From Archbishop Okada’s Talk at the Cologne Confirmation Service

29th May 2004


To the Faithful of Cologne Archdiocese:

 On the 50th Anniversary of the sister church relationship between Cologne and Tokyo, Cardinal Meisner kindly invited me to visit Cologne Archdiocese. I wish to thank you from my heart for 50 years of friendship, support and prayer. We of Tokyo Archdiocese are also offering heart felt prayers for the Church of Cologne and especially for priestly vocations.

The people of the Tokyo area are faced with many difficulties and problems. In addition the situation of the modern world is very severe with wars and unending conflict: a situation that gives little ground for optimism. Hence the Church’s role of working for peace in the world is of increasing importance. The Church has been entrusted with the mission of contributing to world peace and progress. I hope that Tokyo’s contribution to this mission can be carried out through deepening ties with the churches of Asia, especially that of Myanmar (formerly Burma). With the support of the Cologne Church, we work for stronger and lasting support for these churches. So as before, I earnestly seek your prayers, your guidance and your assistance.