Communication. Discernment. Educational. Fruitful. Evolving, broadening and getting richer. Inspiring. Joy!
Those were some of the words gathered from more than forty participants of Terejiakai/TA-Japan’s first online “Family Event” on July 25 to commemorate the martyrdom of St. Pedro Poveda.
The world over, sadly the coronavirus pandemic is into its second year. In Japan, there has never been a government-mandated lockdown except the so-called State of Emergency whenever Covid-19 cases rise to an alarming level. People practice self-restraint in leaving their homes and a great number of employees continue to work from home. Thus, we came up with this online activity amidst concerns of a surge in Covid-19 cases especially during the Tokyo Olympics that were held from July 23 to August 8.
Our bilingual (Japanese-English) program included an introduction of TA’s historical background to our guests. The founding of the TA by Pedro Poveda y Castroverde to counteract the process of secularization in Spain, Europe and elsewhere that led to his martyrdom stirred our hearts.
The first part was a Povedan Pilgrimage: an animated slide presentation by Teresian members who visited in the Summer of 2019 all the relevant places related to the life and work of Pedro Poveda. This effectively caught the attention and interest of everyone.
It was followed by a presentation on the TA evangelizing mission, its social projects and work with both the young and the elderly in the international and local levels. Our guests later made commentaries how diverse TA is, and how inspired they were to know that there is such a group of dynamic, genuine-hearted people that existed In Japan, albeit quietly, like Poveda’s idea of members becoming and being salt of the earth.
Next came our favorite Povedan quotes and personal witnessing of certain members. Reasons were put forward why they joined the TA and how the Work as envisioned by Poveda has guided and helped them in their spiritual life journey
Finally, we had the breakout sessions where we interacted in small groups and shared what we have gathered and learned from the encounter. A summary of the discussion in each group was then shared with the rest.
We ended the program with an upbeat song, “Santa María del Camino” and prayer. It was a long session but in the end it was obvious that everyone wanted to stay longer, collaborate and discuss more.
Despite our initial nervousness whether the initiative will work out, our Team’s efforts were crowned with a sense of fulfillment. After a long hiatus, and with high-tech tools available, at last we were able to cut through the thick barrier of pandemic isolation, engage each other, connect around a shared purpose, and build a sense of belonging.
From Japan, we send our love and warm hellos to our fellow Teresians around the world.
Angelina (Boots) V. Angeles. TA Japón-ACIT.