On Friday, April 16, 2021, our confrere Brother Thomas Koichi TAGAWA returned to the house of the Father at the age of 93. Brother Thomas passed away at St. Francis Hospital in Nagasaki, Japan.
Brother Thomas was born on March 1, 1928, in Yuri, North Korea, which was then part of Japan. He was baptized the same year. He survived the atomic bomb blast which destroyed Nagasaki on August 9, 1945. He entered the Order of Friars Minor Conventual, making his simple profession on March 27, 1965, and his solemn profession on March 27, 1968.
Brother Thomas was affiliated to the Province of the Immaculate Conception of the B.V.M. in Japan. After professing his solemn vows, he was sent to the Seibonokishi Friary in Nagasaki. In 1970, he received an obedience to serve in Akabane as editor of the Catholic Graph magazine. In 1974, he returned to Nagasaki and since 1982, worked as the editor of the Seibonokishi magazine at our publishing house. In 1985, he served as the Rector of the elementary and middle school in Konagai. From 1991 until 2014, he worked as the Director of the St. Maximilian M. Kolbe Museum in Nagasaki. In 2015, he entered our home for the elderly in Isahaya, in Nagasaki prefecture. On February 5, 2021, he had to be hospitalized because of cancer.
Brother Thomas was always close to the people, especially the students, with his speeches on the theme of peace. At one time, he collaborated with St. Maximilian in his boundless desire to spread the Good News through the press. Always attentive to new means of communication, Brother Thomas kept a blog for many years in which he shared his experiences with St. Maximilian. He abandoned himself to the Providence of God until his dying day. Surely the Lord has now welcomed Brother Thomas to be with him and with the Immaculate Conception.