Due to the spread of the coronavirus virus this year, we could not celebrate the anniversary of our founding with our church members. Also, the bazaar has had to be canceled.
Despite this, the flowers around the convents and its surroundings still bloom beautifully and praise God. We pray that the flowers will heal will heal our hearts, and that the spread of infection will end as soon as possible. We thank you for your continual support during this stressful times.
On 24th April when cherry blossoms were scattered on the ground and young leaves had began to appear, one of our young sisters entered her aspirant period of training. Ms. Nguyen Thi Ha from Vietnam attended the ceremony which was conducted by Father Yutaka Kato, the Ardiocean priest for the Koganei Church.
From 22nd to 23rd February 2020, a St. John’s vocation’s retreat was held. As usual, the venue was the Retreat House of the Holy Spirit Sisters in Koganei City. There were 9 participants, 4 participants, 2 trainees, and 3 staff. This year, we were blessed with fine weather, and for two days we had a calm and relaxing time for meditation in the fresh winter air and warm and soft sunlight.
A meeting of the Brotherhood of St. Johns was held on November 16th. A mass was officiated over by the Koganei Catholic Church archdiocesan priest Father Kato, and then two short DVDs: "The 75th Anniversary of the St. John's Congregation" and "The young members of St. John’s congregation" were screened. Following that, we enjoyed a small tea party with those who had attended in the library of our Koganei congregation’s library. The congregation is extremely grateful to these members who always pray and try to live out the spirit of our society in their daily lives.
On October 26th, it was the annual vow taking ceremony of St. John’s Congregation. This year there were many celebrants. One sister taking her first vows, another her silver jubilee and two each their gold and diamond jubilees. It was a great time for our group. Sister Andrea Kim Miri, who has just started her dedicated life as a St. John’s sister, after her initial training period, could not celebrate with her parents unfortunately. However, there were many others to celebrate it with her, e.g. people from the Fuchu church where she initially came from. This will definitely be a big advantage for her life to come. Archbishop Kikuchi said that the birth of a new sister was a great treasure for the church. As a daughter of the Church, I think she will want to live the charisma of the congregation together with our beloved lord. And that goes for other members of the congregation renewing their vows here today.
On October 25, the annual vow renewal ceremony took place under the guidance of Father Yutaka Kato, the archdiocesan priest for the Catholic Koganei Church. During the evening there was also a dedication ceremony for an aspirant who will start her next phase of training. There was also the blessing of the sister’s habit who will make her first vows on the 26th.。
The annual Catholic Fuchu Church bazaar was held on Sunday, October 20th. Although the weather had been rather unstable with constant rain. However, during the day it improved and we were able to finish safely.
On June 9th , in commemoration of the 75th anniversary of our founding, we had an exchange meeting with the members of Koganei Church and St. John Brothers and Sisters' Association. We were worried because it had been drizzling a little from the morning, but when it came time for the gathering, while not superb weather it let up so as to not spoil the day. Thanks be to God.
75th anniversary of the founding of St. John’s Congregation
June 8th is the anniversary of the founding of our congregation. It was founded 75 years ago, and all of our sisters thank God for the graces which He has bestowed upon us. The 8th is also the eve prior to Pentecost Sunday which is also of great significance. We are extremely grateful that the Holy Spirit, who bestowed great graces upon our founders 75 years ago, still supports us. The Holy Spirit has continued to lead us during various trials and when we have lost sight of the future.
Cycling around Lake Yamanakako and a visit to Fuji St. John Facility
On May 3 during the long holidays, the aspirants, postulants, and one other headed Oshino Village in Yamanashi Prefecture early in the morning. Blessed with wonderful weather, the magnificent Mt. Fuji welcomed us. Taking a direct bus from Mt. Fuji Station to Lake Yamanaka we rented bicycles on the lake and went around Yamanakako. A refreshing breeze blew through the beautiful fresh greenery of the lake, and we were fascinated by the beautiful scenery of another world. We got off our bicycles on the way and viewed beautiful Mount Fuji from the lake again and again.