Living out the Gospel Mission, Proposals for “One Step Forward” Reorganization Project Team of Tokyo Archdiocese

June 29, 2002
Reorganization Project Team
of Tokyo Archdiocese

Published by Archdiocese of Tokyo
Archbishop’s Office

Tel. 03-3943-2301 Fax. 03-3944-8511








Living out the Gospel Mission

To the Laity, Religious and Clergy of Tokyo Archdiocese.

One year has now passed since my message to the Archdiocese, “One Step Forward” was distributed on the 25th of June last year. Since then many people have responded in good faith to my appeal and I am deeply grateful for their effort. I will endeavor to make their responses a useful guide as we continue the restructuring process.

The Project Team has now produced a new document, “Living out the Gospel Mission ? Proposals following on One Step Forward.” I earnestly request you to read this new document thoroughly, give time to the key issues and consider what it may mean for your parish.

In this pamphlet, new concepts the ‘Catholic Mission District’ and ‘Parish Community’ are introduced and the plan for the restructuring of the Archdiocese is further delineated. We are still only at the tentative first stage of the process and there is still opportunity for adjustment to the plans, so your views on this are very welcome. Finally it is the responsibility of the bishop to see the process through to a settled conclusion.

Once the organization of the new Catholic Mission Districts has been confirmed by March 2003, the first step in this process will have been inaugurated.

This first step of the reorganization is not to enhance efficiency, but is a trial period for the new parish combinations, which will allow further opportunity for changes. Moving on to the second stage, the Parish Communities that form up each Catholic Mission District will be determined.

After the distribution of ‘One Step Forward’ last year, a Diocesan Meeting was held. In a similar manner, a Diocesan Meeting is also planned for this year and we would like as many people as possible to attend, so as to share and reflect on this very important issue.

The Church needs always to be born again. That is to return to its origin, to Jesus Christ.

Jesus always treated the suffering, the violated, and the downtrodden with great concern. When preaching the Gospel, Jesus would go first to the poor, he became their friend and he walked the roads with them. The mission of the Church is to put new life into the mission of Jesus Christ. In Japanese society voices can be heard crying out for salvation and our own Tokyo area is not lacking in such yearnings. How will our Church respond to these cries for help? Don’t we close our eyes to the pleas of people being worried to death by chronic family problems? What kind of problems do the people of today have? What kind of suffering and pain are they wrapped up in? That is what we should be concerned about. This should be our priority that we deal with.

Jesus taught the disciples ‘For anyone who wants to save his life will lose it; but anyone who loses his life for my sake will find it.’ (Matt. 16:25) On other occasions, Jesus encouraged his followers with ‘Be brave: I have conquered the world.’ (John 16:33) ‘And know that I am with you always; yes to the end of time’ (Matt. 28:20)

Trusting in the Lord, let us pray.

‘Lord, we pray that you will send your Holy Spirit upon each one of us: grant us wisdom and understanding in our work for the renewal of Tokyo Archdiocese, right judgment and courage, the grace of knowing God and a heart that will always turn to you in loving respect.’


29th June 2002



Peter OKADA Takeo

Archbishop of Tokyo



Living out the Gospel Mission
Proposals for “One Step Forward”
Reorganization Project Team of Tokyo Archdiocese

Each parish was asked to discuss the issues that Archbishop Peter Okada Takeo addressed in “ One Step Forward”, his review of parish structures released on June 25, 2001. Each Block collated the parish responses and a summary of these views was submitted last December. Reading these summaries, the Archbishop and the Project Team, had the impression that the lay people, religious and the parishes of Tokyo Archdiocese were taking these matters very seriously and reflecting on them constructively. Nevertheless, we keenly realize that the intention of the reorganization has not yet been well conveyed and many people still feel uneasy and suspicious about this process.

Acknowledging these reactions, the Project Team wishes to state plainly both the intentions behind the parish restructuring and the concrete steps needed to achieve it.


I.Intention and Purpose of the Reorganization

(1) The key purpose is “ To Live out the Gospel Mission”

The restructuring of the Archdiocese, that is the reorganization of the Parish system, is aimed at re-invigorating Evangelization. “One Step Forward” states―“It is imperative that the Church, as a community in Mission and as the place where those in positions of weakness can find salvation, reconsiders its reality in a radical way in order to be truly renewed.”(III-3)

Here, the word Evangelization doesn’t only mean “to proclaim the good news of God, profess the teachings of Christ to those who don’t know his name, and administer baptism”, but it also means to live out “the Mission that the Church received from the resurrected Christ”. In most documents, Japanese Churches use the word “Senkyo” as the English translation for “Mission”, which originally stems from the Latin word “Missio” meaning “to send out”. The New Testament uses various phrases in relation “to sending out (Mission, Senkyo)”. Such expressions as to be witnesses through word and deed (cf. Acts 1:7-8), and to continue the Mission of Jesus, whom the Father had sent to live among us 2000 years ago (cf. John 20:21-23).

In this document we will use the term “Gospel Mission”, to express the Mission that the Church of today must carry on; the Mission the Church received from Christ, which is Christ’s own Mission having been sent by God to Palestine 2000 years ago.

As Christ through his words and actions, awoke trust and hope in the heart of the people starved for salvation, so we too work to become signs of hope and salvation for people in our present time. This is our Mission, to live the “Gospel Mission”, and this is the aim of the Reorganization that the Tokyo Archdiocese has begun.


(2) “Sense of Mission” in Crisis

As we look at the background to this crisis, we realize that parishes might be losing sight of their special call to participate in the Gospel Mission.

As the history of the Church shows, churches fall into corruption and sin, when they lose sight of their purpose that is of living out the Gospel Mission. If the Church loses its sense of mission, it focuses instead on protecting itself and so no longer acts as God’s instrument of salvation for others. And so money and desire are seen to be the dominant forces within the world. In fact, the scandals afflicting the Catholic Church at present -money, sex and abuse ? is in large part due to the fact that the special sense of Gospel Mission is not apparent in many churches. This crisis is not just a problem caused by some priests and religious, but needs to be recognized as a problem facing the whole Church.

In the present world, especially in a society with strong consumerist tendencies, many people are so ensnared by an overload of information and endless material desire that they are reluctant to see their own spiritual poverty and their need for true salvation. The economy has a profound influence on all things and people find it very hard to even realize their own spiritual emptiness and inner yearnings, and that Christ is the light to solve our problems. We have to admit here that, as a result of this crisis, priests, religious and lay people are losing their sense of mission.


(3) Church: Unattractive to Young People

An obvious fact about our Japanese parishes is the small proportion of youth. There are exceptions, however it is clear that not only priests, but also the laity is aging. Accepting this reality, we cannot help but be pessimistic about the future of our parishes in their present state.

Events for the younger generation have been organized and moves have been made to increase vocations, however we do not accept these activities as a solution. The basic problem is that the Church is becoming less attractive to the younger generation, as the Church’s role within society no longer holds any special meaning for many people. In other words, the parishes are no longer functioning as “a sign of salvation or an instrument of salvation” in present-day society. If the Church is truly a sign of salvation, we believe there will be young people will place their lives in the service of Christ.


(4) Necessity for Structural and Personal Renewal

Deeper comprehension of faith, spiritual renewal and a change in our way of thinking are required for any lasting Church renewal. These three necessities have been emphasized since the Second Vatican Council and were affirmed anew at NICE (the National Incentive Convention for Evangelization). Many lay people, priests and religious have rediscovered their Gospel Mission as Christians in contemporary society, and are living signs of faith. However we should admit that renewal has not penetrated the whole Church.

We have to admit that our diocesan structures may have become obstacles to necessary change. When church is equated with the parish system, structures may well take precedence over mission.


(5) Getting over the “Save my Parish” Attitude

The parish has been and still is the closest community for Christians, a community where people have deepened their faith through liturgy and catechesis, and have passed faith on from one generation to another. Thus the parish system plays an exceedingly important part in our faith life.

On the other hand, it is difficult to say that the parishes have always responded well to the needs and changes of society. Faced with the difficult contemporary situation, parishes can become “introverted and defensive ”.

Problems are as follows.

1. In a parish, the assigned priest endeavors to live out his Gospel Mission, as well as animate the parish’ sense of mission to the best of his ability. His good efforts in these areas however may not be continued when a new priest takes over the administration of the parish. As a result, a continuing missionary vision for the parish is difficult to maintain. In the long run priests may focus more on their daily parish duties and so tend to weaken their sense of mission.

2. The connection between lay people and the Church is mediated by their relationship with the priest, and so lay people may become overly dependent on the priest. Lay people then do not have the chance to realize their own charisms within the Church, nor create mutual support systems among themselves. This raises questions about lay participation within the Church. There is a tendency that priests treat those who regularly come to Church as “zealous believers”, and do not value or encourage those who do not come very often, but are still zealous in leading their lives as Christians in society.

3. The Bishop has to give top priority to the assignment of priests, which compounds the above problems and really cannot be resolved without major structural changes. (see “One Step Forward”II,1-6)

4. The overall result is the development of a ‘save my parish’ mentality, where maintenance of one’s own existing parish becomes the overriding priority.

The Church has been overly focused on parish, which has contributed to these problems. A faith community, such as the parish is indispensable for our own faith lives. But if we keep running them in the conventional way, it is obvious that we will be stuck within their limitations. We need to overcome this “Save my Parish Attitude”.



II. Restructuring

In accord with the new line of thinking that Peter Okada Takeo, Archbishop of Tokyo followed in “One Step Forward”, the Project Team would like to make some concrete proposals on parish groupings and the way parishes should live out their Gospel Mission.

There are two aspects of this Restructuring; (A) Reorganization of the Parishes, and (B) Strengthening the Works of the Archdiocese.



(A) Reorganization of Parishes


【First Stage】 Setting up the Catholic Mission Districts


After Easter, April 2003, parishes will be grouped into “Catholic Mission Districts”. In principal, three or four parishes will form each new group with the purpose of living out the Gospel Mission together as a unit. The present parishes will be referred to as “Parish Communities” since they are still the basic communities for parishioners. As you can see, the size of the Catholic Mission District is smaller than that of the former Block groupings, in order that greater cooperation will be achieved. Until now, each parish has acted quite independently from each other and the Block groupings have only brought about cooperation in a fairly limited range of areas. Some Blocks did not even set up regular meetings. On the other hand, this new Catholic Mission District will gather lay people, priests and religious from several Parish Communities to animate their participation in the Gospel Mission.

The following diagram compares the present and the planned new diocesan structures.


Details of the reorganization of Parishes are as follows;


(1) Several current parishes will form a new Catholic Mission District. Its task is to respond to the needs of the people in the wider community and seek ways to live out the Gospel Mission.


(2) Initially a Parish Priest will still be assigned to each parish and the member priests of each Catholic Mission District will have meetings at regular intervals. One Priest will be designated Coordinator responsible for keeping contact and coordinating activities. The bishop naturally will consider the makeup of the team before making any new assignments.


(3) Each Catholic Mission District will establish a Catholic Mission District Committee, which will be formed of lay representatives from each parish community, representatives of Religious in the district and the priest team. The character of this Committee is different from that of the parish council operating in each parish community. The Catholic Mission District Committee will not deliberate on the maintenance of structures or on plans for social events, but on the Church’s Gospel Mission and its realization. Following are the three key aspects of this Gospel Mission.

(a) Spreading the word of the Gospel

(b) Giving thanks and praising our God together

(c) Helping one another and others

In accordance to these, the Church will be the definitive sign of God’s Love. More concretely, the tasks facing the Catholic Mission District are:

1> Lay people and priests should reflect on living out the Gospel Mission and how to respond to the needs of people in their area.

2> Determine the location and time for Bible Seminars and Baptismal preparation. Mass times may need to be adjusted in response to requests from the people and to facilitate cooperation. Retreats should also be planned together.

3> Through this process of cooperation, the special characteristics of each parish community should be given a chance to flourish.

4> The location and use of facilities and buildings should be considered from a long-range perspective and for their usefulness for Gospel Mission.

5> Assistance will initially be sought from within the district when a priest falls ill or is absent on long vacation.


(4) The suggested groupings for the Catholic Mission Districts are not fixed. The first stage is a trial period. After the initial stage the groupings may be changed.


(5) This promotion of cooperation within the Catholic Mission Districts does not negate the need for other levels of cooperation, such as took place within the various Block areas. However the old Block structure has been dismantled so as to allow the new district structure to develop and better respond to the demands of mission.


(6) The process of forming Catholic Mission Districts should not weaken the connection of the people to their Parish Communities. Gathering for local activities and sharing common interests and problems, lay people will support each other as they journey together in faith. “Nothing will get started without the priest” thinking will come to an end. The building of new relationships between the laity, working beyond the limited fence of Parish Communities might help things progress easier.

It will be important to foster and promote lay leadership and lay ministries at the parish community level.


(7) As the activities of the Catholic Mission Districts begin, financial issues will need to be considered. The present accounting system in which each parish pays a salary to its own Priest will change. The new principle will be that the Tokyo Archdiocese as a whole will pay the salaries of the priests who work in the parishes or on official diocesan work assigned by the Archbishop (including priests from Religious Orders and Mission Societies). Further detail will be provided later in this Document.


★Necessity for Change in our Ways of Thinking

On the surface this restructuring seems to be concentrating on changing around systems, but it needs to be accompanied by a complete change in our ways of thinking. Without this revolution within our consciousness we will not attain the results hoped for.

First of all, priests need to be “conscious of working and cooperating with other priests”, and they need to be “conscious of deciding and discussing matters together with the lay people”. The traditional image of the Parish Priest as the source of all authority, and all responsibility lies on his shoulders, is in need of imminent change.

The lay people need to be “conscious that they are participating in the essential activities of the Church”. They should not passively depend on the priest. They need to support each other to become witnesses of Christ. Also it is important that each lay person be conscious that through their different activities and their own way of life, they are participating in the Gospel Mission. They should find more space both within and outside of the Church to exercise their charismas.


★Encouragement of Participation by Religious Orders

n Tokyo Archdiocese, priests from Religious Orders staff many parishes. Some of these are the head offices of Religious Orders that are based in the Tokyo area. Some of these parishes operate on a very large scale. Due to the good work of a team of priests, their good facilities and their convenient geographical location, these parishes have achieved a great deal. The Religious Orders are invited to participate fully in the restructuring of the Tokyo Archdiocese and to share their insights on the process.


★Cooperation with Religious Orders and Catholic Institutions

The Church’s Gospel Mission cannot be fulfilled only by the action of Catholic Mission Districts, Parish Communities and the Archdiocese. Male and Female Religious Orders, Catholic Institutions, and Lay Movements have always played a very important role in the Mission of the Church. Unfortunately they also face the same serious problem of a shortage of younger people to carry on their mission. Cooperation with diocesan and parish communities may enable the various groups to share their strengths. Here we are not able to make any concrete suggestion on how to proceed with this cooperation, however it is important to strengthen relations between Religious Orders and other Catholic facilities within a Parish Community. So that increased cooperation may be considered, a list of Religious Orders and facilities in each Catholic Mission District and Parish Community is provided on page 24.


★Rationale for the Catholic Mission Districts.

The groupings of the parishes shown on page 21 were arrived at by the Project Team, based on the views collected from each Block in December, 2001 and from the regular priests’ meetings. Basically our chief rationale is that in order to facilitate cooperation between parishes easy of access and availability of public transport is important. We request your opinions on this plan from throughout the Archdiocese, so that we can make any necessary corrections to the grouping plan before it is put into practice during April 2003.




【Second Stage】 Further Integration of the Catholic Mission District

The Catholic Mission District will gradually become more integrated and so identified as the new form of Parish in the second stage. It doesn’t necessary mean that this transformation of the Catholic Mission Districts will happen at the same speed everywhere. Either through necessity or through appropriate preparation, the Catholic Mission Districts will become more integrated and form a new type of parish.

The parish is the pastoral unit recognized by Canon Law. The pastoral unit where the priest appointed by the bishop takes care of and gives guidance to the people. The new type of parish being introduced here is not just an expansion of the parish for greater work efficiency, rather it is intended to make possible a working team of lay people, priests and religious focused on the Gospel Mission.

See the diagram of the integration plan.


In this stage the following will be key points.

(1) The priest who has general oversight over the Catholic Mission District will be known as the District Pastor, while other priests in the district will be referred to as Associate Priests. Each Catholic Mission District will have a “Mission Pastoral Team”, consisting of priests, deacons, lay people and religious for the vigorous performance of its Gospel Mission.


(2) As many priests are currently working as parish priests, they have little opportunity or interest in extending their Gospel Mission beyond the boundaries of their own parishes. A great benefit of reducing the number of existing parishes is that many priests will be freed from the duties of parish priest, and so make it possible for these priests to develop their talents and interests in mission beyond the old parish boundaries. An associate priest may also have a diocesan appointment (mentioned in Chapter B), or may have an additional special ministry with people which transcends the parish.


(3) An Economic Advisory Committee and a Pastoral Evangelization Advisory Committee will be established in each new parish. As designated by Canon Law, these committees are the right and proper forums for lay people to participate in the administration of the parish. These committees do not legislate for the parish; rather their aim is to improve collaboration between priests and lay people, promoting their abilities and encouraging their opinions to be aired. Canon Law requires that an Economic Advisory Committee be operative in each parish. It also states that the Archdiocese must consult with the members of the Priests’ Council in organizing a Pastoral Advisory Committee (cf. 536-537, Canon Law).

Parish activities can be viewed from two different dimensions; one is economic, the other pastoral. According to Canon Law terminology, the Pastoral Evangelization Advisory Committee is referred to as just the Pastoral Committee. The former title is used here because the meaning of the term “pastoral” is too narrow to reflect the situation in Japan. Hopefully a more appropriate name will be decided on later.


(4) Administrative and financial systems within the parish need to be reconsidered.



(B) Strengthening the Work of the Archdiocese


The diocese centered on the bishop is neither a mere division of ecclesiastical administration, nor an assemblage of parishes.

 “A diocese is a section of the People of God entrusted to a Bishop to be guided by him with the assistance of his clergy so that, loyal to its pastor and formed by him into one community in the Holy Spirit through the Gospel and the Eucharist, it constitutes one particular Church in which the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church of Christ is truly present and active.” (“Decree on the Pastoral Office of Bishops in the Church”-Documents of Second Vatican Council,11)

While the parishes we have in Japan are small in scale and what we can do is limited, as ‘Christ’s Church’ we are striving to respond to those who hunger and thirst for salvation. Things that cannot be accomplished by a single Catholic Mission District or Parish Community however may hopefully become possible with the cooperation and assistance of the whole Archdiocese. Therefore it is essential to live out our Gospel Mission as an integral part of the Archdiocese.

We cannot list every single task that the Archdiocese is required to carry out, because there are so many. In section IV-2 of “One Step Forward”, eight significant tasks of the Archdiocese are listed. Yet it seems to be impossible to address all of them at the same time, as this would mean a dispersal of effort and possibly poor implementation. Accordingly, the Project Team has narrowed down the list to three priority tasks, which need to be dealt with immediately.


1) Training Lay People to live out the Gospel Mission.

2) Supporting Foreign Catholic Believers and addressing their Difficulties.

3) Supporting People who Suffer from Spiritual and Mental Injury and Illness.


These tasks are the most pressing for the Archdiocese, but are too difficult to be handled individually by parish priests. In collaboration with lay people and religious, our Archdiocese needs to assign sufficient priests to work in these fields. In addition for the Archdiocese to function smoothly, it is necessary to have a sufficient number of priests staffing the Diocesan Office. Tokyo Archdiocese has relatively more priests than other Archdioceses in Japan, but in consequence Tokyo is required to make a greater contribution of personnel to Seminary Formation. Considering all the parishes in the Archdiocese, it becomes obvious that there is a shortage of staff.

The reorganization of parishes and strengthening the work of the Archdiocese are closely related. To promote the work of Archdiocese despite our limited number of priests requires the implementation of the “Second Step”, that is the reorganizing of the parishes to reduce the number of parish priests and so free up associate priests for involvement in Archdiocese priority areas.


★Explanation of the Three Tasks


(1) Training Lay People

The present parish relies upon priests too much. There is much work that lay people are able to do. Not only financial and building management, but also tasks related directly to the Church’s Gospel Mission. Such tasks should become the main focus of lay involvement, for example, catechetical instruction for all ages, serving during liturgy (including leadership of liturgies and distribution of Holy Communion), visiting sickbeds, outreach to the lonely and suffering, supporting each other’s faith and small group leadership. To obtain satisfactory results for these tasks, the right selection of people is important and offer them appropriate training. The Catholic Mission Districts could do much of this training, but the Tokyo Archdiocese would be responsible for creating guidelines and with helping with some certain parts of the training.


(2) Pastoral Care and Support for Foreigners

The Catholic Tokyo International Center (CTIC) is active in dealing with these issues already, and many parishes have responded well to the need of foreigners. There are also many Foreign Catholic Communities and quite a few parishes celebrate masses in foreign languages. Many of these foreign language masses began simply because there happened to be a priest, who was familiar with a foreign language, resident in the parish at the time. Troubles have occurred in maintaining continuity for these masses, when the originating priest is transferred. This problem forces us to acknowledge that we are not responding as well as we should to the spiritual needs of the foreigners. “Guidelines for Pastoral Care of Multinational Japanese Parishes” (Tokyo Province, 1998), uses the term “Base Church”. By introducing this new term, the guidelines indicate the importance of reconsidering the current haphazard approach to foreigners’ pastoral needs and the importance of an arrangement that ensures continuity of pastoral care.

A Foreign Liturgy and Pastoral Service is gradually being expanded throughout the Tokyo Archdiocese. About twenty Parish Communities will be designated as Base Churches where the priests will be also be assigned Foreign Pastoral services.



(3) Supporting People who Suffer from Spiritual and Mental Injury and Illness.

Each parish has people suffering from mental illness among its members. People today are living more stressful lives and so suffer from many inner problems. This is true of Catholic faithful as well. People have a difficult time talking about it but there are many families going through great difficulties in caring for the mentally challenged.

The number of people traumatized by disaster or crime, of women victimized by their partners (domestic violence) and of children abused by their parents, has continued to increase and no let up is apparent.

Parishes have tended to leave these problems to doctors. As it might well aggravate the situation, if people with little psychiatric knowledge try to become involved, these matters are usually left up to the professionals.

As members of the Church we have three reasons not to neglect these people who suffer from inner injury and illness.

1) Psychiatric medication has progressed significantly and fewer patients need long-term hospitalization. However wide acceptance of the mentally challenged within society has not progressed very far, which has made their lives difficult and could aggravate their condition. Under these circumstances, parishes are one place that offers acceptance without any worry about costs.

2) Many people are still averse to visiting psychiatrists and have little information on psychiatry. Families can find themselves at a total loss in regards to these situations, and few public organizations are able to give appropriate advice to those who suffer from mental problems. As a result people look to parishes for acceptance and advice.

3) According to the Gospel, Jesus responded positively and reached out his hand in help to people suffering from spiritual and mental injury and illness. Domestic violence and child abuse are closely connected to human rights. The Bible emphasizes the special consideration to be accorded to “orphans and widows”, so reaching out to these victims really is a priority for the Church.


There are things that Parishes can do.

1. Counseling. (Giving advice on appropriate care and recommendation of specialists.)

2. Involvement in a crisis. (Visiting and giving aid when a crisis occurs)

3. Long-term support and assistance in returning to society

(Support during recovery as the person reconnects with society and renews relationships)

We should think urgently about securing shelters for victims of domestic violence and abuse.

Dealing with these matters is too big a burden for any parish or priest, so we need to form a Diocesan organization appropriately staffed to take charge of these matters.



(C) Related Problems

【Economic Problems】

In order to proceed with the reorganization, the “the Self-Supporting Accounting System of Parishes” needs to be reviewed.

(1) Concerning the Priest’s Salary

At present the principle is that the parish where he works is responsible for the salary of the priest. The Archdiocese actually requires each parish to pay the “Diocesan Office Contribution # 3”, which is then used to pay the salaries of diocesan and Mission Society priests, though the money originally comes from their own parishes. It is generally true in the parishes staffed by Religious Order priests that the parish is responsible for their salaries. Presently there are quite a few priests working outside of parishes (for example the Diocesan Office). Their salaries are covered by the Archdiocese. According to the reorganization of parishes and changes related to it, the present style where one Priest works in and is paid by one parish will gradually change. Following the new principle that the Archdiocese takes responsibility for the salaries of the priests and every parish shares responsibility for it, we would like to rethink the present system of contributions to the Diocesan Office.

We suggest that parishes staffed by Religious Orders should adopt a similar system.


(2) Considering the Priests’ Economic Situation.

Under present circumstances, there is a wide gap between the income of priests, depending on the parish he is assigned to and the content of the work there. This gap between incomes could be an obstacle when considering personnel changes and in promoting closer cooperative relationships. It may be necessary to set up some kind of financial policy on incomes that would permit the priests to work without financial anxiety, and at the same time be able to maintain a modest simple lifestyle.


(3)  Other Requirements

We must take a careful look at the whole accounting system of the Archdiocese, which would also necessitate setting guidelines for the Catholic Mission Districts and Parish Communities. The activities of parishes in service of the Gospel Mission must take precedence over the idea of maintaining parish structures. Thus it will be necessary to examine the funding system for construction and repair of parish buildings, which currently is dealt with separately by each Parish Community.



【Dealing with Other Various Issues】


On the top of economic problems, the diocesan restructuring touches on many other issues that will eventually need to be addressed. Committees that will consider the following issues will be set up and will provide concrete proposals for resolving any problems.


1. Reorganization of the Financial Affairs of the Archdiocese

2. Setting up Base Churches for Foreigners

3. Supporting People with Spiritual and Mental Injury and Illness

4. The Way Forward for Diocesan Kindergarten

5. Basic Principles for the Catholic Mission District and the Parish Community


These committees when formed will include the participation of lay and religious experts. Regarding the general restructuring, ten lay people and female religious have been approached to participate in “A Round-Table Committee Regarding Restructuring”, which should become a sounding board for alternative views on the restructuring process.





III. Future Measures


We suggest that the lay people, priests and religious of Tokyo Archdiocese discuss “Proposals for One Step Forward” thoroughly. We would very much appreciate your cooperation and ask you to check the time frame for the this ongoing process.

【July to Sep.】 Each Parish and Block will discuss the Proposals. By the end of September, each Block will collate opinions and submit a summary to the Project Team.

【October】 The Project Team will further collate responses and send each parish a copy before the Diocesan Meeting.

【Oct.27th】 The Diocesan Meeting will be held on this topic. Basic agreement on the reorganization of parishes and the restructuring plan should be arrived at. These plans are subject to modification according to responses received.

After this the Archbishop will make his decision about the reform and make it public.

【Nov. to March】 This period will be a time of preparation for the creation of the Catholic Mission Districts, and will be done in union with the whole Archdiocese. (There will be meetings to familiarize priests with the changes that will be needed in establishing the Catholic Mission Districts.) Each Catholic Mission District will initiate opportunities for the Parish Communities to get in touch with one another.

【April.2003】 After Easter, April.20th, the “Catholic Mission Districts” will be formally established as the first stage of the reorganization of the parishes.



Junichi Iwahashi(Sekiguchi Catholic Church)
Keiji Kousa(Tokuden Catholic Church)
Masakazu Tachibana(Meguro Catholic Church)
Shigeru Tsuji(Tachikawa Catholic Church)
Leo Schumacher(Toshima Catholic Church)
Kazuo Koda(Reorganization Project Team of Tokyo Archdiocese)
Celestino Cavagna(Tokyo Diocesan Office)
Yuji Urano
Junichi Ebe



Reorganization Project Team of Tokyo Archdiocese

29th June. 2002




Information from the Tokyo Diocesan Office

 ・We suggest that each Parish and Block refer to the following questions for their discussions.


(1) Do you agree with the reasons for the reorganization of the Archdiocese as presented in this booklet?

(2) What new possibilities do you expect to emerge from the Catholic Mission District? What worries do you have about it?

(3) Are there any major problems with the parish groupings as listed on the following pages, which will form the new Catholic Mission Districts? Please state the reasons for your objections clearly and submit as clear an alternative plan as possible.

(4) Do you have any positive ideas or advice regarding the three priority tasks discussed in the section “Strengthening the Work of the Archdiocese”?


・Could all submissions be first discussed at the Block level and once reviewed there be forwarded to the Project Team. We will also accept ideas and plans from individual parishes, religious or lay people. As mentioned on the previous page, the closing date for submissions is September 30.


Address : “Reorganization Project Team”
Archdiocese of Tokyo, 3-16-15 Sekiguchi,
Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 112-0014
Fax : 03-3944-8511
E-mail :


(Please make sure to address to “Reorganization Project Team”. For ease of filing, we would appreciate submissions by E-mail, or at list enclose a floppy disc.)


・Information about the Diocesan Meeting

Further details will be announced later.

Date : October 27(Sun), 2002. PM 2:00 ~ PM 4:30

Place : St. Mary’s Cathedral

Participants: Archbishop, Priests of Tokyo Archdiocese, Representatives of Religious Orders and Parishes.


The Diocesan Meeting will not be an occasion for making decisions or resolutions on behalf of the Archdiocese, but an opportunity for sharing our opinions and deepening our knowledge of the reorganization of parishes. The Archbishop considers your input, either through submissions or participation in the Diocesan Meetings as essential in helping him arrive at the right decisions. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.


Plan for organizing the Catholic Mission Districts

(sub= sub-parish)
Group in Charge Former Block

Number in Parish

Total Number in Parish Notes
1 Akabane




















Teaming with Tokyo Diocese. Though Akabane is neighboring Urawa Diocese, it isn’t so far from Sekiguchi.
2 Kanda










Located closely. Special Characters of both Churches will be considered with Tokyo Diocese. 
3 Kasai















With the Bay-area in view. Condominiums are increasing in number. 
4 Adachi

Umeda (sub)




Machiya (sub) 

























Geographically closely-located. Relatively small scaled. 
5 Asakusa




















Connected on Sobu Line. 
6 Toyoshiki










Bed-town located on Joban Line. Take Chiba New Town in consideration.
7 Akatsutsumi




Quebec Frs.
















Located around Mei-dai-mae,
Keio Inokashira Line.
8 Sangenjaya















Located on Denentoshi Line in Shibuya Area.
9 Kitami




Paris Foreign











Connected on Odakyu Line. Close to Yokohama Diocese.
10 Omori















Geographically close on the line. 
11 Azabu















Geographically close.
Good transportation. 
12 Denenchofu















Connected on Toyoko Line.
13 Akitsu















Located relatively west on Seibu Line. 
14 Shimoigusa









2,190   1,512





Located relatively central on Seibu Line.
15 Itabashi




















Located around Ikebukuro.
16 Ogikubo




Divine Word











Connected on Chuo Line
(Nakano, Suginami, Musashino…).
17 Tama





Milano Frs.










Connected on Keio Line.  Good transportation.
18 Akiruno




















Located in Tachikawa Terminal.
19 Takahata




















Hino・Hachioji Area.
20 Kamogawa




















Large South Chiba area.
21 Chibadera




















Central Chiba. Relatively easy access. Including Tsuga Assembly Hall.
22 Sawara





Milano Frs.















Keisei and Sobu Line connect the area but the distance between Churches is long.
  Roppongi Franciscan   1,500   Will become part of a new Foreigner’s Pastoral Mission.
  Tokyo Korean Seoul Diocese   1,153   Will become part of a new Foreigner’s Pastoral Mission
  1. The Group in Charge‐column shows where the present Parish Priests belongs.
  2. The number of the parishioners is based on the statistics of 2001.
  3. In the Notes‐column, the Project Team has put summaries of their ideas on the Reorganizing of Parishes.


List: Foreign Language Mass, Religious Orders, Educational Institutions, Facilities of Cooperative Mission Groups and Parish Communities

 Parish Community Group in Charge Mass in Foreign Language    Religious Orders, Educational Institutions, Facilities, etc




Conventuals    R Conventuals, Salesian Sisters
E Seibi Gakuen, Seibo no Kishi Kindergarten 
F Seibi Home (Orphanage)
Oshima Diocesan      
Sekiguchi Diocesan Korean, French R Paris Foreign Mission
Society, Passionists, Dominicans, Caritas Sisters of Miyazaki,
Society of the Helpers, Order of the Company of Mary
E Misono Kindergarten
F Tokyo Caritas House
Hongo  Diocesan   R Jesuit, Mary Auxiliatrice
F Minowa MAC 
2 Kanda Diocesan  English, Tagalog  R Marianists, Paul of Chartres
E Gyosei Gakuen, Shirayuri Gakuen
Kojimachi  Jesuit English, Spanish Vietnamese, Polish,
Indonesian, Portuguese
R Jesuit, Salesian, Dominicans,
Maryknoll, Society of the Helpers, Daughters of St.
Paul, Pious Disciples of the Divine Master, Sisters of the
Infant Jesus, Heart of Mary
E Sophia University, Futaba Gakuen, Jochi
Professional School
of Social Work
3 Kasai Augustinians English R Augustinians, Ursuline Sisters
Shiomi Diocesan   R Missionaries of Christ Jesus, Charity of
Tsukiji Diocesan   E St. Joseph Kindergarten
F Eidai J.O.C. House for the Workers
4 Adachi Salesian   R Salesian, Missionaries of Charity
E Adachi Salesio Kindergarten
F Seikei Dormitory, Professional School, Christmas Village
(Physically Weak Children)




Diocesan English, Tagalog  R Jesuit, Sisters of the
Infant Jesus, Society of the Helpers
E Umeda Akebono Training School for Rehabilitation Workers
F Umeda Children’s Home, Umeda Akebono Gakuen
Ueno Diocesan Chinese F Sanya MAC, Chinese Center
Kameari  Conventuals   R Conventuals, Missionary Sisters
St. Francis of Assisi
E St. Francisco Kindergarten
F Seibo No Sayuri Day Nursery
Mikawashima Salesian   R Salesian, Heart of Mary
F Don Bosco Day Nursery, Tokyo Darc, MAC Day-care Center
Machiya(sub) Diocesan   R Mercedarian Missionaries of Berriz
F Sophia Settlement
Hospital, Jochi Koseikan Day Nursery
5 Asakusa Diocesan English R Franciscans, Missionaries of
Charity, Sacred Heart of Jesus
Ichikawa Diocesan      
Koiwa Diocesan English, Tagalog  R Roman Congregation of St.
Dominic, Congregation of the Assumption, Catechists of
E Regina Kindergarten
Honjo Diocesan    E Honjo Shirayuri Kindergarten
F CTIC Kameido
6 Toyoshiki Diocesan English, Spanish
R Missionaries of Christ Jesus
E Shin-ai Kindergarten
Matsudo Diocesan English, Spanish,
R Carmelite Sister of Charity
E St. Michael Kindergarten
7 Akatsutsumi Quebec Frs.    R Quebec Foreign Mission Society,
Canossians, Pious Disciples of the Divine Master, Charity
of Nevers
E Fatima No Maria Kindergarten,
Magdalena Canossa Kindergarten
Setagaya Diocesan      
Hatsudai Redemptorist   R Redemptorist
F St. Joseph Day Nursery
Matsubara  CICM Frs.  English R Scheut Mission Society, Order of
the Company of Mary
E Lestonnac Kindergarten
8 Sangenjaya Franciscan   R Franciscan, Franciscan Missionaries
of Mary, Guardian Angel Sisters, Pious Schools, St.
Clare (Blessed Sacrament), Handmaids of the Sacred Heart of
E St. Anthony Seminary, Seisen International School, Myojo
Seta (sub) Franciscan    R Franciscan, Brothers of Christian
Instruction, Columban, Roman Congregation of St. Dominic,
Hospital Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis, Franciscan
Missionaries of Mary, Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate
E St. Anthony Seminary, Santa Maria International School, St.
Dominico Gakuen, Setagaya Seibo Kindergarten
Shibuya Dominican French R Dominicans, Jesuit, Pious Schools
E Shiko-kai Komaba Kindergarten, Shiko Gakuen Kindergarten
9 Kitami Columban   R Adorers
E Yamato Gakuen Kitami Kindergarten
Seijo Paris Foreign
  R Salesian Sisters
E Meguro Seibi Gakuen (High and Middle)
Machida Diocesan   R Franciscan Sisters of the Annunciattion,
Mary Immaculate
E Tsukushino Tenshi Kindergarten
10 Omori Diocesan   R Dominicans, Missionary Sisters of St. Joseph of
Osaka, Sisters of the Visitation, Dei Verbum
E Omori St. Maria Kindergarten
Kamata Diocesan      
Senzoku Diocesan   R Franciscan Sisters of the
E Shirayuri Kindergarten, Tenshi
F St. Francis Children’s Home
11 Azabu Diocesan French R Guadalupe Missioners, Franciscans,
Franciscan Sisters of St. George, Society of the Sacred Heart of
Jesus, Handmaids of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Daughters of St.
Paul, Sisters of St. Benedict
E University of the Sacred Heart, Seishin Girls’ Special
School, Seishin Girls’ School (High, Middle, Primary),
International School of the Sacred Heart, Azabu Mikokoro
Kindergarten, Shikokai Fuzoku Kindergarten, Santa Cecilia
Takanawa Dominican English R Handmaids of the Sacred Heart of
E Seisen Women’s College
F Aisei Day Nursery
Meguro Diocesan English, Indonesian R Divine Providence,
Charity of Nevers
F CTIC Meguro
12 Denenchofu Franciscan   R Franciscans, Sisters of the Infant
Jesus, Joseph of Carondelet, Immaculate Heart of Mary of
E Denenchofu Futaba Girls’ School, Chiisaki hana Kindergarten
Kaminoge(sub) Carmelite   R Carmelite
Himonya Salesian   R Salesians, Salesian Sisters
E Meguro Seibi Gakuen (Primary), Meguro Salesio Kindergarten
13 Akitsu Diocesan   R Bethany
E Tosei Gakuen
F Bethlehem No Sono Hospital (Rehabilitation), Jiseikai
Bethlehem Gakuen Children’s Home (Orphanage), Holy Family Old
Folks Home, Jiseikai St. Joseph’s Home (Folks’ Home for Infirm
Kiyose Diocesan English, Tagalog    
Kodaira Diocesan   R Conventuals, Salesians, Missionary Sisters
os St. Francis of Assisi, Congregation of the Daughters of Mary
Immaculate, Eucharistic Missionaries of the Most Holy Trinity
E Salesian Middle-Primary School, Koka Gakuen Gyosei
Kindergarten, Maria Kindergarten
F Salesian Boys’ Town
14 Shimoigusa Salesian   R Jesuits, Salesians, Sacred Heart of
Jesus, Caritas Sisters of Miyazaki, Adorers
E Ikuei Technical College, Santa Maria School, Iogi Seiko
F St.Odilia’s Baby Home, St.Pio’s Day Nursery, Tsubomi No
Ryo (Baby Home), Sayuri No Ryo (Orphanage), Michaela Home
Sekimachi Diocesan   R Jesuits, Conventuals, Sisters of the
Infant Jesus, Christ the King, Sisters of St. Paul of Chartres,
Immaculate Heart of Mary of Nagasaki, Paris Foreign Mission
Society, Sacred Heart, Notre Dame De Vie
E Tokyo Catholic Theological Seminary, Sekimachi Shirayuri
Kindergarten, Christ Roi Kindergarten
F Margaret Day Nursery, St.Joseph Home(Orphanage), Emmaus
Tokuden Diocesan   R St.Joseph of Osaka, Blessed Korean Martyrs,
F Jiseikai Hospital, Tokuden Day Nursery, Jiseikai Nazareth
Baby Home, Jiseikai Itsukushimi No Ie, Jiseikai Betania Home
15 Itabashi Franciscan   R Franciscans
E Sun City Kindergarten
Kitamachi Diocesan   E Kitamachi Catholic Kindergarten
Shimura Diocesan   R Caritas Sisters of Miyazaki
F St.Maria Day Nursery
Toshima Columban English, Burmese R Augustinians, Infant
Jesus of Chauffailles, Presentation of Mary, Franciscan
Missionaries of Mary, Fraternity of the Little Sisters of
E Seibo Junior College of Nursing, St.Patrick Kindergarten
F Seibo Byoin (International Catholic Hospital), Seibo Home (Home
for the Aged), Youth Welfare Center Shinjuku Dormitory
16 Ogikubo Diocesan   R Franciscan Srs. Of Militia
Spinola Sisters
E Futayuri Kindergarten
Kichijoji Divine Word English R Divine Word Mission, Ursuline
Sisters, Catechists of Mary, Notre Dame of Namur, Maryknoll
Sisters of St.Dominic
Koenji Diocesan English, Tagalog R Claretians, Daughters of
Jesus, Missionaries of Christ Jesus, Mercedarian Missionaries of
Berriz, Order of the Company of Mary, Vita Et Pax
E Koen Girls’ School, Tokyo Kindergarten and Nursery Teachers’
Training School, Seishin Gakuen Kindergarten
17 Tama Diocesan   R Milano Foreign Missions, Caritas Sisters of
F Kaori Day Nursery
Chofu Salesian English R Salesians, Discalced Carmelite
Sisters, Congregation of the Daughters of Immaculate Mary,
Congregation de Notre Dame, Salesian Sisters, Sisters of St.
Paul of Chartres
E Shirayuri Women’s College, Kindergarten, Tenshi Kindergarten
Fuchu Milano Frs. English R Missionary Sisters of St.John the
18 Akiruno Diocesan      
Ome Diocesan   R Caritas Sisters of Miyazaki
E Seibo Kindergarten
Koganei Diocesan   R Servants of the Holy Spirit, Missionary
Sisters of St.John the Evangelist
E Seirei Kindergarten
F Sakuramachi Byoin(St.John’s Hospital)Sakuramachi St.John’s
Home, Sakuramachi Day Service Center
Tachikawa Diocesan English, Spanish R Carmelite Sisters of
19 Takahata Diocesan   R Mercedarian Missionaries of Berriz
E Koen Joshi Gakuin Hino Kindergarten
Toyoda Diocesan   R La Salle Kai
Hachioji Diocesan English, Spanish R Paulists, Pious
Disciples of the Divine Master, Order of St.Clare, Sisters of
the Immaculate Heart of Mary
E St.Paul’s High School, Tokyo Junshin (Junior College, High and
Middle), Honcho Kindergarten
F Suzuran House
Izumicho(sub) Diocesan      
20 Kamogawa Diocesan   R Caritas Sisters of Miyazaki
E Kamogawa Seishin Kindergarten
Kisarazu Diocesan English E Kururi Catholic Kindergarten
Goi Columban English, Spanish R Srs. Of Mary
E Maria Immaculada Kindergarten
Tateyama Diocesan English    
21 Chibadera Columban English R Order of the Company of Mary
E Seibo Maria Kindergarten
Togane Columban English    
Nishi-Chiba Diocesan English R Caritas Sisters of Miyazaki
E St. Maria Kindergarten
F CTIC Chiba
Mobara Columban English R Congregation of the Sisters of Jesus
Crucified, Daughters of the Heart of Mary
E St. Maria Kindergarten
22 Sawara Diocesan English R Franciscan Sisters of the
E Shirayuri Kindergarten
F Sawara Sei-kazoku-en
Choshi Milano Frs. English F Kaijoryo Sanatorium, St.Maria-en,
Sei-kazoku-en, Seibo Ryoiku-en, etc
Narashino Diocesan Portuguese
Narita Diocesan English, Spanish R Caritas Sisters of Miyazaki
  Roppongi  Franciscan English R Franciscans
  Tokyo Korean   Seoul Diocese Korean