DIOCESE OF NAHA (Okinawa)

BISHOP’S RESIDENCE & CHANCERY OFFICE
3-7-2, Asato, Naha, OKINAWA, 902-0067
TEL.098-863-2020 FAX.863-8474
CATHEDRAL
KAINAN (IMMACULATE HEART) CHURCH
1-13-10, Higawa, Naha, OKINAWA, 900-0022
TEL.098-832-3037

Bishop

Most Reverend
Berard Toshio Oshikawa, O.F.M.Conv., Bishop of Naha

  1. March 25, 1941 Born in Naze-shi, Kagoshima-ken
  2. December 21, 1967 Ordained Priest
  3. January 24, 1997 Appointed Bishop of Naha
  4. May 25, 1997 Ordained Bishop

Predecessors

  • Most Rev. Apollinaris Baumgartner, O.F.M. Cap. 1947-1949
  • Most Rev. Felix Ley, O.F.M. Cap. 1949-1972
  • Most Rev. Peter Baptist Tadamaro Ishigami, O.F.M. Cap 1973-1997

History

    On March 18, 1927, Okinawa Prefecture and Kagoshima Prefecture were separated from the Nagasaki Diocese and became the Apostolic Prefecture of Kagoshima. As a result of the Second World War, Okinawa Prefecture came under the jurisdiction of the American military. In accordance with the San Francisco Peace Treaty, Okinawa Prefecture and the Southwest Islands and the Amami Islands of Kagoshima Prefecture came under the American military occupation.
    On January 13,1947, the Ryukyu Islands (the Tokara, Amami, Okinawa, Miyako and Yaeyama Islands) were separated from the Apostolic Prefecture of Kagoshima and temporally entrusted to the Apostolic Vicariate of Guam as the Apostolic Administration of the Ryukyu directly under the Holy See. During that time, the Apostolic Administrator, Bishop Apollinaris Baumgartner, O.F.M. Cap., negotiated with the Department of Defense of the United States and acquired the permits to send missionaries of the American Capuchin Friars (The Province of St. Joseph in Detroit, Michigan, USA) to the Ryukyu Islands. On September 5 of the same year, two missionaries of the American Capuchin Friars, Fr. Felix Ley and Fr. Alban Bartoldus, entered Okinawa.
    On January 21, 1949, the Ryukyu Islands were separated from the Apostolic Vicariate of Guam. Father Felix Ley, O.F.M. Cap. was appointed Apostolic Administrator of the Ryukyu.
    On January 25, 1952, the Province of St. Joseph of the American Capuchin Friars was divided into the Province of New York and the Province of Chicago. The Ryukyu Islands were entrusted to the Province of New York. On February 28 of the same year, the Congregation of Propaganda transferred the eight islands in the northern part of the Southwest Islands except the Amami Islands, namely Takarajima, Kodakarajima, Akusekijima, Suwanosejima, Tairajima, Gajajima, Nakanoshima, Kuchinoshima, from the Apostolic Administration of the Ryukyus to the Apostolic Prefecture of Kagoshima.
    On December 25, 1953, the Southwest Islands and the Amami Islands in the Apostolic Administration of the Ryukyus were returned to Japan under the administration of Kagoshima prefecture.
    On May 3, 1955, the Apostolic Prefecture of Kagoshima was elevated to the status of a diocese. On May 8 of the same year, the five islands of Amami Islands in the northern part of the Ryukyu Islands, namely Amamioshima, Kikaijima, Tokunoshima, Okinoerabujima, Yoronjima were officially reunited to the Diocese of Kagoshima.
    On June 9, 1968, Msgr. Ley was consecrated bishop, but died suddenly on January 23, 1972.
    On December 18, 1972, the Apostolic Administration of the Ryukyus was raised to the status of a diocese, becoming Naha Diocese. On February 11, 1973, Fr. Tadamaro Ishigami, O.F.M.Cap. was consecrated and became the first Bishop of Naha.
    On January 24, 1997, Bishop Ishigami resigned and Fr. Toshio Oshikawa, O.F.M.Conv. was appointed to succeed him. He was consecrated Bishop of Naha on May 25, 1997.

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