Appropriate to the season of green, an Irish duo has descended on southern Ibaraki, as Fathers Willie Donegan and Phil Murphy have been assigned to the Tsukuba and Tsuchiura churches respectively. Neither, however, is totally new to the area, as both served in the Tsuchiura Church in the 70's and early 80's before being transferred elsewhere.
While downtown Tsuchiura may not have changed all that much in the intervening time, Tsukuba certainly has, as the Tsukuba Church didn't even exist at that time.
Father Donegan first arrived in Japan in 1965, and except for a 6 year stint in Yamagata, he has spent the rest of that time right here in Ibaraki. During his time in Tsuchiura (1972 - 1984), Tsukuba University was formed, and he even taught a few English classes there.
Father Murphy first came to Japan a few years later, arriving in 1970, and except for 6 years spent previously in Tsuchiura ('78 - '84), spent most of his time in Yamagata. The past three years, however, he was stationed at the monastery in Tomobe.
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