Shadows of Saints

James Dechant '08 | March 27, 2015

Noah is heavy on my chest as I walk up the sloped Nagasaki street. The baby carrier straps offset his weight, but only a little. Ahead of us, white and angular and peaked with a green spire, rises Oura Cathedral. We are among a light crowd in the plaza before the church. Elderly Japanese tour groups, young Korean couples, and clusters of Chinese sightseers pose for snapshots in front of the European façade. I look at my wife Ayumi, wondering if we should take a photo as well.

Some people are entering the church, presumably for a Thursday morning Mass. They are not many, and we do not join them. We are headed for a hilltop garden. I check on Noah. He has fallen asleep. It’s hard to blame him. He’s only five months old, he is not yet baptized, not yet technically Catholic. Although technicalities may exclude me as well. Does the Sacrament come with an expiration date? My first year in Japan, I entered a church only two or three times, breaking a custom stretching back to my childhood. As a parent, my religious affairs are no longer private. How can I pass on the faith to my son when my own identity, previously firm and reliable, turns out to be inchoate?

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 by Daily Domer Staff

Posted In: ND Magazine