Yesterday I was in my office when the church secretary called and said: "I think you want to take this call. It's a Mr. Makiyama*. So I thanked her, pushed the button and said, 「牧山さん、初めまして。リアム神父ともうします。」["Hello, Mr. Makiyama. Happy to meet you. I'm Father Liam."]. To which he responded, "Am I talking with a priest? Is that Japanese? My stepfather's name was Makiyama. That's why I have the name. My mother married a Japanese guy. You a priest?"
I apologized for assuming he spoke Japanese and went on with the conversation. I assumed it was one of the members of the Boston-area Japanese Catholic Community for which I celebrate Mass in Japanese every couple of months.
*not the person's actual name, of course.
Friar of the Order of Saint Augustine (Augustinians). I joined the Order in 1967. Served in Japan from 1977 until 1995. From 1996 until 2008 I worked in telecom and IT, usually in software development project management. Then in May 2008 I returned to the Order. Was pastor of Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish (Staten Island, NY) from August of 2010 until June of 2016. Then Our Mother of Good Counsel Parish in Bryn Mawr, PA until June of 2021. Currently serving as assistant pastor at St. Mary's in Waterford, NY and St. Augustine's in Troy, NY. You may find random thoughts, photos, poems, essays, etc. from me here from time to time.