From 23rd to 26th November, Pope Francis is going to visit Japan. It is a long-awaited visit by all Christians. The first Pope to visit Japan was Pope John Paul II in 1981 and thirty-eight years have gone by since then.
He will visit Nagasaki, Hiroshima and Tokyo. The Pope will give a message against nuclear weapons in Nagasaki and visit the sanctuary of the twenty-six martyrs. In the afternoon he will visit Hiroshima where he will share a message of peace. On the 25th he will go to Tokyo.
We work in the diocese of Tokyo and Yokohama, and will be able to participate in the Mass which will be held there. There will be a meeting for the young people with the Pope, in the morning in Tokyo Cathedral. This was an initiative taken by the young people themselves. It was they who proposed it to the bishops and they who are in charge of preparing it. In the afternoon, we will meet with the young people to share all the the experiences of this visit, and have a few mini choripans (Argentinian hotdogs) which we will prepare for everyone.
While Pope Francis is in Japan we will help with translating. Momoko, our only Japanese sister, will be in charge of translating everything the Pope says, which wasn`t previously prepared, from Spanish to Japanese. It is a great challenge but also a great joy to be able to participate in this way.
Last week we had a meeting in our house in Tokyo, which we call “servi-mission”. It is a space where we share faith and life and it is open to all young people, Christians and non-Christians. It takes place every two months. We made the most of the occasion to get to know Pope Francis and his country of origin a little more. We projected some videos about him, shared typical Argentinian food and drink – mate, choripán (hot dogs), empanadas (pasties) and of course, danced a few Argentine dances. It was a nice way to prepare for this meeting.
Let us all pray for its fruit!