Kitami Catholic Church
Kitami Catholic Church
Our Lady of Lourdes
Date of Establishment
February 11, 1928
9-7-10 Kitami, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo 157-0067
Facilities for the handicapped
Slope (or Barrier free) , Toilet
1 minute walk from Kitami Sta. on Odakyu Odawara Line. GoogleMap
The history of Catholic Kitami Church started from the construction of a private chapel for Mr. Tsurumatsu Toshimitsu’s daughter, Mrs. Shizue Ito who wished to have a chapel dedicated Our Lady of Lourdes. Mr. Toshimistu was a founder of Odakyu Railway Line. The memorial day of the chapel was February 11th. In July, 1928 it was built at 1 Chome Iwatokita, Komae City near his house. The model of the Church was San Callisto Church located in the suburbs of Rome. It was built in the pine forest surrounded by fields with a quite modern design at that time planned by Master Roka Hasegawa. The dedication ceremony had been held splendidly by Arch Bishop. J. A. Chambon and many priests, religious and lay people had attended. On the central wall of the chapel the fresco paintings have been decorated by Master Hasegawa for the first time in Japan. Several years later Cardinal Taguchi donated a Angelus Bell made in 15 century which he had purchased during his study in Rome. This bell is much valuable and older than the one of National Treasure suspended at the Christian temple of old times built in 1578. This bell has been put in the belfry and tolls at the time of Holy Mass on Sunday. At the beginning of the Church only 15 or 16 people attended to the Sunday Mass. But soon after many people knew about the Church and came to join the Mass from here and there. This private chapel have been donated to Tokyo Archdiocese in 1931 by Mrs. Ito and namely and really it has become Kitami Church as a Parish. Fr. Toda was appointed to be a first chaplain. In the family like peaceful atmosphere the Church carried out women group, youth group, adult group, children group and they held lecture meeting, movie show and bazaar actively. It was amazing that some youth got their vocation to be priests hood and religious life. In 1978 this old chapel and other Church facilities were closed because the land was a rented ground and the Church could not purchase it at the time. The Church moved to the place of old private house where the head convent of the Sisters of Adorers had located. For the chapel of Sunday Mass the hall of kindergarten had been used and some other inconvenient condition were given at that time. But by the united cooperation of priest, sisters and lay people the number of Christians has been increased and the Church walk on actively. In spring of 1992 the kindergarten has been closed and the hall became a chapel of the Church again with the enshrinement of the Blessed Sacrament. The sacristy has reconstructed to be a small chapel. A part of the old fresco paintings of Master Hasegawa at the wall of old Kitami Church has been restored in the small chapel. In June, 2008, the 80 years Anniversary Mass of the Church has been celebrated and the memorial booklet has been published.
Activities of Kitami Church have been always cooperated with Sisters of Adorers. There is a finger language group serving for Sunday Mass with finger language. The Church holds athletic meeting and enjoys it together inviting the members of neighboring workshops for handicapped persons.