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2023.09.04 17:34

6062_Priestly Ordination in Tokyo

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By Fr. Nobuyuki Tamura, SDB

Tokyo, Japan, 4 September 2023 -- On Saturday, September 2, 2023, at 2:00 p.m., the priestly ordination of Deacon James Chihiro Morito, was held at Himonya Catholic Church in Tokyo. The bishop who presided over the ceremony was Mario Michiaki Yamanouchi, Bishop of the Diocese of Saitama. Bishop Mario was the former provincial of Japan.

Fr Chihiro was born in Chofu City, Tokyo. He was working in the Japanese society, but hearing the Lord's call, he went to South Sudan. He worked for children who needed help and joined the Salesians of Don Bosco. He received formation in the Province of East Africa and was ordained as a deacon in Italy. And now he has become a priest in his home country of Japan. Fr. Paul Antimi ( Provincial Delegate of Sudan ), and Fr. Pulikkal Joseph (Rector of Juba) and Sr. Bosco Shimosaki, a Sister of the Caritas Sisters of Jesus, who is working as a missionary in South Sudan, were present. The ordination was attended by the provincial of Japan, Fr. Jacob Hideaki Hamaguchi, many Salesians of the Japan Province, and more than 300 lay people.

In his address, Fr. Chihiro thanked the children on the streets of South Sudan. He also thanked Sr. Bosco Shimosaki for caring for him when he was suffering from malaria, and Fr. Loro Piana Achille, the parish priest of Hamamatsu, for being a good adviser, sending e-mails monthly and supporting his vocation. The street people taught Fr. Chihiro what it meant to him that the church needed to “go out”. He also expressed his gratitude to his family. In particular, he said he would be eternally grateful to his mother. When he was lost in life, his mother accompanied him on his vocation journey. When he confided in his mother that he was concerned about her health and that he was tempted to work in Japan so that he could come to her immediately if something happened, she said, "It is more important to live your vocation than my health.” The more he studied family theology in Messina, Italy, the more he found that it came down to what his mother had taught him. Finally, he thanked the Lord for leading him in mysterious ways. Like St. Louis Versiglia bishop, who was martyred in China with St. Callistus Caravario priest, who wanted to dedicate himself to the poor youth, he asked the Lord for the grace to live for the poorest of the poor youth in South Sudan or Somalia. Fr. Chihiro concluded his address with the following words of St. Paul: “Yet I consider life of no importance to me, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to bear witness to the gospel of God’s grace." (Acts 20:24)


 

 

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