Today it was a wonderfully beautiful Japanese spring day with many plum trees (Ume) already showing the imminent coming of spring, just less than a week away of its official astronomical start. It was even more beautiful because in a both familiar and solemn celebration, we gathered to celebrate the ordination of brother Nagasaki So for the deaconate.
The event took place in Koenji parish Church, a parish near to our house in Tokyo and where Nagasaki has been assisting in his pastoral ministry for a few years. His family, many people from Nagasaki's former parish, Maebashi,as well as friends, including some from the Franciscan theologate where he is studying,were also present; as I recalled in the final address, his father, who died a few years ago, was present too, although with a different kind of presence. The ordination ceremony was presided by bishop Kazuo Koda, Tokyo's auxiliary bishop, and although it was Sunday, a day full of ministry work, fathers Joong and Felix were able to come from our communities in Osaka. The community of Tokyo and many close friends of Nagasaki and the Claretians accompanied us this day.