Itabashi Catholic Church

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Name

Itabashi Catholic Church

Dedicated to

St. Elizabeth of Hungary

Date of Establishment

Sept. 17, 1953

Pastor

Tatsuo Peter HISATOMI

Number of Parishioners

730 (as of Dec.31,2011)

Sunday Mass (All in Japanese)

7:00 / 10:00

Weekday Mass

Mon.—Thu&Sat. 6:30am, Fri. 10:00am

Sunday School

Sun. 9:00am

Bible Study

Fri.10:45/19:00 (Bible Study) Sat. 10:00am (Catechetical Study)

Volunteer Activity

2nd Sunday (visiting a senior home ) 3rd Sunday (visiting a hospital)

Address

8-6 Saiwai-cho, Itabashi-ku, Tokyo 173-0034

Telephone

03-3955-5470

Fax

03-3958-4986

Facilities for the Handicapped

Slope (or Barrier free), Toilet

Directions

7 minutes walk from Oyama Station on Tobu-Tojo Line. Or take the bus headed for “Akabane-eki-nishiguchi” or “Komone 5 chome” or “Hikarigaoka-eki” or “Nerima-shako” or Akabaneeki-Nishiguchi” or “Akabaneshako” from East exit of JR Ikebukuro Station and then get off at Dai-roku Shogakkou stop. Crossing the Kawagoe Street in front of Dai-roku Shogakkou (Elementary School) and turn the corner of the Buddhist alter article shop. The Church is the third building from that corner in the quiet area. It takes 1 minute walk from the bus stop. GoogleMap

Parish History

Environment

In front of the Church there is the bronze statue of St. Francis of Assisi made by Katsura Funakoshi, the famous sculptor. After greeting him the statue of Our lady in the courtyard welcomes visitors with her blessing looking over the glassed entrance. The chapel at the left side to the entrance is made by wood with paper screens at the left & right side. The designer of the chapel was a Swiss. The thick pillars and beams give us the impression of mountain cottage. On the pillars the different Saints are displayed and watch over people, starting from Our Lady and St. Joseph at the center, St. Mary Gorreti & St. Tarsicio as the patron saints of the youth, St. Therese of the Child Jesus & St. Francis Xavier as the evangelists, St. Francis of Assisi & St. Chiara as the founders of Franciscan religious congregations, St. Elizabeth of Hungary as the patron Saint of this Church, and then St. Anthony as the patron Saint of mountain cottage. At the back of the chapel there is a pipe organ and side wall facing the street is decorated by stained glass designed pigeon as a modern symbol of the Holy Spirit. On the occasion of the 50 years anniversary a new slope and toilet have been furnished. Then the Holy Mass can be monitored and watched for the people outside the chapel. This Church has been pastored by Franciscan Fathers from the very beginning in the history.

History

In 1954 the Franciscans of the Fulda Province in Germany, bought a house in Itabashi for the convenience to frequent the Institute of Japanese Language for the missionaries who were assigned in Hokkaido. It was the foundation of this church. and then Itabashi parish was established by the request of Archbishop Tatsuo Doi. Later on by the devoted effort of the Franciscan Fathers, two regional area in the parish had been separated and they became independent parish as Kitamachi Church and Shimura Church. The third floor of the church

Present situation

It is said that the Church has prayerful atmosphere in liturgy and family like harmony. We feel very honored about it. Indeed people sing and pray well. There are three choir groups and the musical band “Tau”, a youth group which has been at times requested by Tokyo Cathedral for the Youth Day Mass. People of the Church pray the Rosary always before the Sunday Mass, the Stations of the Cross on the First Friday, and chant Evening Prayer of Liturgy of the Hour on the first Saturday evening. Since thirty years ago people have been continuously engaged in volunteer activities for the aged home and mental hospital in the same area. The Church choir groups and the youth band visit there to perform some comfort musical presentations for those people. For outside people the Church accepts and offer the place for some activities like AA( Alcoholic Anonymous) program and Choir groups on the second floor rooms. On the fourth floor there are rooms for piano or band practice which are soundproofed, but the noise reaches even to the chaplain’s room on the third floor. The Tatami mat floor and kitchen on the second floor are used for meeting and lodging on Sunday and other weekdays. The theme of the all church activities is “Gazing upon Christ in serving people” and the people make their efforts to foster their faith through family gathering and friendship programs by inviting people from inside and outside of the church.