Archbishop Okada’s Address to Archbishop Alberto Bottari de Castello, Apostolic Nuncio to Japan, on the Occasion of the Apostolic Nuncio’s Departure from Office
27 June 2011
St.Mary’s Cathedral, Tokyo
On behalf of the Tokyo Archdiocese, I’d like to express my sincere gratitude to you, Archbishop Bottari. News has reached us of your transfer to Hungary, after six years in Japan. You will most certainly be missed by us all. You have frequently joined us in this Cathedral, and concelebrated the Eucharist with the priests and people of the Archdiocese and communicated your faith filled messages which were an encouragement to us all. On occasion you shared social hours with us too. I truly thank you for all that you have done.
Over the last six years our Archdiocese has undertaken many tasks. During this time you supported and guided us most graciously and generously. I shall also never forget your unceasing counsel that saw me through my days as President of the Japan Bishops’ Conference.
During your term of office, two Japanese Cardinals were summoned to Heaven, Cardinal Hamao and Cardinal Shirayanagi, both from the Tokyo Archdiocese. Their return to Heaven brought great sorrow to the Catholic Church in Japan. It was here in this Cathedral that the funeral services were held for them, and you prayed together with us for them. For this also I thank you.
Last, but not least, I pray for your continued success and good health as you take up your new assignment in Hungary.