Pope appoints first Filipino bishop in Japan

Published December 9, 2021, 6:57 AM

by Leslie Ann Aquino

Filipino missionary priest Edgar Gacutan has been appointed as bishop in the Japanese diocese of Sendai.

Bp-elect Edgar Gacutan (Photo CICM)

Pope Francis appointed Gacutan on Wednesday, Dec. 8.

CBCP News said he is the first Filipino to be named bishop in Japan.

Born in Cagayan province in 1964, Gacutan studied Philosophy at St. Louis University in Baguio City from 1981 to 1985 and Theology at Maryhill School of Theology in Manila from 1986 to 1989.

In February 1990, he was transferred to Japan as a seminary student.

After three years of internship in Japan, Gacutan returned to Manila to complete his theological studies at the same seminary.

In 1994, Gacutan was ordained priest for the Congregation of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (CICM).

A month after his ordination, he was sent back to Japan, where he served as an assistant pastor in Kongo church, Osaka from 1994 to 1997, then joined the team ministry in Osaka for six years until 2003.

In 2004, he was appointed superior of the Japanese CICM Province and served until 2012.

From 2014 to 2017, Gacutan was assigned to the area of Sendai and worked for the victims of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami.

The 57-year-old bishop-elect was serving as parish priest of Matsubara Catholic Church, located in Setagaya Ward, Tokyo before his appointment.