Pope Francis appoints Japan’s first Filipino bishop

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Courtesy: CBCP website

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, December 9) — Pope Francis has appointed on Wednesday Japan’s first Filipino bishop, the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) said.

The CBCP said Fr. Edgar Gacutan will head the Japanese diocese of Sendai.

It noted that Sendai is the largest city in the Tohoku Region and one of Japan’s 15 biggest cities with roughly one million residents.

The priest was earlier assigned to the city and worked for the victims of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami from 2014 to 2017.

Prior to his appointment, the 57-year-old priest was serving at the Matsubara Catholic Church in Setagaya Ward, Tokyo.

Gacutan is from Enrile, Cagayan. He studied Philosophy at St. Louis University in Baguio City from 1981 to 1985 and Theology at Maryhill School of Theology in Manila from 1986 to 1989.

In Feb. 1990, Gacutan, then a seminary student, was transferred to Japan. He finished three years of internship there before returning to the Philippines to complete his theological studies.

He was ordained priest for the Congregation of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in 1994.

Just a month after, he was sent back to Japan, where he served as an assistant pastor in Kongo church, Osaka from 1994 to 1997. He then joined the team ministry in Osaka for 6 years until 2003.

The following year, he was appointed superior of the Japanese CICM Province and served until 2012.