There were five Churches on the Osaka City area before Osaka Umeda Church: Kitano Church (Founded in 1906 with Father Marie Julien Sylvain Bousquet), Himesato Church (Founded in 1951 with Takanori Furuya as chief priest until 1981. After him Father Hirokichi Ishihara, Father Minoru Ikeda and Father Andre Broekaert were the priests), Fukushima Church (Founded 1952 with Father Tetsuo Yamaguchi as chief priest until 1953. After him, Father Katsumi Miyamoto was in charge until 1953. After him, Father Uenaka Jutoshi was in church until 1988. Finally, Father Mushe was in church until 1995), Mikuni Church (Founded in 1953 with Father Masaru Yamaguchi as chief priest until 1955. After him, Father Dominic was designated until 1961. Followed by Father Koichi Iijima until 1963. And later, Father Nishida took the position until 1972. Later Father Massao Mase until 1977, followed by Father Joseph Finati (colombin) until 1980. Later Father James Murronii until 1982, followed by Father Daniel Griffin until 1991. The last chief priest was Father Saburo Nakamura until 1996.) and Sakuranomiya Church (Founded in 1966 with Father Masaru Yamaguchi as chief priest until 1969. After him, Father Toshihiko Nishiyama took his place until 1970. The guidance of the church was finally given to Father Santiago Gomez, Father Felix Gorind, Father Kambara, Father Ondara, Father Redondo, Father Lecumberri and Father Izco until 1995.).
Kitano Church was the physically location of the current Osaka Umeda Church. It was the fourth catholic Church established in Osaka City, following Kawaguchi, Uchiawajimachi, and Tamatsukuri. The location was in the central district Kita-ku Kitano Komatsubara-cho, and it is said that it was on the premises of the building where the current TOHO CINEMA is standing. In 1912 the tiny dimension church was repositioned to Nakatsu-chō Shimo 3 ban. The new area was near the old Hankyu Nakatsu station called Kitano Rokusaibashi at that time. In 1923, the JNR freight line was laid, and the church was forced to move again. The relocation destination was in a place half town east of the Nakatsu police station (nowadays the Nakatsu Subway Station). As the city subway line was extended, in 1934 Kitano church removed to the current location; and there, Father Jean Baptiste Geley built a Gothic-style cathedral. After guiding and establishing Kitano church, father Busquet went on to construct Shukugawa Church (1921). After returning to his country temporarily, he was reassigned to the Kitano Church, where he was taken by the military police, tortured, and suffered a deadly martyrdom in 1943. Unfortunately, on May 25, 1945 the church was burnt down by an air raid. The postwar reconstruction was first carried out during the time of Father Hideyoshi Noguchi (1945-1950), when a small stone church was built in 1949 under the design and construction of Mr. Yorimu Tsuchida. He was succeeded by Tetsuji Sasaki, Satoru Ogawa, and Father Yutaka Inada (1956-1963), and the church was revived by his vigorous pastoral activities. Young men and women, working in the business district and preparing their marriage, began coming to the parish. The pastoral work done by Father Inada was followed by Father Taro Hiramatsu, Father Minoru Ikeda, Father Hiroyoshi Tsubouchi, Father Asayama Soiwa (1970-1979), Father Tetsuo Yamaguchi (1979-1989), Father Taketsuo Ishikawa and Father Nobu Yoshimura (1992-1995), his succcessors. Then became part of a common missionary work block.
As the city of Osaka began postwar reconstruction from the south side of JR Osaka Station, Hanshin Department Store, Nippon Life Building, Marunouchi Building, 1st and 2nd Ekimae Buildings, etc. were built. The Catholic Center of the Kitahama Church also played a role in the flow of momentum.
On the other hand, development on the north side of JR Osaka Station began after that. The Hankyu Department Store was only a building facing Midosuji, and Umeda Station was just north of it. But that department store was also expanded to the north, and Umeda Station was also relocated and spreading far north, sheltering Sanbangai and it’s Hankyū long-distance bus station. Moreover, a dining and cafeteria area continued to the north, adding the Hotel Hankyu International revitalizing the district to the north. Especially, the vast land used for JR freight, has been redeveloped.
In the context of this era, the site and buildings of Kitano Church caused a laugh when viewed from the surrounding skyscrapers, “Is it a flower garden inside a business expensive land?”, And there was an urgent need to effectively use the land area of Kitano Church.
The time came when the closure of the Kitahama Church was decided in 1995, and the integration with Mikuni Church in 2003. In 2006, celebrating the 100th anniversary of its founding, with the practice of joint missionary pastoral work under the Shinsei plan, Kitano Church was renameded as Osaka Umeda Church of Sacra Famiglia by integrating with the existing Himesato Church, Fukushima Church, and Sakuranomiya Church. Then, it was decided that Kitano church, together with Sekime church, became a joint Pastoral Block Umeda (Osaka Kita Chiku).
“Sakura Famiria” is a building standing on the site of the former Kitano Church together with the Hearton Hotel Kita Umeda, which houses the Osaka Umeda Church as a parish, the Sophia University Osaka Satellite Campus, and the Saint Paul Mission Center (SSP bookstore). In addition to the office on the 1st floor, there is a small chapel and a bookstore, the Sophia University Osaka Satellite Campus on the 2nd floor, the cathedral on the 3rd floor, and the meeting room on the 4th floor, as a place for prayer, research, and interaction. The purpose is to make a pleasant place for activities.
The decoration of the cathedral is by the Italian sculptor C. Bonanotte, whose castings are lined up in the chapel and entrance, as well as on the outer wall above it. The guardian saint of this church is the “Holy Family”, which is called “Sacra Famiglia” in Italian.
The completion ceremony and the dedication ceremony of the cathedral were held on March 6, 2011 by Pope Ambassador A. Bottari de Castelli and Archbishop Jun Ikenaga. In this way, the five churches of Mikuni, Himesato, Fukushima, Sakuranomiya, and Kitano Church (including Kitahama), which had been prepared over IO years, were integrated in both name and reality, and the Osaka Umeda Church was established. Sunday Mass is celebrated at 7 o’clock, (in Japanese) and 9 o’clock (in English).
In addition to its activities as a parish, the Osaka Umeda Church also carries out activities that the Kitahama Church once played as a Catholic Center, and will hold introductory faith courses, marriage courses, and numerous courses for believers to deepen their faith. I will. The funeral will be held at the Sekime Church or in the Himesato meeting room.
As a base for foreign monks living in Japan, not only in Asia but also in Europe, America and Oceania, which are visited for business and tourism.
As a place where African believers can easily stop by, it is a place where various cultures of various countries can be exchanged.
Relationships with the people of the region are also deepening. For example, we are now asked to dedicate the wishes to God attached to the Christmas tree in the Umeda area.