The Salesian seminary at Chofu, Tokyo, was the setting for a grand gathering of the Salsian Family from the Kanto region (in February next a second gathering will be held for the Family in Kyushu). The event took place in the afternoon and evening.
As is customary, the Salesian Family in Japan uses such an occasion to explore the current Strenna theme, this year a vocational one: “Come and See”. The Salesian Sisters, Caritas Sisters and the Salesians SDB presented their respective activities in vocational ministry, which was then followed by the celebration of the Eucharist with Fr Aldo Cipriani, Provincial, as main celebrant and ‘head’ of the Salesian Family in Japan in the stead of the ‘Father’ of the Salesian Family. There were any number of events to celebrate at this Mass: God’s grace at work in the missionary expedition of the Sisters of Charity of Jesus, who are sending their first Sisters to build up a permanent community in Southern Sudan and their first presence in Africa; the official beginnings of ADMA within the Salesian Family in Japan (17 members), and also, given the day itself, the International Day of Childhood.
In his homily, the vice provincial, Fr Mario Yamanouchi, who had hurried back from a meeting in Cebu to be present, drew from the Gospel reading from the Feast of Christ the King (from Matthew Ch 25) to encourage the Salesian Family to see themselves called to serve the most needy in society in the spirit of Don Bosco, and especially in solidarity with their brothers and sisters suffering still as a result of the tsunami and especially the aftermath of radiation in the Fukushima Prefecture.
The third part of the day’s events took place in the Don Bosco hall at the seminary, sharing a meal and an academy in good Salesian tradition. The new ADMA members were presented with a hymn from the Sixth International ADMA Conference which took place in Czestochowa (3-6 August): “Totus tuus”. Then the Salesian Cooperators shared their experience of the 7th Regional Assembly in Thailand. Sister Kojima Hanako FMA, a missionary in Mongolia, sang a song written in Mongolian which created a great sense of mutual fellowship with our missionaries working in Mongolia. The Sisters of Charity of Jesus shared two songs which they are offering at a benefit concert they are giving in various cities devastated by the tsunami on 11 March.
Mago Mickey (Fr. Muramatsu) appeared on two occasions with his new companion, Mago Unbala (postnovice Deep), to entertain everyone with his usual conjuring skills as Don Bosco did amongst his own…
The event concluded with the Blessing of Mary Help of Christians, the singing of the Ave Maria composed by Venerable Vincent Cimatti, and a final photo. The Don Bosco Bookshop gave everyone a 2012 Calendar featuring Blessed John Paul II.