From the Pastor's Desk (May, 2022)
Dear Parishioners of St. Ignatius Church,
Peace be with you!
Having had the opportunity in the past to serve at St. Ignatius Parish for 13 years (1999-2012),
I am delighted to be back as the Pastor of the parish and get to see all the familiar faces. I can see that we all have gotten older! I am still learning about a lot of things, including the things that have changed the way it was done in the past due to the influence of the pandemic. I look forward to meeting you all!
The other day, when I greeted His Excellency Archbishop Kikuchi, we discussed the measures against the COVID-19 spreading. Among them, the Archbishop shared his thoughts:
Although the number of deaths has been decreasing, the overall situation is not converging. The measures taken to prevent the spreading of the virus in the Tokyo parish are still expected to continue in its implementation.
- Despite the eased measures for outdoor activities, cautious measures are still required for indoor ventilation matters.
St. Ignatius Church will continue its current COVID-19 prevention measures. For group mass application registrations, please follow the guidelines previously issued by Fr. Hanafusa, which reads:
In order to make sure everybody gets a chance to attend Mass at least once in a month, all are kindly requested to limit registering for Mass once or twice in a month.
(September 2020, October 2021)
Including the Sunday School Summer camps, which we will resume this summer, we are planning to restart various activities of the Parish which has been put on hold for the last three years. Let us gradually prepare for the resumption of the activities suspended during the pandemic.
We are welcoming the month of May, which is dedicated to Blessed Virgin Mary. As we all know, Mary devoted her life to the Word of God instead of doing what she wished to do. “Let it be with me according to your Word.” (Luke 1:38). Even though St. Ignatius Church is a huge church, it is through the Word of God we all gather as one community.
In October 2023, the ‘Synod on Synodality’ (the word `synod` itself means `walking together`) will take place in Rome. Even though it is a meeting for bishops, the main protagonists are us, the people of God in our respective churches.
The people in St. Ignatius Church are also encouraged to walk the way of synodality, which is “a church that walks together in Communion, Participation, and Mission - the three elements of the Synod on Synodality.” These Synod activities overlap with the ‘Mission 2030’ activities that are already in progress in our parish. While being optimistic about the end of the pandemic, let us continue with the progress of Synod on Synodality and Mission 2030.
May 6, 2022
Fr. Saturnino Ochoa, SJ Pastor, St. Ignatius Catholic Church, Kojimachi, Tokyo