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    » 12/24/2014, 00.00


    Christmas in Japan, studying Evangelii Gaudium to understand the faith better

    During Advent, the bishop of Niigata led study sessions dedicated to Pope Francis' apostolic exhortation, which he describes as "a major challenge for Catholics" in Japan. In the New Year, it will be the turn to study Ad Gentes.

    Niigata (AsiaNews) - For Japan's Catholics "understanding the directives expressed by Pope Francis in the Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium is a major challenge, something very important. That is why we prepared Advent together, studying this text, which calls on the Church to reach out towards the marginalised," said Mgr Tarcisio Isao Kikuchi, bishop of Niigata, as he laid out diocesan activities ahead of Christmas during two study sessions attended by more than 60 people.

    "We live in a relatively rich country, in which most people do not suffer from poverty," the bishop said. However, "when the pope calls upon us to take care of the 'poor', we should not limit our action to those who have less in material terms. In fact, we must find in our society those who are the poor in spirit, the marginalised and forgotten."

    Fukushima disaster survivors is one example. "It is been almost four years, and we know how these people are trying desperately to resume a normal life," the prelate explained. "At the same time, many elderly people are living alone; those left out of welfare system, the unemployed. We must stop thinking that only we have real problems, and devote ourselves to them."

    In view of the initiative's success, the bishop is thinking of making such study sessions on the main Church documents a permanent thing. "We must learn to know more about Catholic life and the texts that have shaped it. This is why I think next fall we will focus on Ad Gentes because Japan needs missionaries".


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    See also

    23/10/2014 JAPAN
    For the bishop of Niigata, charity is the right tool for new evangelisation in Japan
    After a summer of activities on behalf of Caritas Internationalis, the bishop opened the new year with a pastoral visit to his diocese. Rising number of migrants and the decline of the native population are "challenges for the pastoral ministry, which needs a greater impetus." We must "bear witness to God's love through dialogue and work" in order to reach rural communities.

    23/11/2015 JAPAN
    For the bishop of Niigata, integral human development is key to stopping terrorism
    After the attacks in Paris, the president of Caritas Asia reflects on the evil cycle of violence that seems to have gripped the world. For him, “violent retaliation” is unnecessary; “such a solution would be only short term”. It might stop new attacks but only integral human development is the answer on the basis of life’s sacredness, “God’s most precious gift”.

    14/02/2014 JAPAN
    Mission, vocations and post-tsunami reconstruction are the pastoral challenges of the Diocese of Niigata
    In his letter to the faithful, Bishop Tarcisio Isao Kikuchi focuses on these issues to get the faithful to review the Christian witness without weaknesses. For him, helping earthquake and tsunami victims is still a long road to travel. He calls for a prayer that the Lord may help young people acknowledge their calling to the priesthood and religious life.

    10/08/2015 JAPAN
    For Niigata bishop, the bombs 70 years ago are a warning for the use of nuclear power today
    The prelate, who is also president of Caritas Asia, took part in the ceremonies commemorating the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki together with fellow Catholic and Anglican bishops, members of the Council of Churches, and Tibetan monks. For him, history will judge those tragedies, but in Japan and around the world, the use of nuclear power, for both military and peaceful purposes, continues to stir painful memories.

    20/03/2015 VATICAN - JAPAN
    In a blessed meeting, the pope encouraged us to follow our path, said Niigata bishop
    Bishop Tarcisio Isao Kikuchi shares his thoughts with AsiaNews after the Japanese bishops' ad limina visit. "The Holy Father reminded us that it is every bishop's duty to take independent decisions based on the local situation, and this comforted our episcopate. Although he did not say clearly that he would visit Japan, he is considering the possibility."

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