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OUR HISTORY

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Several attempts were made in the mid-1970's to start a faith community for the Japanese Catholics in the Toronto area to gather, share experiences and encourage each other's faith. Finally in 1979, a Community was started with Fr. Bill Schultz, a Scarboro Missions priest as our first chaplain.

By the grace of God, Scarboro Missions (SFM) generously provided the necessary spiritual and physical resources. Their own priests (back from missionary work in Japan) celebrate Mass in Japanese for us, including the homily. Confession and other spiritual guidance are also available in Japanese. Other facilities are also available to us at SFM, e.g., dining room where we share the evening meal.

The current schedule of gathering on the second Sunday of each month for mass at 4 pm followed by dinner was adopted in 1982.

Besides our monthly gatherings, we have also conducted other activities over the years. On a spiritual level, we have held retreats and bible studies. With the permission of the local parish, we have celebrated numerous baptisms over the years. We even had ordinations from amongst our membership. One of the early members, Gene Shin, was ordained a diocesan priest in 1996 (see photo in Sacraments/Holy Orders). Most recently, John Meehan was ordained a Jesuit deacon in April 2009 (see photo below) - and expected to be ordained a priest in May 2010). Some years ago, John spent 6 summers teaching English near Tokyo.

On a social level, we have had picnics or bus pilgrimages to famous shrines (such as Martyrs' Shrine in Midland). In the earlier years, we actively participated in SFM's Annual Bazaar with our own Japanese booth, raising money by selling Japanese food, raffle tickets and various handicrafts contributed by our members.

We also participated in the SFM's 75th Anniversary in 1993 with representation by all countries where SFM works. Our Community prepared a display of traditional foods, artifacts and clothing of Japan (see photo below). To a smaller extent, we also contributed to their 90th Anniversary at the Nov. 9, 2008 Mass of Thanksgiving. So over many years, we have been privileged to have a very special relationship with Scarboro Missions.

ordination

TJCC member John Meehan (right) ordained as Jesuit deacon at Our Lady of Lourdes church - witnessed by many TJCC members, his father at left end (April 18, 2009)

sfm75

Celebrating SFM's 75th Anniversary (Nov 1993)

fraser

SFM founder, Mgr. John Fraser in Fukuoka (1960)

SFM Chaplains of our Community

  • 1979 - 1980, Fr. Bill Schultz
    (died 1986)
    [25 years in Japan]
  • 1980 - 1988, Fr. John Bolger
    (died 1997)
    [32 years in Japan]
  • 1988 - 1990, Fr. Clair Yaeck
    (died 1996)
    [22 years in Japan]
  • 2004 - 2010 Fr. Alex McDonald
    (died 2010)
    [52 years in Japan]
  • 1990 - 1998, Fr. Gerry Curry
    [14 years in Japan]
  • 1990 - present, Fr. Tom O'Toole
    [29 years in Japan]
  • 2002 - present, Fr. John Carten
    [26 years in Japan]
  • 2005 - present, Fr. Jim Gauthier
    [30 years in Japan]

To read the biographies of the last four (and currrent) chaplains, click here

sfm90

90th Anniversary Mass celebrated by Archbishop Thomas Collins on Nov. 9, 2008 (on Nov/Dec 2008 magazine cover)

Other SFM and Japanese Priests associated with our Community

  • 1990 - 1992, Fr. Thomas Morrissey (died 1992)
    [40 yrs in Japan]
  • 2000 - 2003, Fr. David Fitzpatrick (died 2003)
    [46 years in Japan]
  • 2002 - 2003, Fr. Michael Cox
    (died 2003)
    [50 years in Japan]
  • 2000 - 2006, Fr. Frank Hawkshaw (died 2009)
    [42 years in Japan]
  • 1993 - 1994, Fr. T. Yanagida, SJ, currently teaching at the Elisabeth University of Music in Hiroshima
  • 2003 - 2004, Fr. Takeshi Inoue, CSsR, currently pastor in Maizuru
  • 2005 - 2008, Fr. Yukitoshi Ichioka, currently pastor of Iwata,
    Shizuoka-ken

Chairpersons of our Community

  • 1979 - 1981, Various persons for different meetings
    P. Miki, M. Fujimoto, H. Suzuka,
    R. Sakaguchi
  • 1982 - 1983, Ayako Keogh
  • 1984 - 1985, Roy Sakaguchi
  • 1986 - 1988, Anthony Liliefeldt
  • 1989 - 1991, John Takahashi
  • 1992 - 1997, Roy Sakaguchi
  • 1998 - 1999, Mariko Liliefeldt
  • 2000 - present, Roy Sakaguchi