Skip to content

Japan awards priest for promoting friendship in Africa through judo

Free World Class Education
FREE Catholic Classes

By (CNA/EWTN)
7/9/2019 (3 months ago)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)

A Capuchin Franciscan priest from Northern Ireland who spent 50 years on mission in Zambia has been awarded one of Japan's highest honors for his promotion of judo in Africa.

Highlights

By (CNA/EWTN)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)
7/9/2019 (3 months ago)

Published in Europe


Dublin, Ireland,(CNA) - "It's a great recognition. I'm very proud of it, but I'm also surprised and overcome by the enormity of it. It's not something I was expecting at all," Father Jude McKenna told the Belfast Telegraph.

The 84-year-old judo expert is one of this year's recipients of the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Rays, awarded each year by the Japanese government. The award is "given to people who make a very significant contribution to the spread of Japanese culture," the priest told the Belfast Telegraph.

McKenna, a native of Ballymoney, Northern Ireland, lived in Zambia from 1966 until 2017, when he retired to Dublin due to failing eyesight.

McKenna's twin brother Brian was ordained a priest at the same time as Jude and they both joined the Capuchin Franciscans. When the time came for the brothers to be given their assignments, Jude was sent to Zambia, and Brian to California.

Father Jude said he was always a keen boxer, and after three visits to Japan, developed an affinity for judo, a form of self-defense developed in Japan in 1882 that today is generally practiced as a sport.

In addition to his missionary work in Africa, McKenna helped to spread the practice of judo across Zambia and throughout Africa. He founded the Lusaka Central Sports Club in Zambia's capital.

McKenna's award, given June 26 by Japan's Ambassador to Ireland Mari Miyoshi in Dublin, was in recognition of his "outstanding contribution towards strengthening bilateral relations and promoting friendship between Japan and Zambia through judo," the Belfast Telegraph reports.

Established in 1875, the Order of the Rising Sun was Japan's first national award.


Comments


More Europe

Analysis: A pink dolphin, a carved image, and inculturation at the Amazon synod Watch

Image of Female figure synod 2019

At a "moment of Amazon spirituality" Oct. 16, in a church just down the street from St. Peter's Square, a woman told the Amazonian folk ... continue reading


Poland's ruling party accused of trying to ban sex education Watch

Image of

The governing party in the Polish parliament has introduced a bill that could criminalize some forms of sex education in schools. Warsaw, ... continue reading



Vatican communications official: Carved figure at Amazon synod not Virgin Mary Watch

Image of Carved figure at Amazon synod

Fr. Giacomo Costa, a communications official for the Amazon synod, said Wednesday a wooden figure of a nude pregnant woman, which has been ... continue reading


Pope puts virtue and family at center of World Food Day message Watch

Image of Pope Francis

Pope Francis voiced his concerns about the world's approach to food, and called for a global attitude of virtue towards nutrition in his ... continue reading


UK court authorizes forced abortion for disabled woman in new case Watch

Image of

A court in the United Kingdom ruled last week that it is in the best interest of a pregnant woman with severe learning disabilities that ... continue reading


Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.

Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.