Introducing Our New Pastor
Who is Fr. Saturnino Ochoa, SJ? How does he look? Do you know him? Many were curious. “What kind of person is he?” “Oh, he was here before!” some volunteers said. And so, in this issue of the Bulletin, we asked him to introduce himself. We are grateful that he took the time to write this article in spite of his busy schedule. WELCOME BACK Fr. Ochoa. Yoroshiku onegai shimasu!
It was 11 years ago when I left St. Ignatius Church for pastoral work in Fukuoka. I have grown old. Yet, all of a sudden, I was assigned back to St Ignatius as Pastor of this magnificent church. I feel humbled and overwhelmed. You will have to put up with me for a while. I do need your warm understanding and support.
There are 7 special places in this church that are very dear to me. First in the list is the Crypt: the altar, the stained glass, the images of the Lord Jesus and his Mother— almost everything brings back memories of the old St Ignatius church—and the plates with the names of those who repose there: friends, teachers, classmates. Thank you, my brothers and sisters. Do rest in the peace of the Lord. On the second floor we find St. Mary’s Chapel. It is a lovely place for the celebration of the Sacrament of Marriage. If my memory does not fail me, more than 350 couples exchanged their marriage vows in my presence. May the good Lord bless them and their families.
Now we enter the Main Chapel with its pews surrounding the altar. We gather there not so much as individuals, but rather as the people of God to thank and praise the Lord. Next to the Main Chapel we have a small miracle of light and running water: St. Xavier’s Chapel—a refuge for quiet prayer. At the entrance of St. Ignatius we are greeted by a spiraling tower crowned with a cross and 3 pealing bells, always calling us, inviting us to pray. As we enter the main church, on the right side, almost hidden in shadows, we find the image of Mary in solid white stone. I love it. She is at our own level, without crown, without sandals. There is no moon at her feet.
She is just “the “Mother” we received from Jesus.
And finally, we have in our church a superb pipe organ. This pipe organ is not just a musical instrument. It is part of the very fabric of our church. It gives our voices that magic touch that transforms our prayer into song.
SING TO THE LORD!