New Year’s Message
Jan 1 , 2002
To all members of Tokyo Archdiocese, priests, religious and lay persons.
I first thank all of you from my heart for the understanding and support you gave to the Archdiocese of Tokyo and to me as Archbishop, during last year 2001.
In July last year I called for a Diocesan Assembly to explain the booklet “One step forward”, and talk about the undertakings of the Diocese (especially the reorganization of parishes); though it was a sudden request, many representatives from the parishes took part in it. Then you discussed actively in the diocesan blocks, and gave me opinions, suggestions and critics, and I feel deep gratitude for this.
I received the opinions and suggestions from all the diocesan blocks by December 15.
The diocesan office, the committee for the diocesan reorganization and myself have started examining, analyzing and considering these precious suggestions. We will make good use of them in the process of reform.
These year 2002 is the time to make concrete proposals about what I wrote in the booklet “One step forward” at N. IV “Reorganization of the parishes and strengthening of evangelization”, and we are preparing a detailed program. I also started talking with the religious and missionary institutes about cooperation and some concrete suggestions and requests are coming out.
We will make efforts to announce soon a detailed plan, based on the suggestions from all of you and the talks with the religious institutes, to start a new program in the spring of 2003.
Since the Archdiocese of Tokyo is a missionary ecclesial community, taking “cooperation” as our motto and making clear the various tasks we have to undertake, I will promote the activity of Evangelization. For this I want to ask the prayers of all the members of the Archdiocese. Especially I would like you to pray every Sunday in the general intercessions, and I expect also many prayers from the religious institutes of contemplative life.
Last December 26, I received the “pallium” from the Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Ambrose De Paoli. The pallium is a small garment like a stole, made of white wool, that the Pope blesses and gives to the Metropolitan Archbishops as a symbol of authority.
As Archbishop of the Tokyo Metropolitan Area that includes the Dioceses of Sapporo, Sendai, Niigata, Urawa, Tokyo and Yokohama, I am aware of the responsibility towards the Japanese Church and sincerely want to accomplish my duty.
On New Year’s Day, I want to pray and ask the intercession of the Virgin Mary our mother, and renew my heart so that we can become instruments of the true peace and help to build a society where justice is perfectly accomplished.
New Year’s Day 2002,
On the Feast of St. Mary, the Mother of God