On June 2 the Holy Father appointed as Auxiliary Bishops of the Archdiocese of Osaka, Japan: Rev. Fr. Josep Maria Abella Batlle, C.M.F., parish priest of the Cathedral of the same metropolitan see, assigning him the titular see of Malamocco; and Rev. Paul Toshihiro Sakai, member of Opus Dei, currently secretary general of the Prelature of Opus Dei in Japan, assigning him the titular see of Novabarbara.
The Rev. Fr. Josep Maria Abella Batlle, C. M.F., was born on 3 November 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 gave his first profession on 22 August 1966, and his perpetual profession on 8 December 1972.
He was ordained a priest on 12 July 1975.
Since priestly ordination he has held the following positions: Coadjutor of the Parish of Midorigaoka in the Diocese of Nagoya (1975-1977); Counsellor of the Claretian Province (1976-1981); Director of the Uminohoshi kindergarten in the Archdiocese of Osaka (1981-1984); Pastor of the Hirakata parish in the Archdiocese of Osaka (1981-1988); Director of the scholastic institute (1981-1991); Director of the Akenohoshi kindergarten in the Diocese of Nagoya (1989-1992); Provincial of the Claretian Fathers (1981-1992); Director of the Claretian Committee for Evangelization, in Rome (1991-2003); Superior General of the Missionaries Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (Rome) for two terms (2003-2015); following his return to Japan, he resided at the Parish of Imaichi, in the Archdiocese of Osaka (2015-2016); since 2016 he has been a Member of the Shirokita Foraria Vicariate, in the Archdiocese of Osaka; and since 2017 he has been parish priest of the Cathedral of the archdiocese of Osaka.
Rev. Paul Toshihiro Sakai was born on 23 March 1960 in Ashiya, in the province of Hyogo, archdiocese of Osaka. After completing his studies at the Rokko Gakuin High School, in 1976 he began his formative journey within the Prelature of Opus Dei. In 1982 he completed his studies in pedagogy at the Ikuei University of Osaka, obtaining a licentiate.
In 1985 he went to Spain where he entered the seminary. In 1990 he received his doctorate in theology from the University of Navarre, and he returned to Japan in the same year. In February 1988 he gave his vow of fidelity and officially became a member of Opus Dei.
He was ordained a priest on 20 August 1988 in Torreciudad, Spain.
Since priestly ordination he has held the following positions: from 1990 to 2004: Spiritual Director of the Seido School in Nagasaki; from 2005 to 2010: Professor of Christology at the University of San Tommaso in Ozaki, Hyogo; from 2007 to 2011: Member of the Presbyteral Council of the Archdiocese of Osaka; from 2012 to 2017: Head of studies of the Opus Dei Prelature in Japan; from 2002 to 2018: spiritual director of the Opus Dei Prelature in Japan; from 2014 to 2018: Spiritual Director of the Seido Cultural Centre, in the Archdiocese of Osaka; since 2011, Member of the Liturgical Commission of the Archdiocese of Osaka; since 2014, Director of the Commission of the Archdiocese of Osaka for catechesis through Braille; and since 2018, Secretary General of the Prelature of Opus Dei in Japan. (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 4/6/2018)