By GIA Social Communication Office
Tokyo, Japan, 1 March 2016 - Former SDB Provincial of Japan, Bishop of Sendai and recently also Bishop of Takamatsu, Mons. Francis Xavier Osamu MIZOBE passed away to the house of the Father in the evening of February 29, 2016.
Mons. Francis Mizobe was known as an enthusiastic and passionate lover of the Church, her history, with a missionary slant and especially committed promoter of the cause of Beatification of the Japanese Martyrs Fr. Kibe and 187 companions (Beatification in 2008). In the history of our Region he is well known as the main promoter of the Solomon Islands mission entrusted in the initial stage to the Japan province (1995-2005). His last years after he resigned as a diocesan bishop of Takamatsu, were spent for the spiritual direction, faith and vocation accompaniment of young people in Kyoto diocese.
Recently the AustraLasia (n.3818 - November 27,2015) published an interview with Mons. Mizobe: The future of the Church in Japan is bright. One of his close collaborators does remember his outstanding capacity of forgiveness, expression of deep and consistent faith in Jesus Christ.
Bishop Francis Xavier Mizobe Osamu was born in 1935, March 5 in North Korea (Shiniju Shi), baptized in Beppu, Japan on 24 December 1949, he joined the Salesians in March 1955, and was ordained as Salesian priest in Turin in February 1964. For a period of six years he served as a provincial of Japan (1990-1996). He was consecrated as Bishop of Sendai on September 9, 2000, later on appointed as a Bishop of Takamatsu diocese (2004-2011). Last four years he spent in Kyoto diocese as director of a spiritual center for the young people (2012-2016).
The Eucharist for Bishop Mizobe will be held in Kyoto, March 2 at 18:30. The Vigil Funeral Mass (Wake) will be celebrated in the Kawaramachi Cathedral on March 3 at 7 PM and the Funeral Mass in the Takamatsu diocese (Shikoku island) on March 4.
With a grateful heart for our great Salesian bishop, with a strong sense of belonging to Jesus, to his Church! Mons. Mizobe was always eager to share the Gospel with the same missionary zeal of Don Bosco! May he rest in the house of the Father, in the Salesian garden!