A Unique Existence as One Individual

On September 8, the ordination of Bishop-elect, Revd. Ignacio Osamu Irie, was held, and he was installed as the Bishop of the Diocese of Yokohama.  For this, my duty as bishop in charge has been relieved, and even though it was only a 5 months-term, I am thankful for the valuable experience I have gained.  Bishop Irie is a person deeply involved with the Diocese of Chubu, so I am hoping that some sort of collaboration develops between the Diocese of Chubu and Diocese of Yokohama.  I pray for God’s blessing and guidance on the new start of the Diocese of Yokohama.

On a different note, in late August, I attended the “Bonfire 2018” organized by Gifu Associa. It was the 47th workshop on marriage for the visually impaired.  Many people from all over the country participated from Okinawa in the south to Hokkaido in the north.

The female secretary general of the Gifu Prefectural Society for Visually Impaired Welfare participated as a guest, and I was startled by the words in her greeting.  She especially asked the male participants to “not look for your mother’s substitute in your partner, but as the woman you will be with for the rest of your life.” 

I felt as if I heard a silent voice from the many people who were there, especially from women participants saying “that’ s right.”  I thought I was the only one who had felt this, but I later heard that the Director of Gifu Associa had felt the same way.

It is not important what your gender is, whether you have a disability or not, or even whether you are “productive” or not.  We are all a unique existence as one individual.  Do not place someone else in the figure, but see that person as who he or she is.  Accept one’s uniqueness.  Her greeting made me realize these, once again.

The Rt Revd Peter Ichiro Shibusawa