Ahead of Pope Francis’ Apostolic Journey to Japan, an OMI missionary priest explores how the face of the local Catholic Church is changing and the challenges of preaching the Gospel where people give priority to work, not religion.
Religious missionaries like him have their own role to play in this new stage in Japan’s history.
‘Difficult mission’ Pope Pius XI once called the Oblates of Mary Immaculate “Specialists in the most difficult missions.” The phrase even appears on the OMI Japan website.
The hardest thing about being a missionary in Japan? “People don’t have time to come to Church. Here, work gets the priority, not religion.” Fr Bradly said people respond well to Church-organized events, if they can find a free moment.
Returning to the Pope’s visit, Fr Bradly said that “For a country which does not give priority to religion, to welcome a religious leader will be a big blessing. The presence of Pope Francis and his message will help strengthen their faith and belief in Christianity.” OMIs in Japan The Oblates of Mary Immaculate first arrived in Japan in 1948, after the end of the Second World War.
“We still continue with this mission,” Fr Bradly said, “Because we really try to give the Gospel values to kids and to teach them about God.” Now the Oblates in Japan work mostly in parishes.
Fr Bradly has one hope for the Pope’s upcoming visit to Japan.
read more at vatican.ca

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