For Our Reflection
March will always a day we would remember that changed our lives. It is the month were we were caught unprepared for a big disaster that almost made us feel hopeless and powerless.
We are on the second year of commemorating the March 11 disaster. Let`s have a moment of silence and pray for people who lost a family, a friend, a husband, a wife, a grandmother and father, a child, a relative. People who lost a property, a house. We pray for those who still carry the scare of the disaster.
While we see on the television a good report on recovery and reconstruction, about rebuilt factories, about BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) services starts to operate, I feel there is something missing.
Let us listen to the voices of people who are affected by disaster.
A child who lost his family who is going to continue his high school studies worried but keep his head high because he knows he has go on living and survive despite the odds.
People who keep blaming themselves for unrescued life.
Children who still trembles when a strong earthquake happens because of the trauma they had two years ago.
People who keep hoping to find a loved one who was lost.
People in the area wear a smile in their faces, but we have to understand that these are the same people who faced death and had seen death in front of them two years ago. Still worried and still anxious.
We pray for them.
We pray for their future.
We pray that they will never lost HOPE.
FAITH IN ACTION
March 11 Commemoration Activities
As we enter the second year of the March 11 disaster, we plan to have our commemoration activities in each areas in the Diocese.
Last March 9, we gather for a recollection and a commemorative prayer activity for March 11. There were around 30 participants from the different communities who came all the way from Fukushima, Iwaki, Kessenuma, Kakuta and of course Sendai. With the help of Erlyn, Marilou and Edcel from CTIC, we lead the group to reflect on the meaning of lent, of recollection and reinterpreting their experience of March 11. We spend the day together in a prayerful moment with sharings and making a symbols of our concrete actions from now on.
We end our recollection with a mass and memorial service for those who had died during the March 11 disaster.
Hachinohe Area - Aomori Ken
An unexpected number of people gathered for the mass and commemorative prayer for March 11. During the mass, we also celebrated the first communion of Mika Takahashi, daughter of Monica Takahashi. We were happy to have a new guitarist who will help us in our choir. Fr. Sato had ask the group to sing during the Easter Mass this coming March 31.
Bishop Hiraga lead the commemoration mass in Ofunato Church. Praying especially for those who died and for the recovery of Tohoku region. Volunteers from Ofunato base, Christians from Ofunato and Kessenuma, Kamaishi and Miyako Church joined in the mass and prayer. Bishop Hiraga gave the present statistics of the people who died in the disaster and those still missing. He also gave the statistics on the number of people who are still living in the temporary houses in Iwate ken. The picture is not bright. And we could not find a good development on the recovery report in the area. He then encourage us to never loss hope in these times. Like the call of Jesus to be always ready, we have to be ready carrying a hopeful heart and face all the challenges.
After the mass, we had the exposition of the blessed sacrament and waited for 2:46 pm, the time the earthquake struck the region and offered a silent prayer together with all the people around Japan.
|Praying for those who died especially those from Ofunato Church|
|Fellowship together with Bishop Hiraga|
This was feedback we received from the pastoral team of Kumamoto
Rosemaricel Del Rosario Saeki
Yesterday 5 members of this group attended the seminar at Daimyo Church in Fukuoka to meet our Friends from Iwate. There we met Fr.Antonio Harunoko and Ms. Marife Sugawara who shared about their experiences and sufferings from the monster quake and tsunami happened exactly 2 years ago today ( march 11, 2011).
Yes 2 years na po ang nakalipas, nakikita na po ang ngiti at ang saya sa kanila kaya siguro po ang akala natin OK or stable na sila. Hindi po! hanggang ngayon po ay naghihirap pa rin sila not only in FINANCIAL problem, but they are still suffering in TRAUMA and MENTAL STRESS lalo na po ang mga bata......ang mga tatay na nasanay sa puspos na trabaho para mabigyan ng magandang buhay ang kanilang pamilya na hanggang ngayon ay walang sapat o maayos na trabaho, napakahirap po para sa kanila yon at marami ang nag iisip na mag suicide, dahil hindi nila alam kung hanggang kailan sila tutulungan ng gobyerno.
Mahirap maranasan na minsan nabuhay ka ng masagana, nakatira ka sa maganda at maayos na tahanan, nakakapasyal ka, nakakapag drive ka, lahat nagagawa mo dahil nasa iyo ang kung ano meron ka. Nang dahil sa hindi mo inaasahang disaster lahat nawala sa yo, pero kailangan mong bumangon at mag umpisa sa "O". Napakahirap tanggapin na nakatira ka sa masikip na tirahan na ang pagitan mo sa kapit bahay o kapit kwarto ay isang manipis na wall, walang privacy dahil kahit bulong ay naririnig at ang kumakain ka na nanggagaling sa tulong ng iba.
Pero maswerte pa rin daw sila dahil may tatlong Pari para sa kanila, kasama na si Fr.Harunoko na ibinibigay lahat ng support mental and spiritual, plus bonus na pagpapasaya sa ating mga kababayan. Naramdaman namin yon dahil sa sandaling oras na nakasama namin sya pati kami ay napasaya nya. He is from Indonesia but he is very fluent in speaking tagalog, we used to talk w/ him in tagalog pati na jokes nya.
Their talk really touched our hearts, lalo na sa mga sinabi ni Ms.Marife, i salute you dahil sa pagiging TSUYOI at sa magandang leadership mo. It gave a new inspiration and more strength to me.
12 days ago after i posted the info. about this seminar, sinabi ko sa sarili ko na iyon na ang magiging huli kong post dito sa PTK, dahil ayaw ko na, pagod na ko! But thanks GOD pinag bigyan mo ako na makarating kahapon sa seminar at doon what i`ve learned is......" DON`T or NEVER GIIVE UP!".
Ang liit ng nagiging problema ko kumpara sa mga kapatid natin sa Iwate, pero they are fighting for the sake of their family and friends. They are keep moving on, ginagawa nila ang lahat para makatulong hindi lang sa sarili nila kundi para sa lahat ng kababayan natin doon, naiyak ako sa awa sa kanila......hindi!......awa sa sarili ko dahil sa maliit na problema na gawa lang minsan ng hindi magandang naririnig ay gusto ko ng sumuko! Hindi pala dapat! kailangan nating lumaban hindi lang para sa sarili, sa pamilya, at sa mga mahal natin...kundi para sa lahat! Huwag na natin hintayin na may mangyari pa para malaman natin ang kahalagahan ng bawat isa!
We have DIFFERENCES..... sore ga ii..... we don`t have to be in UNIFORM...... but we have to break the UNWANTED WALL and let us become ONE!
May GOD bless us all! ♥
|with the leaders from different communities in Fukuoka Diocese|
Ishinomaki Area Commemorates March 11
On March 17, we had a recollection and commemoration activities in Ishinomaki church. There were around 80 Filipinos coming from Ishinomaki, Minami San Riku, Kessenuma, Tome cho who gathered for the activity.
We started the gathering with a short prayer and orientation. After which a talk on the reinterpretation of the March 11 experience based on the story of Emmaus. While we have our talk there was a sudden earthquake and it somehow rattled all of us, but we know we are safe.
The sharing of Sally and Marilou from Minami San Riku and Kessenunma brought memories of the March 11 experience of fear and difficulties but it also open doors to encounter other people and opportunities for many of us. We never lose hope and we know we were never alone even after the March 11 disaster. During the mass the choir from Mizusawa church came all the way to support us in our singing. The atmosphere of the celebration was lively but also very prayerful especially when we offered incense during the mass for those who died last March 11.
|the children with sisters from Yonekawa Church|
|offering of incense for the victims of March 11|
School Bags for Grade Schoolers
Last January, our contacts from Nagoya, Tokyo and Osaka had informed us about the availability of school bags for children who will be in grade school this year. We were indeed very happy with the news and contacted the leaders in the communities to make a list of children who will be in grade school by April. As the school bags are limited we only distributed it to three areas.
I could not forget the happy faces of children and their mothers who received their bags. We thank our sponsors for these gifts and we hope for the best to our new grade schoolers this year.
Home Helper Study in Kakuta Shi, Miyagi Ken
After four months of studies and preparation, the group from Kakuta Shi finally finished their studies as home helper and care giver and are now preparing to receive their licenses to be a full time home helper/caregiver. With the help of volunteers from Haramachi base CTVC (Catholic Tokyo Volunteer Center) we join hands to help the 15 member group of Filipinas in Kakuta Shi in their studies. We look forward that you will be of service to the communities where you belong and give joy to the elderly in your areas.
Starts Block Rosary
Starting February 2, the Shirakawa community started their block rosary. There were 20 who join and pray together. They also had the Bible sharing which was joined by Fr. Harnoko and ENCOM community member Sister Margarete and Lennie. From now on they will have the block rosary every first Saturday of the month. If you happen to be in the area during the first Saturday of the month, contact our leaders in the area and join in their prayer, bible sharing and fellowship.
WELCOME TO THE FAMILY
Eina and Yu kun`s Baptism in Ofunato
|Fr. Morita asking questions to our new church member|
Last February 24, we welcome to our Christian community Eina Nakanome, daughter of Rosalinda Nakanome and Yu Hatakeyama, son of Maricel Hatakeyama. Both children were welcomed by Ofunato Catholic Church in a very simple yet prayerful celebration of baptism. We pray for these children as they received the gifts of baptism. And we pray too for their parents so that they will truly guide their children to Jesus who is the source of our faith.
|Dr. Yamaura the church council president gave gifts to our newly baptised|
|our newly baptised surrounded by their family, ninong and ninang|
Ofunato Church First General Assembly
Fr. Morita, Ofunato Parish priest, welcome all the members and ask for more participation for them especially in joining the church activities. We look forward for a united Ofunato church community in the future.