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By Cl Joji Arakawa, SDB

Tokyo-Chofu, Japan, 23 October 2023 - Tokyo-based confrere, Salesian Priest Aloysio Shirou Sakanashi (1932-2023) of the Suginami Community, was called to heaven with Don Bosco at 7:36 p.m. on Saturday, October 21, 2023. He lived his Salesian religious vocation for 70 years and ministered for 62 years as a Salesian priest.

We would like to express our deepest gratitude to all those with him during his life, especially those who cared for him since he became ill, and we continue to pray for Father Sakanashi's eternal rest.

Funeral mass at 13:00 on Tuesday, October 31, 2023, at Catholic Shimoigusa Church, Tokyo.

Father Shirou Sakanashi was born in Beppu, Oita prefecture, on September 9, 1932. He made his first Salesian religious profession on August 16, 1953.

After Priestly's Ordination on December 20, 1961, he studied in Italy for about five years. After that, he worked and served many youth, young confreres, students, and people in Churches in about six communities.

He was always cheerful and welcomed all with a warm heart, so everybody was familiar with him, too. Some young people share: "When Fr Sakanashi was limping, I lent him my shoulder. Then, he said, "You were my Guardian Angel." Father was always the first to greet others!" And so Fr Aloysio was loved by many people, especially younger ones.

During his last years, he was still very active in his missionary activities by using social media from his bed. On the other hand, we learned that he dealt with it through trial and error. Sometimes, his personal messages were shared on our provincial "LINE" (a Japanese kind of WhatsApp), and some photos uploaded on our LINE, SDB Japan group were deleted by him by mistake. However, using his smartphone, Fr Sakanashi always encouraged each faithful in Shimoigusa parish to keep their faith all their lives.

Indeed, he is always a cheerful, open, cordial Salesian confrere in his life.





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  • vaclav 2023.10.24 15:22

    Reading this reminded me of my fond memories with Fr. Aloysio Sakanashi.

    He always greeted me cheerfully and warmly encouraged me.

    I have to confess I didn’t see him in the last years and didn’t know he tackled social media from his bed!  Wow!

    I thank the Lord for another beautiful testimony of the life of a Salesian!


    Did you hear also about the passing of Fr. Umberto Cavagliere?

    He passed away more than a week ago, and today is his funeral at the parish beside the Salesian high-school in Yokohama.

    It seems he was also very active until the end to evangelize, making use of technology!


    We miss these confreres who shared the cheerful Salesian spirit with all those they met.

    Thank you Lord for the gifts of their lives.


    United in prayer, also for PEACE.

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