/ 30. January 2012 06:14
On September 3, 2011, Bishop Dominic Ryoji Miyahara, a long time friend of the Augustinians, consecrated our new church complex of St. Augustine, in Fukuoka, Japan. The wide stained glass window covering the back of the church is an abstract picture of the Blessed Virgin Mary with her arms encircling the congregation. It is a symbol of the long Japanese Catholic tradition of respect and love for Our Lady. The church seats two hundred and eighty people. With the excellent plan of sliding doors the church can be extended to seat three hundred and twenty. There is a small chapel also for daily Mass and quiet prayer.
Adjacent to the church on the left is a large parish hall which is equipped with a modern kitchen. There are three rooms for Sunday school and for meetings. The sliding walls can be adjusted to accommodate more people into the hall.
The Monastery is adjacent to the church on the right. There are comfortable bed rooms, a modern kitchen, a bright dining room, and a special room for the Japanese “ofuro” (hot bath) which is delightful during the winter. Because of the lack of space for burial in Japan, cremation is almost universal. Most Japanese place the ashes of their family in a columbarium provided by the Buddhist Temples. The price for such a unit is over$20,000.00. Our architect proposed a
columbarium which would be in the budget of even poor families. She offered a choice to the parishioners. They could choose a unit for $1,000.00, $2,500.00 or $6,000.00. The choice is according to the number of urns one would like to put into the unit. The parishioners are delighted with these prices and the artistic design of the columbarium
which is situated on the left side of the vestibule of the church . Since the Japanese venerate their ancestors, an artistic columbarium adds a traditional Japanese flavor to the church.
The parish was founded in 1959. The process of building the new church started ten years ago when the people of the parish began to raise funds. It was a long, tough journey for the three hundred participating families. They deserve so much credit. The contribution of the Augustinian Order was very great. It was an amazing accomplishment. .May this new church unite the parishioners around the Eucharist, may it be a window to the to the Buddhist community in that area and most of all may it be a quiet house of prayer.