1934 – 1999 (February 20)
Minoru Akakura, son of Matthias Kiyosuke and Johanna Chie, was born on November 22, 1934 in Nagasaki, Japan, and entered the Order in 1960. He made his profession of vows on January 29, 1963, the first Japanese to profess vows in the Order in over 300 years. He made his solemn profession on the same date in 1967 and served as a brother in the various communities of the Order in Japan. He worked in parish ministry as a catechist and served as local treasurer in several of his assignments.
After some years, he discerned a call to the priesthood and undertook the study of theology. In 1981 he was ordained priest in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Nagasaki, by Pope John Paul II, while the pontiff was on a pastoral visit to Japan.
Following ordination Father Minoru served successively at Saint Monica in Nagoya and Saint Augustine in Fukuoka. His final assignment was to Nagoya where he was superior and treasurer of the community. He died there of heart failure, on February 20, 1999 at the age of 64, after nearly 50 days of hospitalization. A Funeral Mass was celebrated in Nagoya’s Augustinian Church on February 22nd.
Father Minoru was known for his kind and gentle nature, deep faith and spirit of prayer. His brother, Takashi Andrew Akakura entered the Order as an oblate and was assigned to the parish of Nagoya at the time of Father Minoru’s death.