(Augustinians were previously in Japan during the early decades of the seventeenth century, when they experienced martyrdom.) Nine photographs of the celebration are included below.
The return of the Order to Japan in 1952 came after an absence of 315 years: first to Nagasaki, secondly to Fukuoka and then in 1964 to Nagoya, a port city on the Pacific coastline and the manufacturing home base of the huge Toyota Motor Company.
Augustinian ministry was located at Minato in the actual port district, and continues there still. The Augustinians bought a tiny piece of land and in 1997 erected a three-storey building, with the church at ground level, a church hall and friars’ dining are on the second level, and the friars’ living quarters on the top floor. The next development was led by the late Fr Tom Purcell O.S.A., who succeeded with innovative housing projects in three areas near the church, offering affordable accommodation to the families of workers.
The Minato church is dedicated to St Monica, the mother of St Augustine (356 – 430 AD). Nagoya became the focus of the early years of ministry of Frs Joseph Masami Yamaguchi O.S.A. and Peter Tetsuya Hirano O.S.A., both of whom now are serving there once again, with the latter as the parish priest. Because the parish is situated in the port district of Nagoya, the friars are involved in the Stella Maris ministry to sailors on international cargo ships, on which a majority of the crew are often Filipino and Catholic. Catholic sailors from South America are also frequently encountered.During the Mass within the jubilee ceremony on 22 June 2014 the Most Rev. Augustine Junichi Nomura, Bishop of Nagoya, administered the Sacrament of Confirmation to a number of parishioners (see the right-hand photo in the second row).Commenting upon the jubilee celebrations, Fr Masami said 何とすべてはうまく行ったようです - "Everything went well."Below is a video of Fr Tom Dwyer O.S.A., who recently retired to his homeland after fifty-two years of priestly ministry in the Vicariate of the Augustinhian Japanese martyrs, including at Nagoya.