The other day, I visited the Central Theological College and had an opportunity to meet with the seminarians. The principal of the College had long hoped to have the bishops from each diocese to interact with the seminarians, and several bishops have been visiting the school until now. This time they have asked me from the Chubu Diocese. It had been a while since I last had stepped inside the dorms. They had changed quite a bit, but I felt very nostalgic.
Arriving in the late afternoon on the first day, we offered our evening prayers together, ate dinner in the cafeteria with the seminarians, offered our morning prayers on the following day, had breakfast, and then was given about an hour and a half during the morning to talk bout the Diocese of Chubu as well as about myself.
Currently, there are 5 seminarians enrolled at the Central Theological College. All are Candidates for the Holy Orders, and four out of the five are women. Recent seminarians who enter theological schools have gone through various social experiences, and when they are actually sent to a church, I believe those experiences will be extremely useful in the fields of missionary and pastoral care. What is most important is that they are getting along with each other. In my days, there were times when seminarians would get into fistfights.
However, the current 4 seminarians will be graduating or completing their courses next March, and if there is no other enrollment, there will only be one seminarian. The same goes for The Bishop Williams’ Theological Seminary.
In the Diocese of Chubu, since Mr. Taro Aihara, a Candidate for the Holy Order, finished Theological College in March, there has been no seminarian (a Candidate for the Holy Order.) In the next two years, there will be three clergies retiring including myself. Jesus said, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the Harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” (Matthew 9:37-38) Let us pray so there will be workers who will be sent to us.
The Rt Revd Peter Ichiro Shibusawa