A Shinto miko healed from cancer by Mother Teresa’s posthumous intervention became Catholic during the Easter Vigil earlier this year. This would certainly be a story for The Journey Home!
Via Catholic in Japan. (Yes, I missed it at Eastertime.)
If you’re wondering why her parish priest made the decisions he did… well, Japanese Catholicism during WWII was given some rather interesting amounts of pastoral leeway from the Vatican in order to deal with State Shinto. Whether or not such practices go away in the future, they’re apparently allowed right now. Obviously this is a bit different from a Catholic working as a non-Catholic organist or choir singer, but we’re not there.
But what was going on with the father of the family is definitely sad. People need to pray for this family, who obviously need a new way to make a living — and for this town, that they help these people follow the truth instead of being hereditarily tied to a shrine they don’t believe in. (Especially since, with no son, the local temple priesthood is going to die out with this Shinto priest anyway. And he could die tomorrow, for all they know. Sheesh, if I were Shinto, I’d do something about this; but Japanese society often goes into denial on these points, or hopes for time to smoothe out difficulties. Sigh.) Obviously, if these folks were planning on going to Lourdes, they were hoping for guidance, as well as thanking God for the favors already received. So let’s pray for them.
(And if the situation has already been resolved, the Lord, being eternal, will still be open to retroactive prayers.) 🙂
Oh, and little Kotone sounds precious. She’s obviously ready to fight the peer pressure of Japanese society, even now. 🙂 Japan needs more kids like her.
If you don’t understand what a miko is, or why people worshipping at a Shinto temple might not be interested in growing in devotion to their gods but would want a priest to stay there despite everything, or why a Shinto priest might think it would be selfish to get baptized despite believing in Christ and the Church, here’s a very good, short but complete intro to Shinto via The Kawaii Menace. (Just ignore the anime references if you don’t know whatever show he’s talking about. I assure you that even anime fans routinely ignore the ones they don’t get.)
Yonezawa Church is a Catholic church built in the Twenties and Thirties at the site of the martyrdom of the 53 lay martyrs of Yonezawa (legally in Yamagata Prefecture, canonically in the Niigata diocese).