On 8th November at 11am: the tradition month for the praying for the dead, there was a placing of the bones ceremony held at the Catholic Koganei Church’s grave at the Catholic Fuchu Graveyard. The ceremony was conducted by the parish priest Fr. Dingh. In addition to the ceremony those participating prayed for the repose of all those who have departed.
Despite the day being chilly and windy there was a feeling of our prayers ascending to heaven.
On the 5th the novitiate made an Edo Christian Pilgrimage. It rained occasionally but didn’t hinder out walk, instead made it cooler.
We began from the Asakusa Station and made our way to the Asakusa Catholic church. We couldn’t enter the Jishi Park which was the site of the Tenmacho prison because it was under construction. However, we were extremely surprised and shocked to hear that some 1,700 prisoners had been executed here.
In addition we visited Fudanotsuji and the Takanawa Catholic Church where there is an underground crypt for the Edo martyrs together with a museum.
Between 12th-15th May, the priest and followers of the Catholic Koganei Church made a pilgrimage to Kamigoto in Nagasaki prefecture. Amongst the places visited were:
The hidden Christians’ sites
Fr. Marc Marie de Rotz’s grave
Endo Shusaku Literature Museum
The Twenty-Six Martyrs Museum and Monument
Saint Kolbe’s Museum
I and one of our sisters went to Australia from the middle of March to the beginning of April to visit her family.
Since Australia is 20 times the size of Japan and only has about 1/5th of the population, people live spread out and cars run kilometers non-stop. Sheep and cows eat and sleep lazily all day. By the way, did you know that cows eat for 8 hours, sleep for another 8 and then regurgitate for another 8. I was surprised at their slow pace of living.
At the night the sky is full of stars. So beautiful its as if they would fall upon you. We gave praise to God for his creation.
Along the Great Ocean Road outside of Melbourne there are 12 pillars of rock. These are named after Christ’s 12 apostles and consequently have been given the name “The 12 Apostles”. Unfortunately there are only 7 left now. They were certainly an inspiration to see.
In Sydney we attended the 1pm Mass at the Catherdral. All the statues, starting with Christ upon his cross, Mary and all the angels were drapped in purple depicting the season of Lent. It was a sight worth seeing. We would have loved to have shared in the joy when the drapes were removed at Easter. Despite it being a normal working day there were many at Mass and we returned home having given thanks and prayers.