Hamamatsu (Japan). On April 21, 2018, the new mission of Hamamatsu in Japan was inaugurated. The “Hamamatsu” Project is intended to be the prophetic gesture of the Japanese Province (GIA) in the post-chapter journey.
The opening Eucharistic celebration, celebrated by the Salesian parish priest, Fr. Angel Yamanouchi, and two other Salesian missionaries, was the main moment of the inauguration, attended by the Provincial, the Provincial Councilors, and some people who collaborated in the building of the home.
During the celebration, the priest underlined the ‘reason’ for this community, called to collaborate with the parish in the pastoral care of immigrants residing in Japan. In Hamamatsu, the majority come from Latin America, but there is also a large Philippine and Vietnamese community. He explained that this house did not come from a personal desire, but after a period of discernment, after the invitation to each community and FMA to ‘go out’ to meet the needs of people today.
The Provincial, Sr. Teresina Morishita Wakayo, in her words of gratitude to the people present, reiterated the idea that, being a small community, fully integrated into the life of the neighborhood and the parish, it must be like the House of Bethany where Jesus rests from His labors, finding a warm welcome from the sisters, Martha and Mary. This house, although small, welcomes the Eucharistic Jesus and all the people who want to come. At the same time, it is an ‘outgoing’ community, both because the members will attend the parish for their mission, but also because, 2 sisters are called to continue teaching at the school of origin. The Provincial also explained the reason for the name “Blessed Mother Magdalene Morano”. As Mother Morano, in her time, was a missionary in Italy itself, the new community also wants to be missionary at heart and be a point of reference for immigrants, especially for their children who often struggle to follow the established school curriculum.
The sisters are already engaged in catechesis for Baptism, First Communion, and Confirmation. Sr. Tuding (Gertrudes Candelaria de Jesus), who arrived a year and a half ago in Japan from the Philippines, says: “Every Sunday, Baptisms are celebrated, and requests for preparation and consultation are many”.
A rich mission is hoped for that will also open up to the vocational dimension. In fact, a second generation is growing, becoming aware of its mission in the Church in a Nation where Christians are a minority.
In conclusion, the director of the new house, Sr. Giuliana Onishi, thanked those present, reaffirming the community’s intention to work together for the good of many young people.