ASIA/JAPAN - A year of evangelisation reaps harvest of 83 new adult Christians in a Tokyo parish

Thursday, 6 May 2004

Tokyo (Fides Service) - Evangelising society, leading catechumens to receive Baptism is the mission of all Christians and the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Japan keeps a steady record of these happy events. In Koeji parish, one of the Catholic parishes in Tokyo the capital, a year of efforts to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ reaped a harvest of 83 adult baptisms of people aged mostly between 30 and 40. In keeping with Catholic tradition and as in parishes all over the world, the 83 catechumens were received into the Church during the Easter Vigil Mass. The church was filled to capacity with parishioners and family members for a very moving and joyous celebration of Mass during which the catechumens received the Sacraments of Christian Initiation: Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Communion.
Fides spoke about the eventful Easter with parish priest, Father Haresaku Masahide. “Today people are searching for something or someone to believe in and when they meet a Christian who offers them the Truth, they simply cannot resist. It is the Word of God, Jesus, who converts hearts. I am certain that there in Japan is a bright future for Catholicism and that the number of Baptisms will continue to rise”, the happy priest told Fides.
Father Haresaku Masahide was appointed parish priest only a year ago and he immediately set to work organising Bible study groups, missionary animation classes to promote evangelisation involving also lay Catholics, young people in particular. For its fruitful efforts in evangelisation the parish received a message of praise and encouragement from the Archbishop of Tokyo himself, Archbishop Peter Okada Takeo.
(PA) (Agenza Fides 6/5/2004 lines 25 words 245)