Ordination Rite of Tokyo Archdiocese
March 2, 2003 At St. Mary’s Cathedral
Kaoru Anselm Kawaguchi,
Luka John Ap. Tamura,
As a Bishop I would like to make a speech for the two ordaining priests and for all the people participating in this rite of Ordination.
We admit that you are worth ordaining as a priest for your long-term study, training and preparation. This is a great joy for our community.
However, as a human, you might not accept the sacred mission of a priest without any anxiety. It is only natural for you to feel more or less anxious in this right moment. We priests accept this sacred work because we give trust in God’s help. Receiving the message from the angel of Annunciation, the Virgin Mary said, “I am the Lord’s servant, may it happen to me as you have said.”
What we need the most is the “Trust in the Lord”. Today, I would like to ask you, especially the two of you, to follow the Holy Mother and make fresh your trust in the Lord.
As a human, priest will be always shadowed by his human weakness. To keep company with his weakness is the lifelong subject for each priest. First of all he has to face and understand his weakness and problems straightforwardly. This is what I think Humility means. We receive the holy mission of priest in “an earthen vessel”. We have to beware of keeping this vessel unbroken. When cracks appear, we should always try to restore the vessel as soon as possible.
Mary’s prayer of Humility, the” Magnificat” is the daily prayer for all the priests. We shall ask Mary Our Mother for the virtue of humility every time we offer this prayer.
[Relations: between Priests, between Priest and Bishop]
For a priest, there are many things to keep in mind. Cooperation between priests is one thing. Especially, I ask you two who are being ordained as priests today to help and support each other as your lifelong friend. Please try to respect each other by knowing that your friend excels you in ability, counterbalance each other and encourage each other.
Relation between priests and bishop is important as well. Bishop always cares for the health of priests’, body and mind, so that they can work in good condition. Sometimes, communications between Bishop and priests might lack, but we shall try to understand and care for each other. Let us remember that the Bishop works for the priests with the love of an affectionate Father.
[Future of the Diocese]
As we all know, from the 20th of April, Easter of 2003, the Catholic Mission District will be started. In parallel with this start, we will proceed to the three priority tasks; training lay people to live out the gospel mission, supporting the non-Japanese Catholics, and supporting people who suffers from spiritual and mental injury. I am expecting you two new priests to help us dealing with these priority tasks in some way.
And to everyone, I would like to express my deep appreciation for your understanding and cooperation for the renewal and reorganization of our diocese.
[The gift of the Holy Spirit]
We cannot accomplish anything without the help of the Holy Spirit.
“In his life on earth Jesus made his prayers and requests with loud cries and tears to God, who could save him from death. Because he was humble and devoted, God heard him. (Heb 5:7)”
We shall follow Christ and understand the weakness of ourselves and the weight of our duties that we are bearing, and with trust we shall pray God the Father Almighty to send the Holy Spirit to help us.
“The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him, The Spirit of wisdom and understanding, The Spirit of counsel and might, The Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord. (Isaiah 11:2-3) “ Please, our Lord, fulfill us with your Spirit. Please guide us and help us to accomplish our mission as a priest. Amen.