Dear Brother Oblates and members of our Charismatic Family,
September 1st is the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation. It is an initiative of Pope Francis who has also written the Encyclical Laudato Si’ (LS) on care for the common home. The 37th General Chapter told us that care for the Earth “is of special concern to us in our missionary work. We have become aware of our insufficient efforts to care for the environment. We are challenged, therefore, to commit ourselves to the fullest extent possible to make ecological conversion a priority as a fundamental part of our lives and as an integral part of our evangelisation”. (Pilgrims of Hope in Communion PEC n. 11,1).
Bishop Michael Pfeifer, OMI – October pro-life month’s theme calls all pro-lifers to be in Radical Solidarity on all critical pro-life issues, especially for the precious unborn. A fundamental life issue that has great importance far into the future and calls us to be in Radical Solidarity, is a Life at Conception Act, which will bring an end to abortion in America. Fulfilling Christ’s command to love one another, takes shape in our prayerful pastoral practice of solidarity. As pro-life followers of Christ, we firmly believe based on Sacred Scripture, and know with certainty based on much recent medical research, that the beautiful, God-given gift of human life begins at conception.
Brad Rozairo, OMI – The month of August in Japan reminds us of the deep meaning and the importance of peace as Hiroshima and Nagasaki commemorate the 78th anniversary of the atomic bombing this year. This opens a ten-day period (August 6 – 15) dedicated to peace, which the Catholic church in Japan holds every year as a time for remembrance and as a call for world peace. During this time, in many churches prayers and masses are offered for world peace. Some parishes organize peace events such as sharing of war experience stories by the living victims of the atomic bombs, peace music concerts and workshops to promote peace.
Jerry Novotny OMI – Jesus promised us, “….. and the truth will make you free” (Jn. 8:32).
When young, I lived on a farm in Minnesota, USA. As any farmer will tell you that one of the most difficult challenges of farming is preparing the soil so that it can receive the seed. It requires hard work to clear the land of any trees, bushes or rocks that need to be dug up and moved. Once the soil is prepared, then fertilizer has to be applied to make sure there are enough nutrients to foster growth. Finally, the soil has to be adequately irrigated. Only then is the soil ready to support the seeds that will be planted.
Healthy rich soil is just as important to seeds as water is for fish and oxygen is for us. Without good soil, it would be a waste of time for the farmer to plant the seeds. And good soil doesn’t always happen naturally. It is often only the result of hard work.
The same applies for Christians who wish to live good lives. Jesus tells us the story of the good and bad seeds. The good seed are the people in God’s kingdom. The weeds are the people who belong to the Evil One. And the enemy who plants the bad seed is the devil. The harvest is the end of time.
Bishop Michael D. Pfeifer, OMI – The Season of Creation for 2023 focuses on fundamental virtue of justice for true peace for all life on planet Earth which Pope Francis calls our COMMON HOME. If we truly want peace, we must pray, work, and promote justice. The theme for the Season of Creation 2023, “Let Justice and Peace Flow”, invites all people on planet Earth to make a new commitment to pray for justice and peace not only for human beings but for all creation. For this to happen, in our covenant with creation, we are called to repent of our ecological sins and to change our attitudes and actions and to actively be true promoters of peace. Throughout this season, we encourage all our leaders at all levels and call our communities to actively participate in this season by joining together more closely on how we can respond to the cry of creation which is suffering in many ways. We must act now so as not to miss our chance to create a more sustainable and just world for all now and in the future. Through the great prophet Amos, our loving God and Creator encourage all to, “let justice flow on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream” 5:24. Justice is the guiding inspiration and force in the Season of Creation and begins with God and is written in all our hearts at Creation. The first duty of justice is to give thanks and praise to God, and then to respect and care for all that God has made.
(This article is part of an ongoing series showing different adult obsessions in waging “War Against Children” by Fr. Jerry Novotny, OMI)
Millions of babies have come into the world through In Vitro Fertilization (IVF). This method can provide couples with a child they desperately want. And it has brought many precious new lives into being, and real happiness to millions of parents. Therefore, many now think IVF is the answer to infertility. But it is not. Many problems have surfaced since Louise Brown, the first in vitro fertilization baby was born. These problems can be found in the Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) business.
There is no story in the Bible that describes our current society better than the story of the Tower of Babel.
Brad Rozairo, OMI – Accepting any responsibility demands a big “yes” and if you are not prepared for the job, it can put you down when things do not go right. Many do not want to get involved in the leadership ministry because it demands time, energy and sacrifice and no doubt it poses a challenge. But if you are looking at this responsibility from the perspective of one’s personal growth and maturity, then I would say that in accepting the responsibility you will get to know yourself better, as well as your limits and capabilities. Leadership ministry helps find out the type of person you need to be in handling pressure situations. It also gives an opportunity to appreciate some of your learnings in making decisions that are not very easy. However, it depends on how a person responds to this invitation.
(This article is part of an ongoing series showing different adult obsessions in waging “War Against Children” by Fr. Jerry Novotny, OMI.)
Every day, throughout the world, we see the effects of hatred between people whenever we watch news on TV or open the morning newspaper. When violence breaks out, it takes place in homes, workplaces, public institutions, schools, health care facilities andon city streets. It happens in so many senseless ways and women and children are often the victims. We also see the devastating effects of violence and hatred in so many places in our world that are at war. A prime example is Ukraine. Where once there were people raising their families and making livelihoods for themselves, there is nothing but the ashes of burnt out homes and businesses. We humans can become so full of rage that we don’t care who we destroy in the process. All the destruction that takes place in this world has one source – the sin that is lurking in every human heart. We might want to point the finger at others. We might blame governments or other institutions for all the world’s misery. But, ultimately, hate and violence spring from the human heart which rejects God and His love.
Recently, not very much has been written about Down Syndrome babies. The killing of unborn babies with Downs syndrome continues to increase at an alarming rate. It appears as if the adult generation is attempting to erase an entire category of people. Once diagnosed with Down Syndrome, the unborn child of today faces almost certain death by abortion.
At times, we may simply feel weary about our daily routine, tired of taking risks in a cold, hard world where only the clever and the strong seem to get ahead. At other times, we may feel helpless and discouraged before the power of evil, the conflicts that tear relationships apart, the attitudes of calculation and indifference that seem to prevail in society, the cancer of corruption – there is a great deal of it, the spread of injustice, the icy winds of war. Then too, we may have come face to face with death, because it robbed us of the presence of our loved ones or because we brushed up against it in illness or a serious setback. Then it is easy to yield to disillusionment, once the wellspring of hope has dried up. In these or similar situations – each of us knows our own plights, our paths come to a halt before a row of tombs, and we stand there, filled with sorrow and regret, alone and powerless, repeating the question, “Why?” That chain of “why”…
The Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke all recount the episode of the Transfiguration of Jesus. There we see the Lord’s response to the failure of his disciples to understand him. Shortly before, there had been a real clash between the Master and Simon Peter, who, after professing his faith in Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God, rejected his prediction of the passion and the cross. Jesus had firmly rebuked him: “Get behind me, Satan! You are a scandal to me, because you do not think according to God, but according to men!” (Mt 16:23). Following this, “six days later, Jesus took with him Peter, James and John his brother and led them away to a high mountain” (Mt 17:1).
Jerry Novotny OMI – Turning 80 several years ago, I have come to accept the fact that now I am a part of the worldwide “Senior Family”. By 2050, the world’s population of people aged 60 years and older will double (2.1 billion). The number of persons aged 80 years or older is expected to triple between 2020 and 2050 to reach 426 million. We also know for a fact that the number of people aged 60 years and older have outnumbered children younger than 5 years. Yes, people worldwide are living longer. A new world order is being created, a generation referred to as the “Senior Family”.
200th Anniversary of St. Eugene’s Experience before the Oblate Madonna
“Protect All Life” – Official Song
Feast of St. Eugene De Mazenod
The Presence is Real
Vision Mission Statement
<<Japan Mission Vision for 10 years>>
As Jesus’ Mission was to bring hope to the poor and since the OMI charism is to serve the most abandoned, we in Japan also want to walk in that direction. We seek out those who cry out for salvation in Japan, wherever they are. We conceive this vision to be done in community, in communion with God, with our brother Oblates, Church and Society.
We shall be ministering to: The migrants, The youth, Social problems and Advocacy.
“For His glory and the welfare of the souls He has entrusted to us”
Young Prisoners – Mazenod’s Diary, Feb.9, 1840
I went to administer the sacrament of confirmation to a young person who was dying in the house for juvenile prisoners. There are already 45 children in this house between the ages of 10 and 18. It is painful to see this early degradation; we expect much from the painstaking care that Igive these poor youth through Fr. Fissiaux and Fr. Margaillan, his assistant. Already some of these children are showing the good effects of the religious instruction they receive.
Reflection of the day
<Three Goals of Oblate Ministry with Young People>
In becoming Human we seek to foster the psychological, intellectual, physical and spiritual growth of each young person; helping them to recognize their dignity and the dignity of others.
In becoming Christianswe seek to draw young people to responsible participation in the life, mission, and work of the Catholic faith community.
In becoming Saints we seek to empower young people to live as disciples of Jesus Christ in the Oblate charism, fully human and fully alive, in our world today
Prayer to Mary to free us from this terrible pandemic
We shall always look on her as our mother. In the joys of our missionary life, we feel close to her who is the Other of Mercy. (OMI Rule of Life, 10)
St. Eugne sought Mary’s intercession during every cholera epidemic during his time. Following his example, as a Mazenodian Family we turn to Mary in this time of need united in prayer with Pope Francis all around the world:
We fly to your protection, O Holy Mother of God
In the present tragic situation, when the whole world is prey to suffering and anxiety, we fly to you, Mother of God and our Mother, and seek refuge under your protection.
Virgin Mary, turn your merciful eyes towards us amid this coronavirus pandemic. Comfort those who are distraught and mourn their loved ones who have died, and at times are buried in a way that grieves them deeply. Be close to those who are concerned for their loved ones who are sick and who, in order to prevent the spread of the disease, cannot be close to them. Fill with hope those who are troubled by the uncertainty of the future and the consequences for the economy and employment.
Mother of God and our Mother, pray for us to God, the Father of mercies, that this great suffering may end and that hope and peace may dawn anew. Plead with your divine Son, as you did at Cana, so that the families of the sick and victims be comforted, and their hearts be opened to confidence and trust.
Protect those doctors, nurses, health workers and volunteers who are on the frontline os this emergency, and are risking their lives to save others. Support their heroic effort and grant them strength, generosity, and continued health.
May, Consolation of the afflicted, embrace all your children in distress and pray that God will stretch out his all powerful hand and free us from this terrible pandemic, so that life can serenely resume its normal course.
To you, who shine on our journey as a sign of salvation and ope, do we entrust ourselves, O Clement, O Loving, O Sweet Virgin Mary. Amen