11.30.2014

Don Bosco in Japan - 20 years!

Don Bosco in Japan - 20 years!
Don Bosco in Japan - 20 years!
Don Bosco in Japan - 20 years!

 

The Centeral Japanese City of Hamamatsu (500.000 of population) is a home to many thousands of migrant workers, especially from Brasile and Latin American countries, Philippines, Vietnam and others.

Twenty years ago there was starting his missionary life in Japan Fr. Evaristo Higa (now 65 years young!).

Now when the Grupo do Esperanca (Hope Group) celebrates also twenty years of volunteer service to the homeless of Hamamatsu every Saturday night, we witness a flourishing multicultural community in this diocese of Yokohama, where the Japanese Catholics are (already) minority and the expats are being the driving force of the local Church.

Fr. Higa tried already two times to return back to his home province of Brasile - Sao Paolo, but unfortunately there is no other Brasilian Salesian who might to replace him. Indeed in the whole of Japan there are appartently only 7 Catholic priests from Brasile (estimate of the migrant community is about 300.000 souls!).

The exhibit of HOPE GROUPS twenty anniversary was welcomed also by the Salesian rectors meeting held for the first time in Hamamatsu (some of the rectors went for the first time, although this presence is 20 or 10 years old).  

Supper and lunch were animated very nicely by the different (main 4) groups of the parish which are well working together  -  Japanese, Brasilian, Peruvian and Filipino. Dances of the Philippines and Peru (joined by the SDB rectors), Christmas narrative performed by the Japanese and Brasilians (camel and Magi with the 'street homeless gifts'..) were wonderful insight into this parish community soul and life. 

The HOPE GROUP goes on with majority of migrant (non Japanese) Catholics and also some local non Christians who are coming together every Saturday night after the 7:30 PM Eucharist to bring some hope, food, human warm to the Hamamatsu streets homeless people.. 'You have been hungry and gave me to eat' - Jesus statement is the vision-mission of this group for past twenty years (52 x 20 weeks = more than 1000 times in the streets already).

Thanks be God for this small sign of Christian witness of solidarity and tenderness in the ocean of Japan society. A living sign that God is alive and God's people are sharing the tenderness of Christ with their brothers and sisters in need.

 

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