The 22nd General Assembly of Caritas Internationalis (11–16 May, Rome) elected Archbishop Tarcisius Isao Kikuchi as its new head on May 13.
The Archbishop of Tokyo, Kikuchi SVD, was born in Iwate, a prefecture on the northeastern coast of Honshu, on November 1, 1958.
In March 1985, he professed his vows to the Divine World Missionaries. He was ordained priest on March 15, 1986.
After his ordination, he went to Ghana as a missionary. He served as a parish priest in a rural area of Ghana for eight years.
He is the President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Japan and the Secretary General of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences (FABC).
As the President of Caritas Internationalis, he will preside over the federation of 162 Catholic relief, development, and social service organizations for four years.
Caritas works to create a better world, especially for the underprivileged and oppressed and is present in more than 200 nations and territories.
The Archbishop has worked with the Caritas organization in various positions and titles since 1995, starting as a volunteer in the Refugees’ Camp in Bukavu, then in Zaire.
He served as the Executive Director of Caritas Japan from 1999 to 2004 and as President of Caritas Japan from 2007 to 2022.
He was also the president of Caritas Asia from 2011 to 2019, a member of the Caritas Internationalis Executive Committee from 1999 to 2004, and a member of the Representative Council from 2011 to 2019.
In his address to Caritas 400 delegates worldwide shortly after his election, the Archbishop said, "Caritas must be on the front lines to receive, accompany, serve, and defend the poor and vulnerable. This mission must be upheld and capture all the attention of the members of the Confederation, and I would like to be the one to lead the entire organization to fulfill this important mission of the Church together with the Secretary-General. All are invited to walk together."
He has been serving as Archbishop of Tokyo since his appointment in 2017.
Before his installation as Archbishop of Tokyo, he had served as the Bishop of Niigata since 2004, when he was first named a bishop.
The Caritas Confederation wishes its new president the very best for his mission.
Its website states, "Caritas shares the mission of the Catholic Church to serve the poor and to promote charity and justice throughout the world."
Currently, Caritas Internationalis works for people who need aid across the globe, including those trapped in the Russo-Ukrainian war, which has already claimed the lives of over 62,000 people, displaced tens of thousands, and left damages to properties amounting to $411 billion.
The same general assembly reelected Benedict Alo D'Rozario as the leader of Caritas Asia, as was previously reported.- Santosh Digal and Oliver Samson
Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.” Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.