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From Japan: Visit To Ushiku Detention Center

June 10, 2016

For almost two years now, the community of Japan has been living its common mission project: “To Let the Merciful and Compassionate Face of God Shine Through”. In this article we want to share an example of how we are putting it to practice through an apostolate not well known in the eyes of the world: accompanying migrants in detention centers, which is not easy in Japan because the process is very strict. Here, Rosina Magaldi, one of our sisters from Brazil tells us her experience.
Visit to the Ushiku Detention Center
Twice a month a small group of the International Catholic Center of Tokyo visits detainees in Ushiku. The people living there are those asking to be refugees and those who have lost a visa for having been in jail.
May 26 was a special visit. Requested by a group of them, Father Juan Masiá, SJ and I had a prayer time with them for the first time, in a special room.
People from different nations attended: Dominican Republic, Brazil, Guatemala, the Philippines, Nepal, Iran and Sri Lanka, divided into 4 groups of 4 each.
We could not have the Eucharist, with bread and wine, but the prayer was a true Eucharist: reflection on life and asking forgiveness for sins and faults, reading Mt. 18,19-20 (The Pharisee and the Publican) with a comment or request with what was felt upon hearing the Word of God. Each one, putting his hands on the Bible, offered his life with all its joys, sufferings, etc. to God. Father Masiá made a prayer asking God to consecrate these lives that were given to him. Afterward, joining hands, we prayed the Our Father, followed by spiritual communion. Father imposed his hands on each one to give the blessing and the indulgence of the Jubilee Year of Mercy.
All felt happy and renewed, with the desire to have the opportunity again for a time of prayer like this.
We are ready to do so, but we must wait for the permits and accomplish all the protocol required by the Detention Center.