Lembo Andrea, Chairman

Dear Friends,

 On June 30th, 2020, I was appointed to be the new Chairman of Shinsei-kaikan. I realize that this is a great responsibility, and I will do my best to serve each and every one of you. Thank you for your continued encouragement and support, it means a lot to me.

 Shinsei-kaikan was founded by Fr. Soichi Iwashita as the dormitory of St. Philip Neri in 1934. The goal at that time was to foster the growth of young people and to root them in Christian values as they faced a world overflowing with militarism. Today, Shinsei-kaikan is available to all people, and especially to those who are searching for meaning in their lives or are in distress.

 As of January 11, 2022, Shinsei-kaikan became a certified Public Service Incorporated Foundation, in recognition of our mission to promote the well-being of all people. This achievement would not have been possible if not for the dedication and hard work of the Shinsei-kaikan community, from 1934 to today.

 The following words from the Old Testament, spoken by King Solomon, come to mind:

 I too am a mortal man, the same as all the rest, and a descendant of the first man formed on earth. And in my mother's womb I was molded into flesh in a ten-months' period – body and blood, from the seed of man, and the pleasure that accompanies marriage. And I too, when born, inhaled the common air, and fell upon the kindred earth; wailing, I uttered that first sound common to all. In swaddling clothes and with constant care I was nurtured. For no king has any different origin or birth, but one is the entry into life for all; and in one same way they leave it. The Book of Wisdom, chapter 7, verses 1-6.

 King Solomon was a famous figure from ancient Israel. Through his wisdom, he was able to grow his kingdom into abundancy, lead his people to a safe and peaceful society, and enjoy a fulfilling life. However, despite a life of success, he still realized that he was only a human being. A truly wise man, indeed.

 In this quote we can also feel King Soloman’s connection to Jesus Christ, both in his way of life and in his way of thinking. For all people must follow the same path – from birth to death – regardless of nationality, wealth, or status. The youth of today must face the trials and challenges of existence, just as those who came before. For this reason, even though we have grown up in a modern society full of isolation, we can sympathize with King Solomon's cry.

 I believe that connection to others is the essence of being human. From the moment of our births to the moment of our deaths, we must take care of each other and allow ourselves to be taken care of. Remember that the Japanese kanji for "person" is not drawn with one stroke but two, one supporting the other. By taking care of and protecting each other, we enrich our lives with love and fill our hearts with joy.

 As Chairman, I will do my best to preserve the traditions of Shinsei-kaikan that we inherited from Bishop Mori. I will also try to develop additional activities in the spirit of the foundation. I sincerely appreciate your continued support and sincere encouragement.

January 11, 2022

Lembo Andrea, Chairman