Akitsu Catholic Church
Akitsu Catholic Church
Nativity of Our Lord
Date of Establishment
December 25, 1934
NOGUCHI, Kunihiro Paul
Number of Parishioners
602 (as of Dec.31,2019)
Every Sunday (Except of the 5th Sunday) after the 10 o’clock Mass.
Every Friday after the 10 o’clock Mass.
As the general schedule, 4th Sunday 11:00 am (After the Mass) go to the hospital in Bethlehem no-sono.
3-14-18 Umezono, Kiyose-shi, Tokyo 204-0024
Facilities for the Handicapped
13 minutes walk from Akitsu Station of Seibu Ikebukuro Line.
18 minutes walk from Shin Akitsu Station of JR Musashino Line.
( By bus)
From the North Gate of Kiyose Station on Seibu Ikebukuro Line,
take the Seibu Bus at No.3 bus station for Tokoro No.46 ” Tokorozawa Higashiguchi” direction..Or From the South Gate of the same Kiyose Station
take the Seibu Bus at No.2 bus station for Ku No.11 Kumegawa Eki”.direction . By taking either of the two buses, get off at Jōgū bus stop. The church is 5 minutes walk from the stop. Parking available.
The name, Akitsu, used to mean dragonfly from the time of Manyo Era in long time ago. The first missionary who had brought about the Good News of the Lord to this Musashino where many dragonflies fly around, was Fr. Flaujac, M.E.P.(1986-1959). He had taken his mission with passionate spirit and faith to serve the suffering in whom Christ lives.
In 1932, he purchased 64.000㎡ of forest in Kiyose Village. In 1933, on April 19 the first mass was offered at the newly-built Church. This Church was dedicated to the Nativity of Our Lord. In 1934, a wooden new Church with a capacity of 300 people had been constructed and on the December 24, the completion ceremony was celebrated and a new Kiyose Parish was formed. In 1959 Kiyose Parish was established near Kiyose Station then the Church became this Akitsu Church. On April 30 in 1979 the new Akitsu parish had been established. and then the new chapel, parsonage and assembly hall were completed.
From the time of poverty in early Showa period to the post-Second World War II period, the sanatorium for tuberculosis, hospital, home for handicapped people and neglected children, school, and home for the aged had been established in this wide land. Congregation of the Sisters of Bethany have served there for the sick and the week people and for the education of the children for a long time. The fathers of M.E.P had worked as the chaplain of this church from the very beginning to the 6th generation for 53 years. From 1989 diocese priests have been assigned to this Church. The 11th is Fr. Paul Osamu Toyoshima.
Akitsu Church is surrounded by many educational, medical and social
welfare institutes which are the home of social welfare “Bethlehem
Institute for children”, Tosei Gakuen Campus (Elementary, Junior, Senior Schools), Seikazoku Protective Home, St. Joseph Home for the aged,
Bethlehem Garden Hospital. All of them have been reconstructed recently. The three convents are studded in the large church yard surrounded by many trees and lawn. These are the foot prints of Fr.Père Flaujac who had dedicated his life of 73 years to this church and all the institutes here with his strong conviction and burning passion, which is ” putting unlimited love toward God and people into practice. “
“National Tama Leper Colony” ( Kokuritsu Tama Zenseien ) is a few minutes walk from the church. The Catholic Aitoku Kai has a sister’s relationship . We have mutual exchange program of friendship with them through Holy Mass.
The present situation
As of now we have about 650 parishioners, the slogans of this church are:
“the church is the cradle of young life” and “the oasis of recreation and healing.” She make us think many things about how we should live. Taking over the will of the predecessors in early times, the church aims at church community building with the participation of every child, aged, healthy, sick and handicapped into this family of the church linked with the people in the area.
On April 3, 2003 renovation of the decrepit building of assembly hall has been started and completed on the 26th of November named ” Marian hall” so as to start as a center of the parish activities and also for an open space to the people in the area. There are several groups like alter boys & girls, Sunday church school, Junior & Senior High school, volunteers, Bible class, the choirs, and sometimes they stay late at night as we can see the light on over the window.
The Lord said at Matthew 11:28-30. “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. …
Akitsu Church is always corresponding to this call of the Lord for all the people.