An Ecumenical Ministry in the Parish of St Patrick's Catholic Church In San Diego USA


Saturday, February 3, 2024

History of the Augustinian Mission in Japan

History of the Augustinian Mission in Japan

The story of the Augustinian Mission in Japan is one that spans centuries. In 1602, Augustinian Friars from the Philippines arrived in Japan. They built the Church of the Holy Spirit in Nagasaki and more churches thereafter. Sadly, however, missionaries and their converts soon came under severe persecution and martyrdom, leading to the suppression of Catholicism, kept alive only through an underground movement in Nagasaki.

In 1952, 350 years after their first arrival in Japan, the Augustinians were invited by the Diocese of Nagasaki to return to Japan. Three Augustinians - Father George Krupa, O.S.A., Father Tom Purcell, O.S.A., and Father Edward Robinson, O.S.A. - accepted the invitation. The mission has continued to grow since it set roots in Nagasaki. Today, Augustinians minister in four cities throughout Japan: Nagasaki, Fukuoka, Nagoya and Tokyo. Though the Catholic population in Japan is small, the friars minister to a growing community of faith.

Ministries in Japan

In 1952, the Augustinians established Shiroyama Catholic Church, located just 800 meters from the epicenter of the atom bomb explosion. The founding of Saint Mary's School, the first parochial school in all of Japan, soon followed. Missions in japan expanded, with Sasaoka Church, Fokuoka (founded 1961); Minato Church, Nagoya, where the friars are involved in the “ministry of the sea,” called Stella Maris; and Kasai Church in Tokyo ( founded 1964), a metropolitan parish.

In addition, the Augustinian Formation House, is also located in Tokyo, where young Japanese men prepare for ministry as an Augustinian priest or brother.

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