Catholics in Hiroshima mark 90th diocesan anniversary
Oct 8, 2013 / 02:39 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The Diocese of Hiroshima is celebrating its 90th anniversary this year with programs for spiritual renewal, a focus on priestly vocations, and an effort to draw attention to local martyrs.
“Our series of faith renewal programs has boosted devotion, in reaffirming our life and renewal during the Year of Faith,” Fr. Harada, chancellor of the Hiroshima diocese, told CNA Oct. 2.
In May, Bishop Thomas Maeda of Hiroshima announced at an annual Mass in memory of the Tsuwano martyrs that he was initiating the diocesan phase of the cause for their canonization.
The Tsuwano martyrs were killed for their faith in the town of Tsuwano, around 90 miles west of Hiroshima, between 1603 and 1912. In the years following 1868, 36 Japanese Catholics died in exile at Tsuwano, locked in small cages, though they were reportedly comforted by a Marian apparition.
Every year, the people of the Hiroshima now undertake a “walking pilgrimage” with a Marian statue to the top of the hill where the Tsuwano martyrs were executed, Fr. Hattari, head of the local organization Apostles of Peace, related to CNA.
This year, the statue of Our Lady of Tsuwano, as well as one of Our Lady of Fatima, will tour various parishes of the diocese to commemorate both the Year of the Faith and the diocesan anniversary, returning to the cathedral Nov. 24 for the Year of Faith’s closing Mass.
“We pray during the Year of Faith especially for vocations to the priesthood in each parish,” Fr. Hattari emphasized. …
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