Vatican City. The Holy Father appointed Auxiliary Bishops of the Archdiocese of Osaka (Japan) today: Rev. Fr. Josep Maria Abella Batlle, C. M.F., parish priest of the Cathedral of the same Metropolitan Seat, assigning him the titular seat of Malamocco; Rev. Paul Toshihiro Sakai, a member of Opus Dei, until now Secretary General of the Prelature of Opus Dei, in Japan, assigning him the titular seat of Novabarbara.
Rev. Fr. Josep Maria Abella Batlle, C.M.F. was born on November 3, 1949 in Lleida, Spain. After completing his studies in Philosophy and Theology at the Faculty of Jesuit Theology in Sant Cugat del Vallès (Barcelona), he was sent to Japan to learn the language. He made his first profession on August 22, 1966 and perpetual profession on December 8, 1972. He was ordained a priest on July 12, 1975.
After his priestly ordination, he held the following positions: Coadjutor of the Parish of Midorigaoka in the Diocese of Nagoya (1975-1977); Counselor of the Delegation (1976-1981); formator and work in the Youth Ministry in Tokyo (1977-1981) Parish Priest of the parish of Hirakata in the Archdiocese of Osaka (1981-1988); Coordinator of the Missionary Animation of the Archdiocese of Osaka (1988-1991); Major Superior of the Delegation of East Asia (1981-1991); General Consultor and head of the Prefecture of Apostolate of the General Government, in Rome (1991-2003); Superior General of the Congregation of Missionaries, Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (Rome) for two terms (2003-2015); during these years he was part of the executive committee of the USG and was its Vice President for three years (2010-2013). In November 2015 he returned to Japan, resided in the Imaichi Parish, in the Archdiocese of Osaka (2015-2016); member of the Pastoral Team of the “Shirokita” zone, in the Archdiocese of Osaka (2016-2017); and since 2017 he is Parish Priest of the Cathedral of the Archdiocese of Osaka and Coordinator of the Social Ministry of the Archdiocese.