Osaka, Japan. The Claretians of the East Asia Delegation have successfully concluded their annual retreat at the Passionist Retreat Centre in Osaka, Japan, on May 6. The retreat, which was held from May 2-6, was attended by 29 participants and was led by Brother Mario Kevin Armijo, CMF from the Claretian Spirituality Centre in Vic.
Former Superior General Bishop Mons. Josep Maria Abella, CMF, of the Diocese of Fukuoka, Japan, addressed the gathering on 2 May. The bishop expressed his joy at being with his brothers, despite only being with them briefly while explaining the challenges of the Catholic Church in Japan. Aside from celebrating Mass with the participants, he addressed the gathering and spoke about his life and mission in the diocese.
Over three centuries of persecution of the Church made it more critical for the faithful to preserve their faith in the family and community in secret than to profess their faith openly. It has influenced the Church’s nature and functioning. Today, it has an ageing population with few baptisms and practically no new vocations to the priesthood and religious life. Bishop Mons. Abella considers his role is to bring the missionary thrust to his faithful.
It is the first time the Delegation members have gathered in five years. The Delegation Assembly scheduled for 2021 had to be cancelled due to the pandemic outbreak. The East Asia Delegation comprises of communities spread across Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau and mainland China.
Source: Fr. Jose Cherukara, CMF, Communication incharge, East Asia Delegation.