Monday, March 21, 2011

Peru, Japan, Minnesota: And a Universal Church

Peru, Japan, and central Minnesota may not seem to have much in common. But folks from Peru and Minnesota live, work, or study in Japan. And besides educational and business connections, you'll find Catholics in all three places.

Which comes in handy, when something like the March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami happens.

Here's what got me started today, news about the Diocese of Saitama, in Japan, about 111 miles south of Fukushima and 43 miles from Tokyo:
"Religious sisters to continue mission in Japan"
CNA (Catholic News Agency (March 21, 2011)

"Sister Ana Alvarado, a Peruvian religious sister of the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Conception in Japan stated that her community will continue its efforts in the country....

"...The Peruvian sister, who directs Hispanic ministry in Saitama, said there is widespread fear of an explosion at the Fukushima plant, which is leading to an increase in the number of people fleeing the area....

"...'We have chosen to take evacuees in,' Sister Alvarado said. 'There are also some people who have been affected here, but not as many as our brothers and sisters to the north. For this reason a notice has been sent to all the parishes, convents and faithful asking them to open their doors to evacuees from the Diocese of Sendai,' where shelters and evacuation centers are filled to capacity, she said....

"...Sister Alvarado applauded the solidarity and quick response from the Hispanic community in Saitama, where many were willing to open their homes to families from the north. The diocese is developing an action plan to assist the families who are evacuating.

" 'This is all we can do right now as a Church. The experience of the last two years, which began with the global economic crisis, led our parishes to open their doors and hearts to help many people who were left unemployed and homeless,' she recalled....

"...The Missionaries of the Immaculate Conception have 21 members in Japan, eight living in Fukushima, where they operate a school...."
Quite a few of the Peruvians living in Japan have decided to return home: and I can't say that I blame them. Between that "global economic crisis" and slightly radioactive spinach, there probably isn't as good a case for staying in Japan as there once was.

As for the folks who have decided to stay, it's like Sister Alvarado said: " 'We have chosen to take evacuees in'...."

Some Catholics in Japan are Taking In Evacuees: So What?

Folks in the Diocese of Saitama won't be able to fix the nuclear reactors in Fukushima, or rebuild towns and cities in northeastern Japan: not by themselves, anyway.

But they're giving other folks, from harder-hit areas, a place to stay.

They're not the only ones pitching in. I made the point, yesterday, that folks at a Buddhist temple in Seoul, South Korea, were collecting money to help Japan recover.

The reason I'm focusing on the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Conception in Japan is to show how, most places you go, there are Catholics.

We'll help anybody: but as a Catholic, it's nice to know that if I traveled there would usually be a counterpart of my local parish not too far away.

We're literally the "Universal" Church: and that's another topic.

More about Japan:
Vaguely-related posts:
In the news:

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What's That Doing in a Nice Catholic Blog?

From time to time, a service that I use will display links to - odd - services and retailers.

I block a few of the more obvious dubious advertisers.

For example: psychic anything, numerology, mediums, and related practices are on the no-no list for Catholics. It has to do with the Church's stand on divination. I try to block those ads.

Sometime regrettable advertisements get through, anyway.

Bottom line? What that service displays reflects the local culture's norms, - not Catholic teaching.