Origin of the Tsukuba Catholic Church
History of the Tsukuba Catholic Church
Tsukuba catholic church is a corporate religious organization which belongs to the diocese of Saitama (Urawa). The church originated as a sister church from Tsuchiura Catholic Church and became autonomous in March 1985 after the church was built in Teshirogi, Tsukuba city.
Tsukuba Catholic church has been served by fathers of the congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary. The first priest was Andrew Healy, an American and was followed by Fr. Joji Narita (Japanese), Fr. William Donegan (Irish), Fr. Fernando Abalos (Spanish), Fr. Alfredo Garcia (Spanish), Fr. Michael Coleman (Irish) & Fr. Martinus Pariyanto (Indonesian), Fr. Andrew Healy & Fr. Sri Waluyo(Indonesian) & Fr.Nelson Severino de Souza(Brazilian), Fr. Munemasa Kusunoki (Japanese) & Fr. Ross Cortez (Filipino), Fr. Michiaki Chihara & Fr. Joji Narita & Fr. Sri Waluyo, and currently by Fr. Noriaki Yamada.
Sacred Heart of Jesus and Mary
The congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary has its headquarters in Rome. It was established in 1800 at Paris. The congregation has been in Japan for about 50 years and has been actively involved in various education and welfare activities mainly in Yamagata and Ibaraki prefectures through the church, the preschool and the nursing home among others.
The Tsukuba Catholic Church and Saitama Diocese
The Catholic church with its headquarters in Rome and headed by Pope Benedict XVI in Rome has a worldwide population of about 1.1 billion. The Catholic Church was introduced to Japan on August 15, 1549 at Kagoshima after Francisco Xabier crossed the sea to Kagoshima.
In Japan there are 16 dioceses and each diocese is headed by a Bishop, who is appointed by the Pope in Rome. Tsukuba Catholic Church is a parish and together with other parishes including Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma and Saitama fall into Saitama diocese. Tsukuba parishioners consist of residents of Tsukuba and the neighboring cities. In Ibaraki prefecture, all the activities of the congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary are organized under the auspices of the Saitama diocese.
There are various organizations in the Catholic Church including the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Mary and the St. Francis group among others. These organizations are established by priests for prayer purposes. Every member of the Catholic Church is free to join any of the organizations. There is no sectionalism among the church organizations whatsoever.
In Japan, the Catholic Church is a corporate religious organization which is controlled by the dioceses. There is a national Catholic Church council that governs all Catholic churches in Japan. As for the Tsukuba Catholic Church, the church is being managed by the organization of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Mary under the auspices of Saitama diocese.