I am grateful for being able to visit each church within the diocese as a bishop. During Advent, I was given an opportunity to visit Ichinomiya Holy Light Church for the first time in 30 years. Currently, the new chapel under construction, but we were able to hold our last Holy Eucharist with the bishop’s ceremony at the old chapel with the congregation.
Before the service, I had found a slightly rusty dinosaur object placed in the shrubbery in front of the church. When I asked a parishioner about it, I was told it was a graduation work made by Mami Kataoka, the daughter of Reverend Ken Kikuta who had pastored for quite some years, and someone I had known since I had worked as a chief staff at Nagoya Youth Center.
Mami is now a world-class curator, and currently works as the Director of Mori Art Museum in Roppongi, Tokyo and President of International Committee for Museum and Collections of Modern Art (CIMAM). Just the other day, I had visited the special exhibition at Mori Art Museum under the direct guidance of Director Kataoka. A full-page interview article was published in the evening edition of Asahi Shimbun dated January 5, but what I was impressed about from the article was that “her name ‘Mami (meaning truth) is derived from a passage in the New Testament.”
At the end of last year, it was announced that Mami has been appointed as the Artistic Director of “Aichi 2022” (formerly Aichi Triennale), an international festival to be held in 2022. At a press conference, she emphasized the importance of confronting the current issues to shed light on the history of various mankind not only of the future but of the past, the novel coronavirus, and discrimination and inequality against racial, gender and ethnic differences, and further went on to say that “to live is to continue learning. It is to meet the unknown world, diverse values, and the overwhelming beauty.”
I believe this is surely her “prayer.” Here it is, a message that should be sent out from us the church.
The Rt Revd Francis of Assisi Renta Nishihara