May was a month of both joy and sorrow. On May 1, I attended the ordination ceremony of Reverend Nestor Poltic, the third Bishop to the Episcopal Diocese of North Central Philippines, which has a sister relation to our diocese. The current Prime Bishop Joel Pachao, who was the former Bishop, had resided as bishop for over twenty years; this seemed to have caused a slight uncertainty in the ordination being the first in a while. However, the excitement seemed to have been much more than that.
Bishop Poltic respectfully stated that he is still in the process of learning even after becoming the bishop. He hopes to visit Japan someday, and in such opportunity, I hope he will be able to visit places including the church in Kani City to give words of encouragement to the people there.
Actually, I had been worried about Revd. Akira Aizawa’s condition not being well since a few days ago on my visit to the Philippines. He passed away on May 11, just ten days after my return. We worked together for over forty years, and he has supported me at services and given me advice since I had become a bishop. I give my deepest condolences and may his spirit rest in peace. Holy Mass was dedicated upon the 120th Anniversary of Nagano Holy Savior’s Church on May 20. While giving the service, my thoughts were upon the consecration 120 years ago. I strongly felt the need to learn from Rev. Waller’s fighting spirit on constructing a cathedral during Meiji Era, when people were still strongly biased against Christians, even in Monzenmachi, a leading area in Japan. We would also like to express our gratitude to the Holy Mass given with the prominent keyboard performer Genzo Takehisa.