Christmas and New Year Message
With grateful acknowledgement for the completion of
external renovations of St. Mary’s Cathedral
Dec 12, 2007
On the joyful celebration of the Birth of our Lord Jesus I extend to you all my greetings and prayers for the New Year.
The year 2007 was a period of special graces for the Archdiocese of Tokyo. The external renovations to St. Mary’s Cathedral were successfully completed. I would like to express my sincere thanks for your prayers and contributions to this major work. During 2008 I plan to further examine the surroundings of our Cathedral from both internal and structural perspectives, and draw up plans for more efficient and widespread use of these diocesan facilities.
This year is a very special year for the Catholic Church in Japan. The Ceremony of Beatification of Petro Kibe and 187 other martyrs for the faith will take place on November 24th in Nagasaki. On this solemn occasion, invoking the intersession of these martyrs, I would like to pray and reflect together with many people on the further expansion of the evangelical mission of the Church in Japan.
Continuously the following are carried on as the priorities for Archdiocese of Tokyo in 2008 :
1. Nurturing the spiritual growth of the faithful who are taking an active part in the life of the Church.
2. Increasing mutual support and understanding among the various nationalities among Catholics in the Archdiocese of Tokyo.
3. Further mutual support and assistance between people suffering from mental illnesses and us.
I hope to promote greater understanding and more involvement in these areas by the priests, religious and laity of the Archdiocese.
Last year I proposed that with prayer and good works we seek the peace of Christ in our lives: peace with God, peace with nature, peace with neighbors and peace with our own inner self. This year too I wish all to continue seeking this peace. Furthermore, I have special concern regarding the administration of the sacraments of Penance and Anointing of the Sick. I request that priests increase their efforts to ensure that these sacraments become fountains of God’s grace for those who receive them.
Finally, I invite you all to join with me in offering the following prayer for God’s blessing on the Archdiocese of Tokyo.
God of mercy and compassion, we thank you for watching over the Archdiocese of Tokyo and with grateful acknowledgement for the completion of external renovations of St. Mary’s Cathedral.
You have called us to be your Church on earth and a sign of your salvation for many people. Grant to the Archdiocese of Tokyo the grace to be a source of healing, consolation and hope for many, especially those who are suffering and in pain. Through our prayers and good works may your grace and light shine forth among many people.
We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ, Our Lord. Amen.
Archbishop Peter Takeo Okada
Archbishop of Tokyo