Report on the Activities of JASH Study Group (2011-2014)


Report on the Activities of JASH Study Group (2011-2014)
                                                                      by Yasuko Yamaoka, Chairperson


JASH Study Group (2011-2014) completed its three-year activities with the report we gave on the 29th JASH Day on March 17, 2015.

I was very happy to find most of the group members present at the meeting because the group had already dissolved after the last get-together held on December 16, 2014. The following is the summary of our report.








1. Activity report from October 2011 to November 2014 (Yamaoka)

In December 2010, at the extraordinary National Presidents’ Meeting of AMASC at Joigny, France, Pamela Snyder, President elect, announced the theme of her mandate: “Listening with One Heart.”

1) In October 2011, JASH Study Group started its activities. 43 members gathered from 8 local associations. We divided ourselves into 3 subgroups according to the 3 subthemes given by Pam. We gathered once in 2 months.
During the year 2012, we asked Sisters Kazuko Terada and Sanae Masuda, rscj, to speak to us.

2) On JASH Day in March 2013, each subgroup gave its interim report in front of Pam. She was much impressed by our reports and expressed her expectation to meet us again and to listen to our final report in Arizona.

3) After this, we resumed our study, and at the same time we enjoyed ourselves doing research on Arizona.

4) In April 2014, at the group’s last meeting, each of the 3 subgroups gave its final report. We were happy to have the new JASH president, Yoko Nakayama, and her team with us. After the meeting, we began preparing an intergraded PowerPoint manuscript in English to be presented at the Arizona Congress.

5) In June 2014, at the “Gathering of JASH Young Alumnae and Study Group,” we gave the PowerPoint presentation which we would give at the Congress. After this, we continued revising our manuscript and prepared for the Congress.

6) In November 2014, 10 of the 43 JASH Study Group members together with 20 more JASH members attended the Congress in Arizona. On the second day of the Congress, on the 7th, we presented the report of our study. We were very, very, happy to receive an extraordinarily high acclaim from the audience both on the content and the presentation of our report.

2. Comments from the leaders of three subgroups

1) “Listening with One Heart to the Voice of the Poor”
                                                                       (Yachiyo Maeda)
By participating in the Study program, I had the opportunity to confront with poverty as something very near us. The problem of spiritual poverty of the Japanese who are comparatively well-to-do had often been taken up, but we came to realize that more and more Japanese have been suffering from material poverty as well.

Through the activities of the Study Group I came to be reminded of the joy of learning. I now have many new friends. I have realized the happiness of being a JASH member.

2) “Listening with One Heart to the Concerns of Others”
                                                                          (Sumiko Matsumoto)
We, the members of the second subgroup, realized that the difficulty of mutual understanding often comes from differences of cultures and environments. Therefore we felt the need to understand our own Japanese culture which we had deliberately avoided facing when we were at school at the Sacred Heart. The group members talked and listened to one another very attentively.
Before the Congress, I was a bit worried how our presentation that had delved deeply into Japanese mentality would be appreciated by the majority of the participants. They might think us too different from themselves who had been brought up in the Catholic tradition. However, at the Congress, my worries were dispelled when the audience gave us an enthusiastic standing ovation. They appreciated both the presentation and the content of our report.

3) “Listening with One Heart to the Dialogue between Religion and Science”
                                                 (Shigemi Tatsuno read by Mami Roppongi)
At the Congress in Arizona, I was very happy and proud to witness how highly JASH’s presentation was appreciated. As our subtheme, “the dialogue between religion and science,” will continue being an important key word in the future, we will keep on treasuring the seeds sewn in the course of our study. I would like to convey to the young JASH members that JASH and other alumnae associations give us life-long opportunities to study and to grow.

3. Presentation of the JASH Study Group given at the 15th AMASC Congress in Arizona








With the same PowerPoint slides we used at the Congress, Kaori Okamura, presenter at the Congress, gave the presentation this time in Japanese. It was again a great success.

4. Final comments as Chairperson of the JASH Study Group (2011-2014) 

1) I would like to express gratitude to Pamela Snyder, who decided to have the study group presentations at the Congress.

2) I am very happy and proud to have been able to remind the AMASC members worldwide of the importance of “Study” in AMASC.

3) I would like to say “Thank you very much” to JASH Officers and Study Group members who have worked with me, and supported me throughout these three years.

4) If you would like to have copies of our PowerPoint file and of a manuscript of the narration, please apply from “otoiawase”.