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March Announcements from the Pastor’s Desk

March 3, 2023


Dear Parishioners of St. Ignatius Church,
Peace be with you!


Archbishop Tarcisius Kikuchi Isao of Tokyo archdiocese has released new guidelines(dated Wednesday, February 22), regarding corona prevention measures. The new guidelines will be implemented after March, 2023 in the churches under the archdiocese. Accordingly, St.Ignatius Church will implement the following changes.

  1. Main Church
    • Seating capacity of the main church is increased to 700 people.
    • Starting Sunday, March 12; the 10 am Japanese Sunday Mass no longer requires a reservation.
    • Reservations may be required for masses on special occasions where many people are expected to come, such as the following days:
      • Saturday, April 8, 7 pm Easter Vigil Mass (Japanese)
        Since there will be a common baptism ceremony and many relatives and friends of the newly baptized persons are expected to attend the mass, only limited slots for individual applicants will be available online.
      • Sunday, April 9, 10 am Easter Sunday Mass (Japanese)
        Direct registration(for groups) and online registration(for individuals) is possible. For both the Vigil mass and Easter mass, the direct group registration(more than 4 people are required) will open a month before the mass. Individual online registration will open a week before the mass.
  2. Other Chapels
    The maximum capacity for Xavier’s Chapel will be 80 people, St. Mary’s Chapel will be 180 people and Crypt chapel will be 40 people.
  3. Mass for the Elderly
    The 12 pm Saturday special mass for the “elderly and those with Illness”(held as Sunday liturgy) will be discontinued from April 8, Saturday onwards; and it will be replaced with usual weekday(Saturday) liturgy mass.
  4. English Mass Timing for Holy Week
    • April 2, Palm Sunday English Mass: 12 pm & 4:30 pm at main church
    • April 6, Holy Thursday English Liturgy: 7 pm at St.Mary`s chapel
    • April 7, Good Friday English Liturgy: 7 pm at St.Mary`s chapel
    • April 9, Easter Sunday Mass: 12 pm & 7:30 pm at main church.
    • Please note that the second English mass on Easter Sunday will be held at 7:30 pm(NOT at 4:30 pm) at main church. Registration is not required for English liturgy during Holy Week including Easter Sunday. Mass attendees will be allowed inside the church in a first come first served manner. Please note that the church doors will be closed once the maximum capacity is reached/before the Mass. Please consider attending the 7:30 pm English mass as the 12 pm English mass is expected to be overcrowded on Easter Sunday.
    • Discontinuing the Second English Mass on Sundays
      The Sunday 4:30 pm English Mass(second English mass) will be discontinued. Starting from April 16, Sunday onwards, there will be only one English Mass (12 pm) on Sundays.
    • Discontinuing the livestreaming of English Mass on Sundays
      The YouTube livestreaming of Sunday English Mass (12 pm) will be discontinued from April 16, Sunday.
  5. Regarding Wearing Masks
    • While we earnestly hope that easing many of the corona restrictions will help people who have been away from the church for long time to come back and start attending mass again, we continue requiring mass attendees to wear masks.
    • Starting Saturday, March 4, mass attendees are allowed to sing during mass with their masks on.
  6. Regarding Receiving Holy Communion during Mass
    • Starting Saturday, March 4, mass attendees are not required to disinfect hands before receiving Holy Communion.
    • Please always disinfect your hands before entering the church.
    • Those who wish to receive Holy Communion on tongue are requested to go to the sacristy after the mass and inform the presiding priest or the eucharistic ministers. The Holy Communion will be served at Xavier’s Chapel for those who want to receive on tongue.
  7. Confession Room
    Starting Saturday, March 4, confessions will be held inside the main church’s confessionals.
  8. Dining inside the Church Premises
    With sufficient measures against disease infections, dining at designated church facilities is allowed.
  9. Discontinuing of the Paper Crane Project.
    In April 2020, when the first corona restrictions were implemented at the parish and the parishioners’ access to the church was limited, the parish started a project where parishioners could send paper cranes representing themselves every month. These paper cranes were placed in front of the altar during the mass. After around three years, now that the restrictions for attending mass are eased and as we are back to the normal mass schedule(before corona-days), the paper crane project will be discontinued by Easter Sunday, 2023. Thank you for keep sending paper cranes generously for the past three years.



Fr. Saturnino Ochoa, SJ, Pastor
St. Ignatius Catholic Church, Kojimachi, Tokyo


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