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In Japan, the Catholic Church reopens kindergartens and helps earthquake victims

On the first of January, an earthquake shook the area, killing 232 people. Numerous buildings were destroyed or damaged. In many cases, basic essentials are not available for the people. The Diocese of Nagoya reopened kindergartens and set up support centers to help the local community.

In the Kanazawa Catholic Church, located in the area most affected by the earthquake, a support center has begun to operate, helping the people in need.

Two congregations that suffered the most damage were Wajima and Nanao. In Wajima, the church sustained significant damage, but fortunately, the church in Nanao is still in good shape. There were no victims among the small local Catholic community.

Bishop Goro Matsuura of Nagoya was able to celebrate the Eucharist in Nanao Church on the first Sunday after the earthquake. He said to the faithful,

“Jesus today is right here, in our midst. He does not give us instructions and encouragement from above, but he is with us and bears our sufferings.”

In Nanao, the local Catholic community set up their base to offer help at St Mary’s kindergarten. The electricity and gas supplies are restored, but the water system is still malfunctioning, so they must get water from nearby wells. Despite the hardships, the kindergarten has reopened and accepts children whose parents have to work.

The support center in Kanazawa provides water, sanitation, and beverages to the kindergarten. Donations are also arriving from other dioceses. They are also working on opening a Jinnobi restaurant next to the kindergarten. They will provide hot meals and a place where the local community can gather and relax.

The Catholic Church in Japan has already set up a fundraiser to support these projects of the Nagoya Diocese.

Source: AsiaNews

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