Newsletter of the District
- December 2000
Letter from Japan
3rd, 2000, first Sunday of Advent
St Francis Xavier
Ostende nobis, Domine, misericordiam tuam
et salutare tuum da nobis.
desuper! This is indeed the cry of Japan.
as a nation, is still sitting in the darkness without knowing Our
Lord. Our good Lord, the Sun of Justice, does not want to abandon
this people. Beginning from Saint Francis Xavier, so many holy missionaries
have been sent to the “Origin of Rising Sun” in order “to give testimony
of the Light, that all men might believe” (John 1). As a Japanese,
the first Japanese priest of the SSPX, I would like to thank God,
for all the generous missionaries who labored so hard to lead our
souls to Heaven, to sanctify our daily lives as well as our nation
and to establish His Kingdom, the Holy Catholic Church, on my motherland.
Thomas de Marie Onoda, first SSPX Japanese priest
of the SSPX mission
but with His reasons, which we cannot comprehend now, Our Lord allowed
the actual crisis of Faith in our Holy Mother the Church, some priests
in Japan did not want to give up the traditional Catholic Mass.
They were followed by a group of faithful who turned to the Society
Saint Pius X for help. It was with great joy that they welcomed
Fr. (at that time) Richard Williamson in Japan in 1978. His visit
encouraged us to keep the Catholic Faith in the Blessed Sacrament.
The second Society priest who visited us was Fr. Frank Peek in 1985.
It was my first contact with a Society priest in Japan. I admired
and was edified by this pious holy priest.
Upon the persistent
and ardent demand for help from the Japanese faithful the Society
was moved by compassion – “I have pity on this crowd!” -
and started to send priests more often, although irregularly, from
1987 onwards. Thus, Fr. Eric Simonot, the third SSPX priest who
visited us, was sent to Japan from Australia in 1987. Some years
later, the priests in Australia had the great charity to organize
visits more regularly, about every two months.
By the grace
of God, I entered the French seminary of the Society of St Pius
X in October 1987 and received the sacred Priesthood in June, 1993.
I was first
assigned in Manila, which became the base for the faithful in Japan
and Korea. I now visit my own country every month for a few short
days, coming from the Philippines.
present, we have two mass centers in Japan, one in Tokyo the other
in Osaka have offered us a small apartment, which we are using as
our permanent chapel. Unfortunately, we can only provide them with
two masses a month on a weekend (Friday evening and Saturday morning).
In spite of this, about twenty faithful attend the Holy Sacrifice.
In Tokyo, although
the mission is oldest among all SSPX Asian missions, our faithful
are relatively young: young couples with small children, students,
young men and ladies. They cannot afford a permanent chapel, like
in Osaka, even though they are generous, helpful and eager to do
so, because the life there is quite expensive. We have just one
Mass a month in Tokyo on the second last Sunday of the month. It
is always a Missa cantata well prepared with the proper of
Gregorian chant and it is served by a group of Altar boys. More
or less twenty faithful attend the Mass ordinarily. Each time, we
have to rent a public hall for a whole Sunday. In the afternoon,
we have a catechism class or a spiritual conference about Faith.
Japanese Martyrs' Mass Center, in Tokyo
for the last 7 years, in Tokyo, I have been staying at an old friend’s
house. But this situation has unfortunately limited very much our
activities. Tokyo is an international City, with many University
students, it has a great importance and potentiality among the Asian
countries. The District Superior of Asia wishes to develop this
very important mission. He has allowed me to rent an apartment as
our “priest’s house” in Tokyo from next year, 2001, to facilitate
our mission. We hope this house will lead to opening one day a permanent
church in Tokyo.
Mass Center visited by Fr. Paul Egli, SSPX,
former missionary in Africa
One of our faithful has
made the following comment on the Japan mission: “Japanese people
are known to follow the wave. If the lord of the land and
all its key lieutenants believed in Catholicism as in the 16th
century, people willingly followed. If the Japanese government
determined that it was really the Western technologies that mattered
and the religion was of no practical use, as in the 19th
century, then people also concluded that this western religion was
just waste of time… There was a big counter-swing just after the
end of the world war, when the American democracy was seemed to
be the only answer. It was then followed by the 50s-70s of
hectic industrialism, when copying the western technology was the
national passion, which culminated in the burst of the economic
bubble in the early 90s. From the burst of the bubble, now, the
Japanese people seemed to have lost a cause, and are still looking
for one. Whatever Japan as a nation determines the next wave
should be, they will certainly work very hard to achieve it, whether
it be the American-style free capitalism, environmentalism, New
Age, or whatever other cause. Japanese people love to follow
the national trend… If (and this is a very big IF) one day, the
Japanese people decide that Catholicism is the new banner everyone
should run under, then that wave would be as strong as was seen
by the first Catholic missionaries some three and a half centuries
Heart of Mary Chapel, in Osaka.
This is the little appartment used for our mission in this large
faith is a gratuitous gift from God, without His mercy nobody can
Why is Japan
still pagan? Will it have any more chance to become Catholic? Everything
depends on God’s mercy. However, we cannot remain inactive. We want
to walk in the steps of our great missionaries to re-evangelize
this nation. With the grace and help of God, as well as with your
prayers and support, my dear friends and benefactors, we would like
to work hard to show to Japan that the new banner all of us should
run under is the Holy Catholic Faith which is expressed admirably
by the Holy Catholic Traditional Mass.
I am thankful
for all your generous help (prayers and financial aids) for our
mission in Japan.
Oh Lord, show
us your mercy and grant us your salvation!
Oh, Jesus, have mercy!
Oh, Our Lady, have mercy upon us!
Saint Joseph, pray for us!
Saint Michael, pray for us!
Saint Francis Xavier pray for us!
Sincerely yours in the service of Our Lord,
Fr Thomas de