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Pope names two new bishops for Japan

Fathers Eijiro Suwa and Paul Hamaguchi to take the reins in Takamatsu and Oita dioceses

March 26, 2011

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The pope today named two new bishops for Japan. Father Eijiro Suwa, 63, the pastor at Enokuchi parish in Kochi prefecture, in Osaka archdiocese's Takamatsu diocese, about 600km southwest of Tokyo, will become Bishop of Takamatsu while Father Paul Hamaguchi, 62, pastor of the Cathedral Church of Takamatsu in Nagasaki archdiocese will become Bishop of Oita. Father Suwa was born in 1947 in Kobe. After finishing his secondary studies at the Catholic Institute Rokko, he entered the major seminary in Tokyo, where he studied philosophy and theology before being ordained a priest November 26, 1976. After ordination he held the following positions: 1976-1979: assistant priest of Sonoda, 1979-1981: Parish Vicar Kori, 1981-1983: parish vicar Shukugawa, 1983-1986: parish vicar Tamatsukuri, 1986-1988 : Rector of the Minor Seminary of Osaka, 1988-1989: Sabbatical Year in the Philippines, 1989-1995: pastor of Takatsuki, 1995-1997: pastor of Sumiyoshi, 1997-2000: pastor of the parishes of Nakayamate, Shimoyamate and Nada, 2000-2002 : Moderator of the pastoral area of Chuo Kobe, 2002-2005: Pastor of the pastoral area of Chuo and Sumiyoshi, since 2005: Posted in the diocese of Takamatsu to assist Bishop Mizobe and as Moderator of the parish pastoral area of Kochi. The Diocese of Takamatsu is home to 4,910 Catholics and has 26 parishes. Father Hamaguchi was born in 1948, at Higashi Shutsu, in the diocese of Nagasaki. He attended middle and high school at the College Nanzan Nagasaki. After completing his studies at the Seminary of St. Sulpice Fukuoka, he was ordained a priest March 19, 1975, in the diocese of Nagasaki. After ordination he held the following positions: 1975-1978: assistant priest of Urakami, 1978-1984: parish vicar Shitsu, 1984-1992: pastor of Oso, 1992-2002: Rector of the Minor Seminary of Nagasaki, 2002 - 2005: Fukue and Parish Council Member of the Priests, from 2005: transferred to the diocese of Takamatsu, was appointed Director of the Office of the diocesan and parish Shodoshima. His new Diocese of Oita has 6,290 Catholics and 26 parishes. Details of their ordination will be announced shortly, the Catholic Bishops Confernece of Japan said.
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