|English Mass （Saturday)||PM 6:30|
|First Friday Mass||AM10:00|
2-10 4-chome, Kita 23 Nishi, Chuo-ku, Sapporo
Welcome to our Maruyama Catholic Church! My name is Father Ken Sleyman. I am an American missionary priest belonging to the Catholic Foreign Mission Society of America, also called Maryknoll. I have lived in Japan for about 15 years now and recently I was assigned as the pastor of Maruyama Catholic Church. It is a lovely simple church located near the mountains in Sapporo, Hokkaido. I have been a Catholic all my life. I was baptized as an infant in the hospital because my life was in danger. My baptismal name is Gerard. St. Gerard is the patron saint of safe childbirths and my mother prayed to him for my survival and years later here I am baptizing others as a priest myself. Besides being a pastor at the church I also work full-time at Tenshi College, which is a small Catholic college in Sapporo. I teach Nursing courses and a course on the Foundations of Christian Faith. I am very happy in both my jobs as pastor and college instructor and I look forward meeting you if you have time to visit our beautiful church in the Maruyama district of Sapporo.
The history of the Catholic Church extends back some 5000 years to embrace the history of the Jewish People and Judaism. Judaism is like the mother of our Catholic Church and we venerate her history and most of the same religious principles. Judaism gave us the idea of monotheism or belief in one God, a Father in Heaven. God gave the gift of human life to us humans to share in His own wonderful life. We and the angels are the most similar creatures to God than the other animals. Therefore we Catholics believe that all people are a family under God’s protection. We come to church to praise God our Father and to ask him in prayer to fulfill our needs both physical and spiritual.
We Catholics also believe in the person of Jesus Christ and that he is the Son of God. The name Jesus means, “God saves.” Jesus, 2000 years ago came into the world to teach us human beings about God the Father through his words and deeds. Therefore the Catholic Church is not like a school making people believe in a lot teachings and dogmas, rather the emphasis of the Catholic Church is introducing the person of Jesus to help people establish a relationship with him. For us Catholics the Bible is a very important text for our knowledge about God but we also rely upon other historical texts and archeological evidence to verify and give proof to our beliefs. Therefore faith and reason are the pillars of Catholic Faith. What we believe should be common sense and understandable. Besides the written materials about God and Jesus the most vital evidence of our Faith in God is the people who believe in Him. For 2000 years the history of the Catholic Church has had amazing famous and ordinary people who by their belief in God did wonderful things. Our church in Maruyama is named after the Japanese Martyrs. They were people who loved God so much during a time in history that did not permit religious freedom that they sacrificed their lives for God. It is an amazing history of loyalty to God and God-values like love for one another. Free will is the fundamental Catholic religious principle. Our goal as Catholics is to freely follow the will of God and live like God by loving other people. We basically gather in church on Sunday to learn to love better. My hope for our Maruyama Catholic Church is to be a spiritual space that accepts all people without prejudice to opinions or character much the same way anyone is permitted to live freely in Switzerland. So, I whole heartedly invite you to Maruyama Catholic Church. God bless you and I and Jesus look forward to meeting you someday soon. Thank you very much for your interest in our church.
Father Ken Sleyman