Excerpts from the Letter of Greetings from Archbishop of Tokyo Tarcisius Kikuchi Isao
Dear Brothers and Sisters of St. Ignatius Church,
On the 20th Anniversary of the Dedication of St. Ignatius Church, I congratulate you from the bottom of my heart!
In a city like Tokyo, where the population is concentrated, St. Ignatius Church is located in a very favorable place and with the cooperation of Jesuit members related to Sophia University, it has developed into a huge parish. We can expect to see its growth also in the coming years. At the milestone of twenty years, I would like to thank the Jesuits, all the religious and lay people involved in its pastoral work.
My bishop’s motto is "Unity in diversity." By this motto, I do not mean just "a group of good friends," but I expect that everyone who lives in the faith has his or her own specific role in the community of God’s people according to his or her vocation. No one should be excluded or forgotten, so that we can better fulfill our mission as a whole. Of course, there is no need at all for everyone to do the same thing, but each person is required to live his or her faith sincerely according to their given gifts. Some fulfill their mission in social activities, others in silent prayer. But it is essential to be aware that all is done for the People of God at large, not for oneself. We need to understand and respect the different roles.
St. Ignatius Church is a numerous community whose members are of diverse languages and cultural backgrounds. I ask you to remember that no matter how different the expressions of faith may be among you, those differences are a part of life in faith of the One People of God. And always keep in mind that this life is not limited to the parish of St. Ignatius Church, but that it is part of the Collaborative Group for Evangelization (Chuo Chiyoda宣教協力体), of the community of the Tokyo Archdiocese and of the Universal Church.
On this 20th anniversary of Church Dedication, let us re-examine the foundation of what we believe. As we endeavor to live our faith sincerely, it is now that we are given the opportunity to reflect on what attitude we are required to assume. We Christians are invited to proclaim the Gospel with words and deeds in whatever situation we may find ourselves.
I pray that the community of St. Ignatius Church will continue to be open to the many people in its surrounding areas and will be able to provide a place where people will find solace. Continue to build up a welcoming and kind parish community as a presence that expresses the Father's mercy.
I would like to congratulate you on the 20th anniversary of the dedication of St. Ignatius Church and pray for the blessing of God the Father upon all of you.
by Fr. Renzo de Luca, SJ, Provincial Superior, Japan.