|Report on the Visit to Japan of Pamela Snyder, AMASC President, and Anne de Broglio, AMASC Board Member and President of ASCA
From the time Pamela Snyder became the President of AMASC, it had been the wish of JASH to welcome her to Japan. We are most pleased that that wish has been actualized. When Pam accepted our invitation, we also contacted the Presidents of Sacred Heart alumnae associations of neighboring countries. We were very happy to hear from Anne de Broglio, AMASC Board Member and President of ASCA, who said that she would be able to come. Cindy Chang, President of the Sacred Heart Alumnae Association in Taiwan, responded that she would check her schedule but notified us later on that she would not be able to come because of her work. Additionally, we were pleasantly surprised to learn a little before JASH Day that Maria Elena Rowell, President of the Philippine Sacred Heart Alumnae Association and a JASH member since she graduated from the university here, would also join us as she would be in Japan at that time. We hope that Maria Elena will work toward registering the alumnae association of the Philippines as an official AMASC member, and we are ready to cooperate on this matter.
Pam and Anne’s official visit began with a visit to the Sacred Heart School in Tokyo on Tuesday, March 19. The Board Members of JASH, JASH veterans, some JASH volunteers, and more than thirty students met the two guests at the school chapel where everyone prayed for a fruitful series of events to come. The prayer gathering started with an organ performance by a JASH member, Sachiko Seki, followed by a reading from the Bible, prayers, and a solo performance of Ave Maria sung by Hiroko Nakayama, Treasurer of JASH. After the prayer gathering, fourteen students, including three from the elementary school, took Pam and Anne on a tour of the school. There were musical performances by the school’s orchestra club as well as other programs to introduce school life; the students also enjoyed talks with their guests. Pam and Anne then visited the JASH Board Meeting, which was under way during their school tour, for a brief while and commented on the efficiency with which the meeting was conducted.
After lunch and a traditional tea ceremony, Pam and Anne joined members of JASH in a business meeting. Although JASH and AMASC share the belief that AMASC is a unique worldwide organization dear to all the Sacred Heart alumnae, there are matters about which JASH and AMASC do not necessarily agree. Nonetheless, there was a lively exchange of opinions and we could all see how sincerely the AMASC President is dealing with all of the complex issues.
On Wednesday, March 20, Pam, Anne, and Maria Elena joined us in celebrating JASH Day at the University of the Sacred Heart, Tokyo, with over two hundred participants including several Sisters as well as AMASC members living in Japan. The meeting took place at Miyashiro Hall, the smaller of the two halls of the university. At the lobby of the hall there was an exhibition by the JASH Archives Committee which spent a good amount of time and effort in selecting school uniforms, badges, photos and other valuable items that show one hundred and ten years’ history of Sacred Heart schools in Japan.
There were two parts to this year’s JASH Day: a general assembly in the morning and a JASH Study Group meeting in the afternoon. The general assembly opened with an inaugural declaration by Sister Koko Nagano, President Emeritus of JASH and the Provincial of the Society of the Sacred Heart in Japan. AMASC President, Pamela Snyder, then, addressed the participants. This was followed by a PowerPoint introduction of JASH by JASH Secretaries, engaging activity reports by the Heads of the Committees and Presidents of the eight Alumnae Associations. Finally the President of JASH gave an activity report of JASH itself and of its relationship with AMASC.
The morning session was followed by a luncheon sincerely prepared by the Hospitality Committee. This was an opportunity for everyone to interact with each other. There was also a small bazaar with eleven booths where we could purchase alumnae goods and handmade craft works.
At the beginning of the JASH Study Group meeting in the afternoon, President Snyder made a speech on the AMASC theme, “Listening with One Heart” and Anne de Broglio reported on the ASCA Conference. The JASH Young Alumnae Group and all the three sub-groups of the JASH Study Group for the 15th AMASC Congress gave reports, each of which demonstrated in-depth studies of the discussions on the theme. We look forward to their continued effort which will surely bear fruit in the final presentation JASH will give at the next Congress in 2014 in Phoenix, Arizona.
All the presentations for the day were translated accordingly into English or Japanese and shown on screen.
To end the series of events, a reception was held at the International House of Japan on Thursday, March 21, honored by the presence of the Empress of Japan. One of the JASH members, Sachi aka Issui Minegishi, the fourth-generation master of Seikyodo Ichigen Kinfu, played a rare one-stringed Japanese zither, and the performance deeply moved the hearts of the audience. Towards the end of the dinner, the Empress visited each table for a few minutes of pleasant conversation with everyone present. The evening closed with all the attendees posing for a commemorative photograph in the garden under the cherry trees in full bloom.
In addition to the official schedule mentioned above, Pam privately visited Saint Maur International School in Yokohama where she started schooling. She also met with two members of JASH who used to be her roommates at college. In addition, Pam and Anne used their spare time to visit some museums in Tokyo and the city of Kyoto. We hope they enjoyed their week-long stay in Japan.
We are very happy that this long-awaited visit to Japan by the AMASC President, the previous one having been made six years ago, increased awareness among JASH members that JASH is an organization that is closely tied to the world. We also hope that, through this visit, Pam and Anne have deepened their understanding of how JASH operates and how its member associations work together. We, JASH, will continue doing our best to make JASH and AMASC organizations in which we can share among ourselves and spread to others the joy of being members of the Sacred Heart family.