Gazpacho, Jamón (iberico) … All who knew him were moved by his hospitality, they felt his apostolic zeal.
We pray for the eternal rest of our confrere, Fr. Fraga and pray to God also for new missionary vocations for the land of the Rising Sun!