Showing posts with label Japan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Japan. Show all posts

9 Mar 2017

Columban Fr Charles Duster RIP


Fr Charles Duster (15 September 1934 - 7 March 2017)

Father Charlie was born on 15 September 1934 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, USA, where his parents Charles Henry Duster ['DOOster'] and Cleo Catherine Handley Duster owned and operated a supermarket. He has an older brother William C. Duster (Audrey) of Littleton, Colorado, a sister Mrs Robert Enns (Katie) of Fort Pierce, Florida, and eleven nieces and nephews and their families. His older sister, Margaret Jeanne Duster, died in 1972.

19 Jan 2017

Japanese Catholic Naming Customs


I’ve long been interested in the Japanese Catholic Church — we love St. Francis Xavier in my family (and the CCC movie Francis Xavier and the Samurai’s Lost Treasure is a favorite), and this bit from The Catholic Encyclopedia at New Advent is amazing and so moving:
There is not in the whole history of the Church a single people who can offer to the admiration of the Christian world annals as glorious, and a martyrology as lengthy, as those of the people of Japan.”
Indeed there are huge lists of Venerables, Blesseds, and Saints who were born in Japan and died in Japan and — being that I’m always looking through the lens of Catholic names — I’ve always been interested by the fact that every single one of them has a familiar saint’s name for a first name. I know there are Japanese Catholics with Japanese names (like the aforementioned Shusaku Endo; I did actually look to see if he also had a Christian name but didn’t find one), so I’ve wondered how the idea of “Christian names” fits into the naming traditions of Japanese Catholics. Click here to read the rest at Catholic Mom.

24 Jul 2016

Citizenship and Being Catholic

I like being an American, most of the time.

I know that my country is far from perfect, but I'd rather be here than anywhere else on Earth.

Living in Sauk Centre, a smallish central Minnesota town, probably helps. I really like it here.

But it's no Brigadoon, unchanged and unaffected by the outside world....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

13 Sep 2015

Being a Citizen

I was surprised and flattered when two tourists from Thailand asked me if I was Jewish. That was about four decades back, at Grand Canyon National Park, near the visitor center.

I'd brought a big topographic map of that massive gulch, spreading it out at intervals to see what I was looking at, and taking photos. That's not mine, by the way: it's from Tom Bernard Anyz.

I think the Thai tourists had noticed that I had a full beard and never took my cap off.

Quite a few gentiles in America wore caps indoors and out at the time, and still do: but not many American men grow a 'haven't shaved in years' beard. The plain black jacket I wore probably helped, too.

I enjoyed being mistaken for one of our Lord's relatives, but my ancestors are about as gentile as it gets, west of the Urals. They probably hadn't even heard of Abraham or Isaac until missionaries arrived, and that's another topic.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

4 Jul 2015

'A spring flower in the desert.' Sunday Reflections, 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

Keiko Shemura, First Communion Day, Dec. 1971, she died April 1972, aged 14

Jesus left that place and came to his hometown, and his disciples followed him. On the sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astounded. They said, “Where did this man get all this? What is this wisdom that has been given to him? What deeds of power are being done by his hands! Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon, and are not his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him. Then Jesus said to them, “Prophets are not without honor, except in their hometown, and among their own kin, and in their own house.” And he could do no deed of power there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and cured them. And he was amazed at their unbelief.

Cherry blossoms [Wikipedia]
Both the New American Bible and the Jerusalem Bible lectionaries read, He was amazed at their lack of faith. Jesus was among his own people, in the town where his brothers and sisters, ie, his cousins, lived. Perhaps his amazement was a form of frustration. Missionaries are men and women who are often 'amazed' at what seems to be their lack of 'success' in changing the situation, whether it is leading people to faith in Jesus Christ or working among baptised people for the justice that the Gospel demands but evidently isn't there.

Yet Jesus laid his hands on a few sick people and cured them. In other words, he found some who responded in faith.

One Columban priest who found faith in Keiko, a very sick 14-year-old girl in Japan, was Fr James Norris, a New Zealander who died on 6 October 2007.y day.

A Spring Flower  by Fr James Norris 
There is a high school in our parish for nearly 2,000 girls conducted by the Sisters of the Infant of Jesus. Very few of these girls are baptized Christians. 
Full post here.

25 Apr 2015

'I know my own and my own know me.' Sunday Reflections, 4th Sunday of Easter, Year B

From The Gospel of John (2003) directed by Philip Saville

Today's Gospel, John 10:11-18 [1:19 - 2:30]
Jesus said:
“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand, who is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away—and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. The hired hand runs away because a hired hand does not care for the sheep. I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me,  just as the Father knows me and I know the Father. And I lay down my life for the sheep.  I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it up again. I have received this command from my Father.”
Fr Barry Cairns is a Columban priest from New Zealand who was ordained in 1955 and went to Japan in 1956 where he still is. He writes frequently for our various Columban magazines. I met him only once but I know him to be the kind of joyful proclaimer of the Gospel that Pope Francis so often speaks about. 
Full post here.

17 Dec 2014

'Merry Christmas' from Japan


St Nicholas Resuscitates the Children, Bon Boullogne, Musée Ingres,
Montauban,France[Web Gallery of Art]

A priest-friend in Canada expressed his thoughts about the present and coming liturgical seasons in a recent email: It’s Advent again. It’s too bad that the beauty of Advent is lost in the Christmas hype. Sometimes I think that we should give Christmas back to the pagans (from whom we hijacked it) and join the Oriental Churches in celebrating the birth of Jesus on January 6.
I'm not quite sure that it would be practical to attempt that, though the Church should consider restoring the Epiphany as a mandatory holyday of obligation throughout the Church. It is such on the universal calendar of the Church but the reality is that in so many countries the bishops have opted for a Sunday celebration of the feast, thereby, I think, diminishing its importance. 
Full post here. 

15 Apr 2014

Keeping watch with Jesus--unexpectedly


The memorial to the martyrs of Unzen, Japan. (Photo by Connie Rossini).
Memorial to the Japanese martyrs of Unzen. (Photo by Connie Rossini.)
This is the week for keeping watch with Jesus in a special way. Although God calls us to spend time with Him in prayer daily, we rightly feel that we should spend extra time with Him during Holy Week. But how should we go about it?

When I was a teenager, my family started a tradition of an all-night prayer vigil on Holy Thursday. Beginning at 10 p.m., my parents, siblings, and I took turns praying in one or two one-hour slots for the next eight hours. I loved offering this extra sacrifice to Jesus, this extra sign of love. Jesus would not be alone in the Garden of Gethsemane if I could help it.

After I graduated from college, I spent two years as a lay missionary in Japan, teaching English to support the evangelization work of an American priest. During spring break of the first year, my roommate Mary Beth and I traveled to the island of Kyushu. We planned to be in Nagasaki for Easter.

Read the rest at Contemplative Homeschool.

3 Jan 2014

'They saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage.' Sunday Reflections, Epiphany



THE EPIPHANY OF THE LORD

In countries where this is a holyday of obligation, eg, Ireland, the solemnity is celebrated on the traditional date, 6 January. Where it is not a holyday of obligation, eg, the Philippines, it is observed on this Sunday.

The Epiphany has two different Mass formularies, At the Vigil Mass, celebrated on Saturday evening, and At the Mass during the Day. While the prayers and chants are different, the same readings are used at both Masses.

Readings (New American Bible: Philippines, USA)                                  

Readings (Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India [optional], Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa)

SECOND SUNDAY AFTER THE NATIVITY (Years A, B, C)

Readings (Jerusalem Bible) 

THE EPIPHANY OF THE LORD

Gospel Matthew 2:1-12 (New RevisedStandard Version, Catholic Edition, Canada) 

In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage.” When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him; and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born.  They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it has been written by the prophet:

 ‘And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
    are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for from you shall come a ruler
    who is to shepherd my people Israel.’”

Then Herod secretly called for the wise men and learned from them the exact time when the star had appeared. Then he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child; and when you have found him, bring me word so that I may also go and pay him homage.” When they had heard the king, they set out; and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road.


The Adoration of the MagiVelásquez, 1619

When I entered St Columban's seminary in Ireland in 1961 the vast majority of Catholic missionaries were Westerners. We Columbans were predominantly Irish, with a good number of Americans, Australians, New Zealanders and a few from England and Scotland. There were many seminaries in Ireland preparing men to be priests overseas. And the vast majority of missionaries were priests and religious. That was before Vatican II.

Continue here.

17 Jun 2012

'The seed shall sprout and grow, he knows not how.' Sunday Reflections, 11th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B



Though We Are Many - Official Hymn of the 32nd International Eucharistic Congress

Readings (New American Bible: Philippines, USA) 

Readings (Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India [optional], Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa) 



Gospel Mark 4:26-14 (Revised Standard Version – Catholic Edition)

Jesus said, "The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed upon the ground, and should sleep and rise night and day, and the seed should sprout and grow, he knows not how. The earth produces of itself, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. But when the grain is ripe, at once he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come." 

And he said, "With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable shall we use for it? It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade." With many such parables he spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it; he did not speak to them without a parable, but privately to his own disciples he explained everything.

Full post here.

I've just come back from a Worldwide Marriage Encounter where I was the team priest. In the middle of it I remembered that I had forgot to post the link to Sunday Reflections on this blog.

Our Lady: Queen of Ireland

I'm a week late in sharing this, but I always love learning new Irish things, and I thought you might too! My March column at Catho...