Summer Holidays

17 07 2009

What do you mean  holidays Vee8 didnt you just go to Hawaii?  Weeell yes but that was Golden Week way back in May. 😀  Now its time for summer holidays so I will try to blog as often as I can however my sparse as of late blogging may become sparser.  I pray that anyone who reads this has a safe and wonder summer.


Religion couple’s common ground

14 07 2009
Staff writer

Zuzana Koike, a 29-year-old Austrian national of Slovak extraction, never thought she would even visit Japan before meeting and marrying Takeshi Koike, 38, a lecturer at Daito Bunka University in Tokyo.

The two met in 2000 at a gathering of the Catholic Students’ Union at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, where Zuzana was an undergraduate student and Takeshi was engaged in postgraduate linguistics study. Zuzana grew up in a Catholic family, while Takeshi, inspired by Mother Teresa, was baptized after finishing college in Japan.

Full article here

Despite  the title religion is not a common theme throughout the interview so I was disappointed.  Aside from a brief mention in the above excerpt, and stating that they had a church wedding no deeper questions were asked about religion in their lives.    Do they even go to church on Sunday?  Did they have their children baptized?  Basically if they are practising Catholics how are the in laws dealing with that?  But the interviewer doesn’t ask and instead barely avoids asking the wife if she can use chopsticks and eat natto.

Pope Invited to South Korea

10 07 2009

I am still waiting to hear of any official invitation by Prime Minister Aso to His Holiness to visit Japan.  In the meantime South Korea has made the offer and the official Vatican reply was that the Pope will visit “at an appropriate date.’

ROME ― Pope Benedict XVI will visit South Korea “at an appropriate date” to encourage Catholic churches and praise their efforts to protect the rights of the underprivileged, a presidential spokesman said Thursday.

During a courtesy call on the Pope in the Vatican, President Lee Myung-bak invited him to visit South Korea. The Pope accepted the invitation, saying he will visit Seoul at an appropriate time, the spokesman said.


It seems likely then that the Pope could visit both countries but if for some reason he didn’t come here and only went to Korea I`ll still go see him.

Here is a short video of their meeting and of the South Korean first lady`s break with Vatican protocol.  This article says that white is to be worn by Catholic queens and all other women must wear black.

Prime Minister Aso Meets with Pope Benedict

7 07 2009

The first articles and images are starting to come out so I will keep this post updated as more info becomes available.  No papal visit announcement so far.  This article in English pretty much sums up all that is being reported right now in the Japanese articles.


camPM Aso gave the Pope a video camera.

plc0907072330013-p2above two photos from here

Updated to add this Japanese news video link here

Updated to add the following reuters photos

Updated to add the possible make and model of the video camera.  CNet and Sony Insider claim its a Sony HDR-XR500V HandyCam.   Link Just in case you want to go to Yodobashi camera and see the camera for yourself.

Updated to add the following video (in English)  about their meeting and the gifts.

www.reuters.comIn the Pope`s private library.

www.reuters.com2The Pope presented Taro Aso with a pen.

www.reuters.com3In the Pope`s private library.

www.reuters.com4According to one article PM Aso did not kiss the Pope`s ring.

In Japan, a Minnesota monastic community thrives

6 07 2009

But unlike many if not most Catholic monasteries, whether in the West or elsewhere, Trinity is thriving and growing. This month, on the occasion of its 10th anniversary, it welcomed an unprecedented four new candidates into its modest ranks, re-energizing its ranks and — by extension — this little-known outpost of Minnesota’s biggest, and most famous, monastic community.


To outsiders, this may seem obvious. In fact, it was obvious to insiders, too. But it’s one thing to suggest that a culture needs to change, and another matter altogether to actually change it. Nonetheless, last year — with great effort, and after much discussion — the monks at Trinity made the decision to shift the monastery’s culture — especially in the dining room (second in importance to the chapel — which had benefited from a Japanese liturgy for years. Japanese cuisine became a more regular facet of the Trinity dining experience; chopsticks began to appear at the common tables and, most significantly, conversations were translated from Japanese into English, and not — as had long been the practice — from English into Japanese.

Father Edward Vebelun, 41, a still boyish native of Ohio who was trained as a priest in a Japanese seminary, describes the transition as a revelation. “From there, the flood gates really opened for us.”

full article here

The monastery`s website in English is here.