Address to the English Mass community of Toshima Parish

Mar 1, 2009


Dear Brothers and Sisters in Jesus Christ


A very important duty of the Bishop is the Pastoral Visit to the parishes and communities in his diocese. Today I am visiting Toshima Church for the Pastoral Visit that is called “Visitatio Canonica”.

Today I have come also to express my sincere gratitude to the Pastor of Toshima, Fr. Sebastian Nishikawa. He has served for 6 years as your Parish Priest and has worked hard. Now he is ready for a period of rest and time for renewal. He is planning to go to his home town in Hiroshima.

My thanks go to every member of this Parish for your cooperation and prayers for Fr. Nishikawa. His successor is Fr. Vianney Urano, who is currently a moderator at the Tokyo Catholic Seminary. I have also appointed him director of the public relations department of the Diocese. I ask you to welcome him and to help and co-operate with him.

Today we celebrate the first Sunday of Lent. Today’s Gospel tells us.

“The Spirit drove Jesus out into the wilderness and there he remained for forty days….”

Jesus rejected each temptation from Satan. We need to conquer temptation by the grace given through Jesus and so to become witnesses of the Kingdom of Heaven.

I think that our Diocese is located in a wilderness today. People are suffering, searching for light, support, consolation, peace and salvation. We the Archdiocese of Tokyo wish to be an Oasis in the Wilderness of Tokyo.

I ask you to reflect on this idea and please give me your assistance in realizing this hope.

May Almighty God bless you, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen.