The Patriarch of Japan Province enters the Salesian Garden
Tokyo, Japan, 9 August 2016 -- “Blessed are the meek, they will own the earth” (Mat 5,5). On August 9, 2016 went to the Salesian garden the most senior member of Japan province Fr. Moskwa at the age of 101 years in the community of Meguro – Tokyo: after 79 years of Salesian consecrated life, 70 years of priesthood and 78 years of missionary life in Japan.
Birth and Salesian vocation
Fr. Michael was born in Zaborów, in the agricultural Southern Poland on 22nd August 2016. Following his Elder brothers he joined also the relgious life and made his first Salesian profession at the age of 22 years (1936). Before the end of his novitiate the Rector Major, Don Pietro Ricaldone made the visit to this house and made a strong appeal for the missions. After his application for the missio ad gentes he was selected with Fr. Nicodem Pisarski (+2013 at 94 years also in Japan)
Missionary life in Japan until the end of the World War II
He reached Japan in 1937 and started to study the language and culture as well the courses of philosophy (postnovitiate), then we was in charge of the boarding house in Myiazaki. When he started theology the World War situation became very difficult facing lack of basic food and the sport field was used as vegetable garden for their survival. In 1945 to escape the bombing of Tokyo with the other formandi were send to the mountain camp of Nojiriko. But there due to the extreme lack of nutrition he started to lose his eye sight, it was his suffering during the rest of his life-time.
After the World War II
Finally he was ordained as Salesian priest on December 22, 1946. Immediately he was send to the war orphanage of Itabashi, then transfered to Kodaira, Tokyo. Due to his weak health from over-work he was send to Myiazaki as confessor of the Aspirants, where he enjoyed also his hobby as a mechanic of watch and machinery. In 1959 Fr. Moskwa was appointed as Novice Master and did form one good generation of Japanese Salesians and later of was highly appreciated as a spiritual guide and confessor by many.
Long life and life-style
Due to his ill health he followed for past 70 years a strict food diet advised by the medical doctor. This was probably the key to his long life. Every summer he spent some weeks near the lake of Nojiriko, an important place for the youth activities of Salesian family groups – SDB, FMA and Caritas Sisters.
- 1915 – born in Zaborów, Poland
- 1937 – first religoius Salesian in Warszaw.
- 1937 – arrival as missionary to Japan (November)
- 1943 – perpetual profession
- 1946 – priestly ordination
- 1947-1951: Kodaira – Tokyo Orphanage, educator and musician
- 1951-1959: Miyazaki Aspriantate, confessor
- 1959-1967: Novice master.
- 1967-2015: Confessor in Chofu, Myiazaki, Osaka and Yokohama.
- 2015-2016: Tokyo-Meguro
- August 22, 2015 surrounded by numerous Polish missionaries in Japan and some SDB who came from Poland he celebrated his 100th Birthday.
- During last one year his health was weakening and Fr. Michael was transfered for better medical attention from Yokohama to Tokyo, Meguro Parish community. During those months he was visited by numerous.
We ask all those who did know Fr. Moskwa to pray for his eternal rest in heaven, together with his former provincial Fr. Vincenzo Cimatti and many other friends who have been working as missionaries in Japan. We ask through their intercession to work for numerous new Salesian vocation both native and missionary vocation for Japan!
With Fr. Pascual Chávez, Chofu 2012
Eucharist 100th birthday in Nojiriko surrounded by Polish SDB – AD 2015
As novice master with Mons. Cimatti
After WW 2 with the orphans