By Fr David Buenaventura SDB
For seven years, Fr. David Buenaventura was a missionary priest in the highlands of Papua New Guinea. Then the time came for him to serve his fellow Pinoys struggling to live in a country that is rich in everything except Christianity – Japan.
I was appointed parish priest for Filipinos living in the Catholic Diocese of Oita in January 1997. The appointment was the first of its kind in Japan. We have a good number of Filipino priests working in Japan, but no one had been appointed parish priest. My appointment was based on Canon 518, which talks about the Personal Parish. I didn’t have a convent or a parish church. When asked by my parishioners, “How come the other parish priests in the diocese have their own convents and churches while you, Father, don’t have?” I would tell them with pride: “This is so because your homes are my convents and each Filipino community is my church.”