DAILY CATHOLIC    WEDNESDAY     November 17, 1999     vol. 10, no. 218


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      Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday we spotlight each member of the Conclave in alphabetical order. We find this necessary as our dear Sovereign Pontiff Pope John Paul II grows older, clinging to hope, as we join him, of seeing the light of the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart with the dawn of the new millennium - the Jubilee Year 2000. How much longer this 264th successor of Peter has left on this earth only God knows for sure, but His Divine Mercy is evident in allowing him to be with us this long for he truly is a saint for our times, truly Christ's Vicar on earth in these waning days before the glorious Reign of the Sacred Heart, the Time of Peace, the Era of the Eucharistic Presence, the New Pentecost, the Second Advent, the Age of the Holy Spirit. What 1999 will bring we have no idea, nor does anyone else, but with John Paul II at the helm, we feel much more secure in knowing God's Will will be done. Nevertheless, we want to preview the future Pope whether that be soon or much, much later, for no one lives forever and eventually one of those prelates will be selected as the 265th successor of Peter. This will give the reader a better insight into the man whom the Holy Spirit will move the conclave to choose. Thus we bring the reader vignettes on each cardinal in alphabetical order gleaned from the Catholic Almanac, The Official Catholic Directory, Inside the Vatican and other sources.

124.   Cardinal Peter Seiichi Shirayanagi

        As Archbishop of the largest city in the world - Tokyo, Cardinal Peter Seiichi Shirayanagi has his hands full in ministering to his flock of under a half million in a land where the population is over 125 million. He was born in Hachioji, outside of Tokyo on June 17, 1928. The war interrupted some of his schooling, but undaunted he continued his studies for the priesthood, becoming a priest on December 21, 1954 where his Archbishop assigned him to various pastoral duties throughout the Archdiocese of Tokyo for twelve years until Pope Paul VI made him Titular Bishop of Antenia and Auxiliary Bishop of Tokyo on March 15, 1966. He was ordained a bishop on May 8, 1966.

        Three years later on November 15, 1969 the Holy Father made him Titular Archbishop of Castro and Coadjutor Archbishop of Tokyo. He was installed as Archbishop of Tokyo on February 21, 1970. Shortly after that he was named President of the Conference of Japanese Catholic Bishops. Always the giver, he made a special point to share the wealth of his archdiocese with lesser endowed sees throughout Europe. In 1989, in the spirit of reconciliation, he gathered a group of Japanese priests, nuns and lay leaders to meet with Chinese Catholics in seeking their forgiveness for the atrocities committed by the Japanese Imperialist army in the thirties and fourties. This springboarded to solidarity with all Asian Catholics organized by Archbishop Shirayanagi in an effort to rebuild the Church in Asia, refurbishing convents and seminaries.

        He was included in the Consistory of Pope John Paul II on November 26,1994, receiving his red-hat and the titular church of St. Emerentiana in Tor Fiorenza while at the same time appointed curial membership in the Pontifical Council for the Family and the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue. He is expected to remain Archbishop of Tokyo where he has been for thirty years, bringing stability to this vast, sprawling see in Japan. He resides and works out of the Archbishop's House at 16-15 Sekiguchi, 2-chome, Bunkyoku, Tokyo, 112 Japan.

November 17, 1999       volume 10, no. 218


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