Matsubara Catholic Church


Matsubara Catholic Church

Dedicated to

The Immaculate Heart of Mary

Date of Establishment

February 28, 1965

Parish Priest

Eilfridus Ngalla, C.I.C.M

Associate Parish Priest

Galuh Arjanta Bubun , C.I.C.M

Number of Parishioners

1,214 (as of Dec.31,2019)

Sunday Mass ( in Japanese)

Saturday: 7:00 pm
Sunday:  8:30 am / 11:00 am

Weekday Masses ( in Japanese)

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday: 7:00 am 
Friday: 10:00 am
(Except National Holidays)

Sunday School

“Sunday School” (Mass included) Sun. 10:30-12:00 for elementary school kids “Junior and Senior High School students gathering” on 4th Sun. 10:30-12:00 Mass “Youth gathering”(college students and young professionals on 4th Sun. after 11:00 Mass

Faith Formation

* Bible sharing: Wed. & Thu. 10:30-12:00 Fri. 19:00-21:00 *Tue. Bible study of Luke’s Jesus Revisited 19:00 -21:00 * Introduction to Christianity (encountering oneself, Jesus, Church): Sat. 10:00-12:00

Welfare Activities

“Matsubara Volunteer Bureau” Tue. 10:00-15:00 Donation of clothes, story reading, financial and material support, collecting used stamps & telephone cards, etc. “Sera-pīno” 2nd & 4th Wed. 13:30-15:30 Invites aged people to participate in several programs together with others by exercising hands, feet, brain, voice and to enjoy themselves in the church. Started in 2005 and is registered at the Setagaya Social Welfare Association as being open to everyone living in the nearby area as well as to the parishioners. The programs include light exercise, singing hymns and school songs, handwork and tea time.

Other Activities

See the website of Matsubara Church:


2-28-5 Matsubara, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo 156-0043






Access for the handicapped:

sloped entrance, restroom


4 minutes walk from Meidaimae Station of the Keiô line & Keiô Inokashira line Parking available for 16 vehicles GoogleMap

Parish History

In October 1953 the Japan Province of the Scheut Mission Society (Congregation of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, C.I.C.M.) acquired a property as residence for its members visiting Tokyo and as a base for mission . It was built in the elegant style of a tea-ceremony cottage. In 1954 the name plate of the Scheut Mission Society was put up at the main gate of the house and the Society’s chapel was used from time to time to celebrate Mass with Catholics living nearby as a mission station of Setagaya parish. In August 1955 priests of the residence were assigned and from September on pastoral care for the people around was been started together with new missionary activities. In February 1965 a new building was inaugurated that integrates parish facilities, priests’ offices and living quarters. The church is dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, after the Society’s name. At the same time the Catholic Matsubara Church was established by Rome’s Propaganda Fide as a ‘parœcia religiosa’ and recognized by the Tokyo Archdiocese as a separate C.I.C.M. ‘religious parish’. Thus the parish has grown from a small group of only 7 people at the first Mass to a community of more than 1,200 persons today. The ORIENS Institute of Religious Research is situated in the same compound ever since it moved from Himeji to Tokyo. It publishes weekly Sunday liturgy pamphlets in Japanese,English and Spanish, besides catechetical materials, pastoral aids, mission journals and a variety of books. It conducts and participates in various meetings geared at interreligious dialogue and research.

About Junshin Kai = Scheut Mission Society = C.I.C.M.

The parent of the present Catholic Matsubara Church is the Congregation of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (Congregatio Immaculati Cordis Mariae) which is an international religious missionary institute. It was founded in 1862 by Rev. Fr. Theophile Verbist, a Belgian diocesan priest whose heart was filled with missionary zeal to serve the Chinese people. The society was named after its location in the Scheut neighborhood at the outskirts of Brussels where it built its novitiate next to a well-known medieval Marian shrine. Fr. Theophile Verbist founded the Mission Society in view of saving the poor children in China, especially orphaned girls, with the Good News and proper care. He died from typhus while traveling in Inner Mongolia in 1868. The members of the Scheut Mission Society respond to the call of the Lord: “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to all creation” (Mk 16:15), and have been sent out wherever a missionary presence is most needed, especially where the Gospel is not yet known or lived. Their motto is “Cor unum et anima una” which means “One Heart, One Soul”. They started the mission in Japan in 1948. Besides Belgian and Dutch veteran missionaries, younger confreres originate from the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Philippines and Indonesia. These religious missionaries are present in the archdioceses of Osaka and Tokyo and in the dioceses of Hiroshima and Sendai.

(See also the C.I.C.M. Web site: )