Filipino Cardinal Quevedo,Papal Envoy to Japan ‘Hidden Christians’ anniversary

[update March 14, 2015]

OMI, NJ Viehland Photos

Filipino Cardinal Orlando Quevedo of Cotabato – NJ Viehland Photos

Celebrations in Nagasaki began today to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the “Hidden Christians of Japan.” Pope Francis appointed Filipino Cardinal Orlando B. Quevedo, Archbishop of Cotabato, will serve as his Special Envoy at the anniversary event which will last until March 17th.

Full report here

Hidden Christians video by Journeyman YouTube

click photo to watch Journeyman Pictures’ mini-documentary on Hidden Christians

Also taking place at the Nagasaki Museum of History and Culture until April 15 is the exhibit of more than 500 items confiscated from Japanese Christians during their brutal persecution in the 19th century from the late Edo Period to the early Meiji Era, Japan Times online newspaper announced.

The Times reports that some 550 items are back in Nagasaki for the first time on display in the special exhibition “Miracles Protected by the Virgin Mary — Churches and Christian Sites in Nagasaki,” include 212 cultural properties rarely loaned out by the Tokyo National Museum at one time.

The exhibit is reportedly taking place because the central government has recommended that churches and other Christian locations in Nagasaki be listed as UNESCO World Cultural Heritage sites. It shows the history of Christianity in Japan from the introduction of the faith by Francis Xavier in 1549, to the birth of the “hidden Christians” caused by brutal crackdowns and the confession of their beliefs to a foreign priest by a small group of Japanese in 1865.

Cardinal Quevedo, first prelate on the southern Philippines Mindanao island to be created cardinal, has led the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences (FABC) as Secretary General from 2005-2011. FABC is a Vatican-approved voluntary association of Catholic bishops’ conferences in Central, East, South and Southeast Asia.

 

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Pope Francis appoints Quevedo papal envoy in Japan ‘hidden Christians’ anniversary

 NJ Viehland Photos

NJ Viehland Photos

Vatican City, 17 January – Pope Francis has appointed Filipino Cardinal Orlando B. Quevedo, archbishop of Cotabato, as his special envoy to the celebrations for the 150th anniversary of the discovery of the “hidden Christians of Japan”, to be held in Nagasaki March 14-17, Vatican Information Service reported.

Catholic missionaries St. Francis Xavier of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits)  with Cosme de Torres and John Fernandes  arrived in Kagoshima, Japan in 1549, to spread the word of God. Eventually, the number of Christians rose to about 300,000 including members of the aristocracy, but by the beginning of the next century, Christianity was banned in the country and in 1612, the faithful were forced into practicing their beliefs in hiding. 

The “hidden Christians” are locally known as Kakure Kirishitan.

Today, about half a million Japanese identify as Catholics; roughly 0.5% of the population. There are 16 dioceses around the country. 

Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Japan Archbishop Peter Takeo Okada of Tokyo wrote last year about his church’s plan for the March anniversary celebration. Archbishop Okada said the existence of these Christians who kept their faith under severe persecution was revealed at Oura Catholic Church in Nagasaki. He expressed his hope that Pope Francis would join the commemoration.

“We would be deeply grateful if Pope Francis would encourage us in deepening our faith and conveying widely the message of faith to others. We also expect that a visit by the pope would be an occasion for promoting and advancing inter-religious dialogue in Japan,” Archbishop Okada added.

The pope would be just coming from pastoral visits to Sri Lanka and the Philippines by the time of the Japan event. He chose to send Cardinal Quevedo as his representative .

The 75 year-old cardinal has been called a “powerful voice for inter religious dialogue” between Muslims and Christians especially those in Mindanao where an autonomous region with predominantly Muslim populations sits.

Quevedo also headed the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences (FABC) from 2005-2011. The Japan bishops’ conferences is a member of the voluntary association of bishops’ conferences in the region.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pope issues letter for Year of Consecrated Life

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis issued a letter for the Year of Consecrated Life, which will start throughout the universal Church on the first Sunday of Advent, 30 November. The observance will end on the Feast of the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple, 2 February 2016.

In his message, the Pope underlined the aims of the Year of Consecrated Life, namely to look to the past with gratitude, to live the present with passion and to embrace the future with hope.

Listen to the report by Laura Ieraci:

I.         AIMS OF THE YEAR OF CONSECRATED LIFE

1. Institutes of consecrated life will look to the past with gratitude…

Quezon City, NJ Viehland

Maryknoll Sister Helen Graham, Quezon City / NJ Viehland Photos

2.  To live the present with passion…

children watch priests march Ed Gerlock

Scavenger children watch seminarians march to  protest military bases / contributed by Ed Gerlock edgerlock@yahoo.com.ph

3. To embrace the future with hope 

Xuan Loc Seminary Grand Chapel

Xuan Loc Seminary Grand Chapel grounds fill up with people welcoming FABC delegates Dec. 2012 / NJ Viehland Photos

Tagaytay,NJ Viehland

Sister and aspirants from South Asia attended the AMOR meeting Mass in 2013, Tagaytay City/ NJ Viehland Photos

II.        EXPECTATIONS FOR THE YEAR OF CONSECRATED LIFE

1.        We are called to know and show that God is able to fill our hearts to the brim with happiness; that we need not seek our happiness elsewhere; that the authentic fraternity found in our communities increases our joy; and that our total self-giving in service to the Church, to families and young people, to the elderly and the poor, brings us life-long personal fulfillment.

NJ Viehland Photos

Institute for Consecrated Life in Asia / NJ Viehland Photos 

NJ Viehland Photos

Good Shepherd Srs. Ailyn Binco and Anya Borbon, NJ Viehland Photos

NJ Viehland Photos

Sr. Pring and sacristans in Lingayen-Dagupan, NJ Viehland Photos

2.         I am counting on you “to wake up the world”, since the distinctive sign of consecrated life is prophecy. 

NJ Viehland Photos

NJ Viehland Photos

Muntinlupa prison / NJ Viehland

Muntinlupa prison / NJ Viehland Photos

3.         “to make the Church the home and the school of communion”

year of faith happy priest nun by n j viehland

Year of Faith launch, Paco Church / NJ Viehland Photos

Sr Cecilia Espenilia OP with Muslim girl in Luneta. - NJ Viehland Photo

Sr Cecilia Espenilia OP with Muslim girl in Luneta. – NJ Viehland Photos

4.         I also expect from you what I have asked all the members of the Church: to come out of yourselves and go forth to the existential peripheries.  “Go into all the world”…

Robert Reyes / NJ Viehland

Robert Reyes / NJ Viehland Photos

5.         I expect that each form of consecrated life will question what it is that God and people today are asking of them.

De La Salle Brother Armin Luistro from FaceBook

De La Salle Brother Armin Luistro Department of Education FaceBook

AMOR, N.J. Viehland

AMOR, N.J. Viehland Photos

HFSB, Sorsogon,contributed

Sr. Bernie de Silva HFSB, Sorsogon fishermen’s recollection, HFSB contributed photo

Read the full text of Pope Francis’ letter for Year of Consecrated Life, Official English translation

AMOR XVI Conference in photos

"A mystic is a prophet in contemplation..." Asia-Oceania Meeting of Religious 16th Conference (AMOR XVI) final statement, Nov. 17, 2013, St. Scholastica's Center of Spirituality, Tagaytay City, Philippines . / By N.J. Viehland

“A mystic is a prophet in contemplation…” Asia-Oceania Meeting of Religious 16th Conference (AMOR XVI) final statement, Nov. 17, 2013, St. Scholastica’s Center of Spirituality, Tagaytay City, Philippines . / By N.J. Viehland

"A prophet is a mystic in action" - AMOR XVI Conference final statement. Participants listened to environmental and human rights activist Sister Stella Matutina, a Filipino Benedictine, share about her work and challenges she faces on Day 5 of the conference that gathered more than 70 nuns and representatives of partner groups in St. Scholastica's Center of Spirituality, NOV. 10-27 , 2013. / By N.J. Viehland

“A prophet is a mystic in action” – AMOR XVI Conference final statement. Participants listened to environmental and human rights activist Sister Stella Matutina, a Filipino Benedictine, share about her work and challenges she faces on Day 5 of the conference that gathered more than 70 nuns and representatives of partner groups in St. Scholastica’s Center of Spirituality, NOV. 10-27 , 2013. / By N.J. Viehland

TAGAYTAY CITY, Philippines – Sixty-five religious women from Asia and Oceania concluded an eight-day conference with a commitment to deepening their spiritual bonds and strengthening cross-cultural and international cooperation to better serve the needy.Held Nov. 10-17 at St. Scholastica’s Center of Spirituality here, the AMOR XVI (Asia-Oceania Meeting of Religious) conference’s theme, “The Mystic-Prophetic Dimension of Religious Life,” led the women to combine their spiritual and prophetic ideals.

[ Read full report here ]

Holy Spirit Sister Eden Panganiban, Chairperson of the Association of Major Religious Superiors of Women in the Philippines welcomed participants and guests to the 16th Conference of Asia-Oceania Meeting of Religious (AMOR XVI) during the opening Mass Nov. 11, 2013 in St. Scholastica's Center of Spirituality, Tagaytay City, Philippines  / NJ Viehland Photos

Holy Spirit Sister Eden Panganiban, Chairperson of the Association of Major Religious Superiors of Women in the Philippines welcomed participants and guests to the 16th Conference of Asia-Oceania Meeting of Religious (AMOR XVI) during the opening Mass Nov. 11, 2013 in St. Scholastica’s Center of Spirituality, Tagaytay City, Philippines / NJ Viehland Photos

AMOR South Asia Postulants NJ Viehland Photos

Nuns of various congregations and territories in Asia and Oceania recited prayer petitions during the opening Mass of AMOR XVI Conference celebrated with Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila on Nov. 11, 2013 in Tagaytay City, south of Manila. /By N.J. Viehland

Nuns of various congregations and territories in Asia and Oceania recited prayer petitions during the opening Mass of AMOR XVI Conference celebrated with Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila on Nov. 11, 2013 in Tagaytay City, south of Manila. /By N.J. Viehland

AMOR nuns speak out NJ Viehland Photos

– More photos to come –