In a land area of 44,842 square kilometers, the diocesan territory covers Aomori, Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures.
In Sendai diocese, the population is 6,791,448 at end of 2017. Most residents are ethnic Japanese. There are also 41,192 non-Japanese people, according to the Immigration Bureau of Japan.
The territory also has many languages/dialects, including Kesen-go, in which the Gospels are translated.
The Diocese of Hakodate was separated from the Northern Vicariate Apostolic of Japan on April 7, 1891, and included Hokkaido (later also Sakhalin) and the seven prefectures of Aomori, Iwate, Miyagi, Fukushima, Niigata, Yamagata, and Akita. It was entrusted to the Paris Foreign Mission Society and Bishop Alexandre Berlioz was appointed the first ordinary.
Later, with the establishment of the Prefecture Apostolic of Niigata on Aug. 13, 1912, the three prefectures of Niigata, Yamagata, and Akita were entrusted to the Society of the Divine Word. On Feb. 12, 1915, when the Prefecture Apostolic of Sapporo, including all of Hokkaido except the district of Hakodate, was established and entrusted to the Fulda (Germany) Province of the Order of Friars Minor, the area of jurisdiction of the Hakodate Diocese was reduced. On the retirement of Bishop Berlioz, Monsignor Alfred Joseph Wood served for four years as interim ordinary for the Hakodate Diocese. In November 1931 the Hakodate Diocese was entrusted to Canadian Dominicans. Following Monsignor Wood's four years of service, Bishop Andre Dumas, O.P. served as ordinary.
In 1936 Father Marie-Joseph Lemieux, O.P. was appointed to succeed Bishop Dumas. On March 9, he received permission from the Holy See to move the center of the Diocese from Hakodate to Sendai and to change the name of the diocese from the Diocese of Hakodate to the Diocese of Sendai. Later, on June 29, 1936, his episcopal consecration was held. In 1941 Bishop Lemieux resigned and Father Wasaburo Urakawa, a specialist in Japanese Christian history, was chosen to succeed him and was consecrated bishop. In December 1952, the district of Hakodate was separated from the Diocese of Sendai and was incorporated into the Diocese of Sapporo. With this, the area of jurisdiction of the Diocese of Sendai became the four prefectures of Aomori, Iwate, Miyagi, and Fukushima.
In 1954 Bishop Urakawa resigned and Father Arikata Kobayashi was consecrated bishop to succeed him and served as Bishop of Sendai for 22 years. In 1976 Bishop Kobayashi resigned. Father Chihiro Sato, O.P. was appointed to succeed him and was consecrated bishop on March 20. He resigned on June 19, 1998.
After two years' vacancy, Salesian Father Osamu Mizobe was named as the successor of the See on June 12, 2000. He was consecrated Bishop on Sept. 9, 2000.
May 14, 2004, Pope John Paul II appointed Bishop Osamu Mizobe, S.D.B. as Bishop of Takamatsu, he was installed Bishop on July 19, 2004. Therefore, the place of Bishop of Sendai was vacant about one and a half year.
On Dec. 10, 2005, Msgr. Tetsuo Hiraga, was appointed Bishop of Sendai, and consecrated on March 4, 2006. (Catholic Bishops' Conference of Japan, 2010)
The diocesan territory is well connected by air planes, railways and buses.
Throughout Japan, literacy is 99 percent according to the Central Intelligence Agency, USA, 2010.
Gonsalo's martyrdom at Nagasaki with the other Christian missionaries is regarded as the most tragic and historic event for Catholicism in Japan
Calungsod and his companion Father Vitores baptized infants, children and adults, defying the risk of persecution and murder
Despite being an ordinary layman, Ruiz remained defiant while facing torture by the Japanese and died a brave martyr
He was the first Korean-born Catholic priest and is now the patron saint of Korea
This fabled church is also known by its Syriac name Mar Sleeva (Holy Cross) Church
Asian Catholics who cannot visit famous Our Lady of Lourdes shrine in France can revere miraculous Mother Mary at Velankanni shrine in India. The Basilica of Our Lady of Good Health is popularly known as “the Lourdes of the East” and holds the largest Catholic Church in Asia.
Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica at Fort Kochi is one of the finest churches and a historic but also a landmark in Kerala state of southern India. Santa Cruz Church blends Indo-European and Gothic architectural style that draws tens of thousands of pilgrims and tourists every year. The cathedral is a great place of devotion and historic significance that survived colonial conquests and invasions to the city.
Mokama Marian shrine on the southern bank of Ganges River bears the legacy persecuted Nepali Catholics banished from their homeland to India for refusing to renounce their faith. Our Lady of Divine Grace Church at Mokama stands about 90 kilometers from Patna, the capital of eastern Indian state of Bihar. Mother Mary is popularly known as Mokama Mata (Mother of Mokama). The church was built to honor Mary in 1947.
The shrine holds a three-meter-tall, white-stone carved statue Virgin Mary on the Tao Pao Mountain in the Diocese of Phan Thiet in southern Vietnam, about 1,600 kilometers from the national capital Hanoi.
The Immaculate Conception Cathedral in Urakami of Nagasaki is a witness of persecution of Christians from 17th to 19th centuries and deadly atomic bombing during the Second World War. This European-style, red-brick church continues to preserve some relics that survived the atomic bombing. Urakami cathedral, also known as St. Mary’s Cathedral, was almost destroyed when the atomic bomb was dropped on Aug. 9, 1945. The church stood about 500 meters from the hypocenter of atomic explosion. The devastation shattered and charred stone-made statues of saints, which were later preserved as relics along with the surviving head of Virgin Mary statue and one of the church’s original bells.
Our Lady of Akita Catholic Church is Yuzawadai is among the most famous churches in Japan. The church shot into global fame thanks to a wooden statue of Blessed Virgin Mary that wept 101 times and Marian apparitions to Japanese nun Sister Agnes Katsuko Sasagawa that miraculously healed her hearing impairment. Japanese wooden sculptor Saburo Wakasa from Akita city carved the now-famous miraculous statue of Virgin Mary in 1963.
The Church of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception in Seria is a small church on the western Belait district of Brunei, but it shot into fame thanks to the nation’s most famous Catholic – late Cardinal Cornelius Sim. It is also the second of three churches in Brunei dedicated to Virgin Mary. In fact, Mary has a prominent place not only in Christianity, but also in Islam, the dominant faith in Brunei. Holy Quran mentions Mary seventy times and reveres her as the greatest woman to have ever lived.