Posted by Matthew Ireton, a parishioner at the English-language parish in Tokyo
It was early in the morning when I woke to the sound of people preparing to go upstairs for the 6:30 a.m. mass.
Father Takahashi, who is a priest from Oita Prefecture, decided say Mass for Catholics at the Caritas base in Shiogama during his stay as a volunteer. I got up, went to the bathroom to put my contact lens on, and then headed to a room that allowed for 7-8 people after setting an altar for a bible, crucifix, chalice and a ciborium.
As Father Takahashi spoke during the homily about volunteering, I was wondering what was going through everyone’s minds. This was my first day of actual volunteering, having arrived yesterday, and while others probably reflected on their previous volunteering activities, I did not know what to think or expect.