August in Japan

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.

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The Truth: Catholic Church and LGBTQ+

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.

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The Season of Creation Focuses on Justice and Peace for All

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.

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War Against Children: IVF – 70-75% do not survive (part 14)

(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.

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Leadership Ministry

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.

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War Against Children: Down Syndrome Genocide – 90% Killed (Part 13)

(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 and on 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.

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“Go to Galilee”

(excerpt taken from the homily of Pope Francis, Holy Saturday, 8 April 2023)

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”…

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Message of the Holy Father Francis for Lent 2023, 17.02.2023

Lenten Penance and the Synodal Journey

Dear brothers and sisters!

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).

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A New Generation: The Senior Family

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”.

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Message of His Holiness Pope Francis XXXI World Day of the Sick – 11 February 2023

“Take care of him” Compassion as a synodal exercise of healing

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OMI Japan: Christmas in Kochi – Dec. 27 ~ 28, 2022

Brad Rozairo, OMI – As the year comes to an end, we, Oblates in Japan, came together in Kochi to celebrate our annual community Christmas.

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ADVENT: Stay Awake!

Brad Rozairo, OMI – Last Sunday (Nov.27, 2022) the Catholic Church entered the Advent season. This means that the day of waiting for Christmas has begun.

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