Seminarians and deacons were consecrated yesterday across Japan: Sapporo, Saitama, Osaka, Hiroshima, and Fukuoka. The number of foreign priests is growing.
Tokyo (AsiaNews) – For some of Japan’s dioceses, celebrating the ordination of deacons and priests at this time of the year, before Holy Week, has become something of a tradition.
Yesterday, various dioceses celebrated the ordination of seminarians to the diaconate, and deacons to the presbyterate.
In Sapporo (picture 1), deacon Paul Miki Sakuma Chikara was consecrated priest and seminarian Buonaventura Minoshima Katsuya became a deacon.
In the Diocese of Saitama (picture 2), the ordination to the diaconate of Mexican seminarian Jorge Manuel Macias was celebrated.
In Osaka (pictures 3 and 4), two deacons, Erik Batista de Guzman from the Philippines, and Japanese-Sinhalese Patricio Ueda, were ordained priests.
Celebrations also took place in the Diocese of Hiroshima (picture 5), where deacon Onishi was consecrated as a priest and seminarian Kubo entered the order of the diaconate.
In Fukuoka, the deacon of Korean origin John Hanun Lee became a priest (picture 6).
The number of ordinations of seminarians and foreign deacons is a sign of the "mixture of cultures" that characterises the country, repeatedly underlined by the new archbishop of Tokyo, Mgr Tarcisio Isao Yama Kikuchi.
This foreign presence was quite visible during the prelate’s reception in the capital, where the celebrations for his installation had an "international" flavour.
In Japan, the South Korean (450,000) and Filipino (250,000) communities are the second and third largest respectively after the Chinese.
According to the latest statistics (2012) of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Japan (CBCJ), Japan’s Catholic Church has a total of 1,422 priests, 889 Japanese and 533 foreigners.