Sunday, August 21, 2016

The Cialdinis In Japan

Although some Bishops in Japan disapprove of the Neocatechumenal Way, they are still thriving and doing well.  They are still doing missionary work, and there are mission families in Japan.  They still study and read the Bible.  They still do morning prayers in the home. The following article is about the Cialdinis family who left everything behind to become mission families in Tokyo, Japan. Notice how faith is transmitted in the Neocatechumenal Way.  It is transmitted by the parents.  In the Way, the father is the spiritual head, and he transmit the Catholic faith to his children.  The story is found here.
A few weeks back, I was invited to a party where I met a young mum named Veronica. She introduced herself as a mum to seven kids. “Seven?” I asked.
“Yes, I have seven children, and that’s my husband,” replies the soft spoken Veronica with a sheepish grin pointing to Gaetano.
Raising seven children in Tokyo is no mean feat. When I met her, I can’t help but put on my Sherlock Holmes cap and bombard her with too many questions, mostly about what it takes to hold everything together. So immediately, I jumped at the chance to arrange an interview with her family which she willingly accepted.
The day of the interview arrived. It was a sunny Sunday morning and even made sunnier by the warm welcome I got as I arrived at the doorstep of their 3LDK apartment. I must admit – a neat, well-kept home was far from what I had expected from a large family like theirs. I finally had a chance to meet the good-looking Cialdini kids: 5 girls and 2 boys (ages 15, 13, 11, 8, 6, 4 and 1.5).
Sunday lunch is communication time for the Cialdinis.
Being devoted catholics, the Cialdinis have a Sunday morning routine. They hold a bible study at home with Gaetano as preacher. Veronica and the children sit around the table to listen to their dad’s topic of the day. When he’s done, he quizzes the children to know how well they understood the preaching.
The Cialdinis are one of the 500 families despatched abroad by Neocatechumenal Way (NCW), an organisation within the Catholic church that runs seminaries and assigns families to many cities around the world on a religious mission.
Both born and raised in Rome, the Italian couple first met in 1998 when Veronica went back to homebase after completion of her missionary assignment in Israel. Gaetano was working for an IT company in Italy at that time. A year later, the couple got married and three lovely daughters were born.
Ten years later, he quit his job to join the catholic organisation that assigned his family to Ehime prefecture where two of their children were born. Eventually, after the move to Tokyo, five  became seven.
How would you compare raising seven kids in Japan to Italy?
Gaetano: I would say 90% of things here are a lot better than Italy. The Japanese government scholarship system works, there are family restaurants, parks almost everywhere, etc. Shopping for kids’ clothes here is way cheaper than Italy, thanks to H&M, Forever 21, etc. Children’s clothes in Italy are expensive.
Veronica: The sense of community here is amazing. The locals often tell me how they respect me for bringing up a large family. I’m also satisfied with the birthing experience here.
What are the things you don’t like about living here?
Gaetano: Everywhere, there are crimes against children. But compared to Italy, crimes here involve much younger children (kidnapping, etc). Additionally, parking fees and transportation are expensive compared to Ehime.
The Cialdini children attend a Japanese school and speak both Japanese and Italian. They each have different ambitions.
Maria Israel, the eldest of the Cialdini children who doubles as a babysitter when her mum is not available, is presently in Junior High. Her secret desire is to become a flight attendant someday.
Rebecca, 13, the most reserved of the brood says, “I have a special liking for horses. I’m just enjoying school now but I still do not know what job I would like to do after I finish my studies.”
Pasquale, 11, the eldest of the boys in sixth grade, says he’s good at math and wants to become a scientist by all means. While he admits to occasionally being bullied at school, “the teachers are kind to me and that alone makes me feel welcome,” adds Pasquale.
2nd grader Megumi (8) , the only one with a Japanese name in the family, has a penchant for flowers and would like to be a florist in Italy when she graduates in college.
Pilar who just started school this year appears to be the most sociable among the Cialdini children. She took out her homework from her school bag and eagerly talked about the sort of homework she gets on a typical school day.
Despite spending only a couple of hours with the Cialdinis, it actually takes very little time to see that their family dynamics are powered by love, cooperation, and religious values. Veronica and Gaetano are quite a good team , nurturing yet disciplinarians. That attitude spills over to their children.
Do you plan to have more kids?
Veronica: I was able to have this much kids because I started in my early 20s.  Now, I’m older. I had more caesarian birth than normal delivery. But I leave it all to God.


  1. One of those things that Christ is asking for us to do.....not surprising there are no comments from comfortable catholics of guam; white; rohr and his jungle gang. Leave your family; leave your security and go proclaim my WORD. No faith

    1. LOL Anon@ 5:02 PM.
      Rohr and family left the security of living near their families to come to Guam where they have no natural family outside themselves. But they have contributed (and continue to contribute) their God-given skills and talents to improve life on our island. People are aware that the Rohrs are a Catholic family who evangelize as St. Francis said to do, by their actions and, if necessary, with words.
      Mainly they do a lot of good in the community but people like you can't accept it. Too bad. So sad.

  2. I don't see how they can fight against the practice of transmitting the faith in the family. Silence would be a good thing since they agree that practing this tradition is important.

    1. Dear Anonymous at 10:13 pm,

      This tradition is being lost. You do not see this among most traditional Catholics anymore. Times have changed. Most families do not even sit down together at the table for lunch as you see here in the photo. But the Way is bringing back this tradition.

    2. It is sad that families these days are so disconnected from each other, but even broken families can be made whole with the grace of God. It is good that the NCW is bringing back this tradition.

      Save the family, save the world. I think Pope Francis said something to that effect during the world meeting of families last year.

  3. Did you think it appropriate to launch into a disagreement based on this post? As for comfortable, join me in missionary work in Africa to non-Christians and find out about risk. This stuff where you go to evangelize where they're already baptized has a personal cost, but not so much that you have room to brag.

    Besides, you are basing this statement about "traditional Catholics" upon your experience on Guam. What do you know of traditional anything?

    As for anonymous at 5:02, is that faith or pride speaking? Self-righteousness doesn't become any of us.

    1. Dear Anonymous at 3:44 am,

      The OP is about a mission family sent to Japan. Japan is not a third world country, but it is pre-dominantly non- Christian. There are hardly any risks in Japan. This post is not meant to brag. I wrote it because it is the truth about the Neocatechumenal Way.

      The truth is......Many Catholic traditions are being lost because of living in a secularized,world. A long time ago, Christians would evangelize the world. That was one of the Christian tradition that was lost. A long time ago, families sat down and ate together. That is another tradition that is being lost as eating dinner separately become the norm with some eating in the living room in front of the TV. A long time ago, parents would transmit the faith to the children. Today, many parents leave it up the public schools to educate their children, and a different faith is being transmitted to them from these schools.

    2. "Many Catholic traditions are being lost because of living in a secularized,world"

      Almost correct. In fact, it is the Church leaders' and laity's fault.

      The Traditions are lost because there was a conscious effort at Vatican II to change the language of the Church and discard the language of the past. That meant cutting ties with the rich history and tradition (little 't') of the Church, which embodied and demonstrated the Tradition of the Church.

      The NCW is the personification of this new language and is itself a prime cause of the abandonment of Church Tradition and language. Of course, its dressed up to look like its authentic, but really its goal is to substitute a different version of Church.

    3. Dear Anonymous at 10:57 am,

      I am glad that they changed the language of the Church from Latin to the vernacular. The reason for the change in the language is so that the laity can participate in the Mass. We are Catholics, not Muslims. The Muslims say that the the true Koran is the book written and published in Arabic.

      Catholics believe that God understands all language and Latin is not considered the superior language while all languages are inferior. Your idea of restoring tradition is returning to the Latin language, getting all people to kneel and receive the Body of Christ on the tongue, putting the tabernacle I the center. Your tradition does not even go out door to door to evangelize.

      As I pointed out in my previous comment, the NCW is restoring the tradition by getting the family to transmit the faith and to eat and pray together as a family. That kind of traditional restoration is what matters the most because that can save marriages. We are restoring the ancient tradition of evangelizing from door to door and in public squares just as Christ commanded His Apostles to go out to the ends of the earth to spread the Gospel.

    4. You misunderstand, Diana. I was not referring to Latin when I spoke of the "language of the Church".

      (Incidentally, Latin is still the official language of the Church. Look at the document on the liturgy from Vatican II:

      ". . .the use of the Latin language is to be preserved in the Latin rites." Sacrosanctum Concilium, #36

      You might even note the reference to liturgical music in the same document:

      "The Church acknowledges Gregorian chant as specially suited to the Roman liturgy: therefore, other things being equal, it should be given pride of place in liturgical services." Sacrosanctum Concilium, #116

      The NCW has failed on the implementation of these points of Vatican II, hasn't it?)

      In any case, I was referring rather to the change in the use of the particular lexicon of the Church. To quite Kiko, "Since Vatican II, we no longer speak of the dogma of Redemption, but rather the Paschal Mystery".

      The Church abandoned much of the language it had used to describe the human condition, the state of Man, his need for redemption, the necessity for belief in Christ and acceptance of his doctrine etc.

      Instead, we got this free-for-all ad hockery that all people are brothers and sisters, regardless of faith, that pastoral trumps doctrinal, that simply loving our neighbor, or ignorance, or "community" is enough to save us.

      The Church jettisoned the language used by Pope's, Councils, saints and teacher of the faith (eg Scholasticism), and replaced it with a secular, psychological language.

      So, once again, you misunderstand. Your caricature of me in your response is based on ignorance, so I forgive you, but you are plain wrong.

      The answer is to recover the faith as it has always been taught and understood - not to persevere in a failed language that leads nowhere. And one of the greatest examples of this is in the NCW.

      PS. Don't even get me started on "evangelization". Your understanding of that is wrong too. We are called to 'witness" and to proclaim the Gospel. The greatest "witness" is that of our presence at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, where we have been counted as one of those called to witness Christ offering up his life for the Redemption of mankind.

      The proclamation must first acknowledge mankind's need for redemption, due to the effect of sin (death, evil) before the listener can realize their own need for faith. And if you deny the Redemption (lets say by eradicating the redemptive sacrifice of the Mass) you are not evangelizing, but simply puffing yourself up with pride.

    5. Dear Diana @ 12:16 PM, I seem to recall that you are fond of using Wikipedia for research so I thought you'd be interested to read this passage from Wikipedia since you said "I am glad they changed the LANGUAGE OF THE CHURCH FROM LATIN to the vernacular."

      "Especially since the Second Vatican Council of 1962–1965, the Church no longer uses Latin as the exclusive language of the Roman and Ambrosian liturgies of the Latin rites of the Catholic Church. As early as 1913, the Catholic Encyclopedia commented that Latin was starting to be replaced by vernacular languages. However, the Church still produces its official liturgical texts in Latin, which provide a single clear point of reference for translations into all other languages. The same holds for the official texts of canon law, and for all other doctrinal and pastoral communications and directives of the Holy See (and the Pope), such as encyclical letters, motu propriae, and declarations ex cathedra."

      The Mass may be in the vernacular but the OFFICIAL language of the Church is still Latin.

    6. Dear Anonymous at 2:21 pm and 1:35 pm,

      Was there anything in my comment saying that the Latin language is NOT the official language of the Church???? I said that God understands all languages, and that Latin is not considered the superior language while all languages are inferior. Latin may be the official language of the Roman rite Church but that does not mean it is superior. In the same way, the official language of the Eastern rite Church is Greek, but Greek is also not the superior language. God never created a superior language.

    7. You are indeed right, Diana. The Tradition is not about going door to door. That's the Protestant way--the way of the salesman. The way of the Tradition is to witness in our lives, in serving the poor, in instructing the ignorant, in loving our neighbor. So I'd say traditional Catholics are quite the evangelizers as well, wouldn't you?

      I'm not saying NCW doesn't go out and evangelize; I'm sure you do. But you're making a blanket that we don't evangelize (which is wrong), as if that's part of the Tradition (also wrong).

      I think the cultural Catholics around you growing up, combined with Kiko's influence, may have warped your view a touch. Or perhaps you're just out there.

    8. Dear Anonymous at 7:39 am,

      Please read my comment. I said that the NCW is restoring the ANCIENT tradition of evangelization. It was never the Protestant way to go door to door,or witness in the public squares. That was how the Gospel was spread by the Apostles. Serving the poor, instructing the ignorant, etc. are all acts of mercy that even the atheists are capable of performing those very same things.

      Anonymous, the Jehovah Witnesses and Mormons do a better job of evangelizing that the traditional Catholics. You fear evangelizing in the streets and public squares because of what people will say or because you fear rejection. You find it safer to help the poor and doing other acts of mercy, which even the atheists are capable of doing.

    9. @Anon. 7:39 am, Loving your neighbor? I don't see any love from JW. Instead of loving their brothers in the NCW, I see hate.

  4. Wow so serving the poor, instructing the ignorant--the works of mercy commanded by Christ are whatever--even though Christ commanded them.? Wow you need some more catechizing. You make Glaucon look right more and more.

    Hey anonymous @8:44, I said traditional catholic, I didn say the jungle.

    1. Dear Anonymous at 12:42 pm,

      Catholics do not believe that you can get into Heaven on "good works" alone.