Rev. Father Francis de Sales Taizo MITSUMORI, the very first Japanese diocesan priest of Niigata, passed away yesterday morning in Niigata at age of 92. A native of Akita, Fr.Mitsumori studied theology in Rome before the WW II and ordained a priest in 1944 in Rome. Because of the war, he could not return to Japan till 1946. As a pioneer Japanese diocesan priest, Fr.Mitsumori immediately became a strong helping hand for several apostolic prefects of Niigata and, from 1962, Bishop Ito who was appointed as the first bishop of newly established Niigata diocese. Fr. Mistumori was a parish priest of the Niigata Cathedral for many years. He retired from active ministry in 2003 at age of 85. I spent sometime with him since he was living in the house behind the bishop's residence for his retirement. We ate together and prayed togeher for sometime. He spent his last 2 years in a retirement house in Aoyama.
Wake keeping will be on 30 April at 7 pm in Niigata Cathedral. Funeral Mass will be celebrated on 1 May at 10 am in Niigata Cathedaral. Kindly remember Father Mitsumori in your prayer. R.I.P.