St. Ignatius as a Mega-Church of Japan
I was one of the last Jesuits to be ordained in the former St. Ignatius Church. I remember taking part in a soccer tournament in the team called Padresitos, held in the small park in front of the former church. Since that time, there were many different proposals for the new church. This church has been possible thanks to the support of all of you, so I take this opportunity to say thanks to all.
While preparing this talk (delivered before the end of the Eucharistic Celebration June 9), I came across an interesting pamphlet, a survey about St. Ignatius Church dated 1974. Some of the comments were: “Because of people moving to the big cities, the number of believers coming to St. Ignatius tends to grow.” “The number of unknown residents is over 20% of the total,” etc. All this has developed during these twenty years. At that time there was also the complaint that the English-speaking and Spanish-speaking foreigners were not integrated enough. This concern has been well taken care of now.
St. Ignatius Church has become a “mega-church,” with the strong and weak aspects implied in that name. I think that accepting and developing this characteristic will be a great support for the whole Church of Japan.
Lastly, for the whole Society of Jesus four Apostolic Preferences have been decided: Spirituality, Youth, Marginalized People, and Environment. I think that these can be also a good reference for St. Ignatius Church.
I pray that the Lord will continue to pour abundant graces on all of you!
by Fr. Renzo de Luca, SJ, Provincial Superior, Japan.