A Passionist in Japan
by Isaia Kishi, C.P.

Fr. Isaia Kishi has been a priest for 11 years. Born in Japan in 1951, he professed his vows there in 1984, was ordained a priest in 1989 and is currently first Consultor in his Vice Province. He also serves as Director of Novices. His following account of life as a Japanese Passionist is reprinted with permission from Missioni Passioniste 1997.

Twenty-two years ago, my religious life was rooted in Buddhism and Shintoism, like other Japanese.

Locations of Passionist Retreats in JapanIn 1981, when I was 30 years old, I traveled to Florence in Italy and became acquainted with Christianity.

Back in Japan, I happened to meet a group of Catholics and began to know and experience what it means to be a Christian.

With a friend, I got to know the Passionists and went through a long period of catechesis. I was baptized when I was 33 years old and began my journey following Christ Crucified.

The modern history of the church in Japan is 120 years old. A long period of interruption, following a brief period of Jesuit missionary activity in the 1500s, preceded its modern history.

Today, in a population of 120 million, Catholics number 440,000 (0.4%). Yet, despite its small numbers the Catholic church has a strong position in Japanese society, thanks to institutions founded and administered by religious: schools, hospitals, shelters, etc. (map above shows locations of Passionist retreats in Japan)

the Church's presence in Japan


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