The former bishop of the Diocese of Chubu, Rev. Francis Toshiaki Mori, passed away on July 10, 2018. When I had received notice from the Diocese of Tokyo Management Bishop Katsuichi Hirota, I was so shocked that I asked without even thinking, “Is it true?” Rev. Mori had felt something wrong with his foot so he had gotten himself over to the orthopedic clinic; this is where he collapsed. He was taken to the Center Hospital of the National Center for Global Health and Medicine on an ambulance but passed away due to retroperitoneal hemorrhage at the age of 78.
The funeral, as it had already been discussed with his wife, Atsuko, prior to his death, was held with only family members at Mejiro Seikokai on July 12. I made a visit to see his wife, Atsuko, at a later date and when I gave my prayers then, I was shown the pictures from the funeral. It was a very simple, yet a neat funeral service, most suited for Bishop Mori.
During the Bishop’s lifetime, he had said that he didn’t think well about the word “to die,” but rather preferred the expression “be called to.” I would like to think of his passing away as something far beyond our thoughts and deep within the heart of God.
Bishop Mori had been the Diocesan Bishop from March 1998 to December 2009. During those years, he played an important role in the missionary and the pastoral care of the diocese such as building of the Diocesan Center of Chubu, the formation of a collaborative relationship between the Episcopal Diocese of Northern Central Philippines, the establishment of Kani Missionary Station (the current Kani Holy Trinity Church), the 90th anniversary memorial service of the diocese establishment, and the reorganization of the group.
In addition, it was a commemorative decision of Bishop Mori to have ordained the first ever Nippon Sei Ko Kai female priest, Rev. Yoshiko Shibukawa.
My appreciation towards the works done by Bishop Mori, and I pray for the repose of his soul and may there be comfort to his family.