Oblate presence in Japan

It was with great joy that we received the news about the appointment of the new Delegation Superior from our Provincial. For the first time in the Delegation’s history, we have a Japanese, and an Oblate Brother in the person of Bro. Yagi Nobuhiko as the Delegation Superior of Japan-Korea. He was installed on October 4th at the Kochi Rectory Chapel. Thanks to Fr. Bernard for preparing a simple, but meaningful ceremony. After the installation, the new Superior and his team sat with the outgoing Superior for a short meeting. Later all gathered went out for dinner to celebrate the occasion.

The appointment of the new Superior comes at a time when the Oblates in Japan are getting ready to celebrate their 75 years of presence and ministry. A thanksgiving Eucharistic celebration and a simple commemoration ceremony have been planned for November 23rd at the Tokushima mission parish. At this juncture, we would like to remember and thank the deceased Oblates, lay associates, benefactors and friends for their immense contribution to Japan’s mission. We thank God for their hard work and labor.

As we look back on the history of our Delegation, I am sure many would say that our mission in Japan has not been straightforward. We have had our lows and highs, but have managed to survive all these years, and that is because of God’s providence. Despite our weaknesses and failures, God has been so good to us. I think what we should celebrate is not so much our achievements, but our humble beginnings and the marvelous things God has done for us these long years in Japan.

As God continues to journey with us, He also invites us to begin anew.

With the dwindling numbers in the Delegation, we might wonder whether starting again is possible. Yes, it might not be easy, but it is possible, provided we put to death our old self and living patterns and habits that remain a stumbling block towards the future. Therefore, let us have the courage to say ‘NO’ to what keeps us tied down to the past, and re-commit ourselves while looking forward to a new beginning with a renewed heart, mind and spirit.

Brad Rozairo OMI, October 10, 2023