|Japan – 75th anniversary of the founding of the Sisters of Charity|
(ANS – Yokohama) – The “Small Choir” of the Sisters of Charity of Jesus is a means used by the religious to help to discovery the gift of life and to evangelise through song and music.
The Sisters of Charity of Jesus (SCG), belonging to the Salesian Family are convinced that when the Gospel touches Japanese sensitivities its message becomes more effective; for this reason they value the evangelising power of art and music. “Mons. Cimatti, who was sent as the first Salesian missionary to Japan and with him other Salesian missionaries used to give performances in concerts in various places in the country. They had great difficulty in learning the language in order to evangelise, but then they gave concerts to transmit the message of the love of God; this motivates us in this kind of initiative” one of the Sisters says.
In fact the first missionaries gave about 2000 concerts in those days. Following their example the SCG are using music as a means of evangelisation. After they issued a first CD in 2000, they have been asked to give many concerts in parishes and now they are also being asked to do so by people in charge of prisons or youth reformatories especially at Christmas time. Among their most memorable performances the SCG recall those in the prisons where whenever they go the “Little Choir” always invite the prisoners to notice the prayer dimension of the music. As a result the SCG have always had a very positive response from the prisoners and many of them have shown how they have changed and discovered something great about life.
Another beautiful experience was their accompaniment of the victims of the Tsunami which struck the north-east of Japan on 11 March 2011, through a concert they gave which brought a crumb of comfort and hope to all who were weighed down by sadness at having lost family, home, work … “At first to try to enter into the lives of people who were desperate and who had never seen nuns before, who had never heard anyone speak about Jesus….. took great courage! But God gave us that courage and His blessing and in the end we understood that music can work miracles” one of the SCG said.
Il “Little Choir” is not made up of professionals; on the contrary it is a small and poor choir which however wants to continue its work of evangelisation through music; this is a very important activity in a context in which Christian believers are in a minority as is the case in Japan, the country where most of the Sisters of Charity of Jesus are living.