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Japan: Divine Word priest who worked for the poor for 40 years passes away

Fr. Motoi Takeya, SVD (The photo was taken in 1997)

A Divine Word missionary who worked for homeless people in Japan for the last 40 years died on March 22.

Father Takeya Motoi, SVD, worked for the Home for the Homeless in Nagoya City, Japan. He was the founder of ‘Sasashima Kyosei Kai’ (Sasashima’s Solidarity Organization) for and with the homeless in Nagoya City, Japan.

“He worked for homeless people for more than 40 years in Nagoya,” said Devine Word Bishop Paul Daisuke Narui of Niigata, Japan.

“When I was a seminarian, I used to join his activities every Thursday. He has been my role model as a missionary,” recalled the bishop.

“While Father Motoi suffered from illness these years, he often said, ‘I hope to be like Anpanman, who feeds for others by offering himself.’ Indeed, he continued his commitment until very recently. Thank you, Takeya. I pray for your eternal peace,” said Bishop Narui.
Father Motoi’s pastoral ministry was for the poor, mentally depressed, unemployed, and homeless living on the streets.

Father Motoi also made these people self-reliant and helped them regain their lost human dignity and self-respect.

The Home for the Homeless provided the people with food, clothes, housing, and counseling. They also received assistance in finding suitable jobs, and those with families received assistance in reuniting with them.

He also succeeded in getting the help of the local communities and motivating the local government to provide free medical care and temporary housing. 


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.