Father de Rotz
Love of humanity - Father de Rotz
Father Marc Marie de Rotz was born as second son of french loyal family in 1840 and entered The Paris Foreign Missions Society to mission to the orient after graduated the major seminary. He came Japan in 1869 during the suppression of christianity and left countless contributions in Nagasaki and Yokohama. He used his knowledge of construction work, medicine and industry acquired from France and taught Christian principle 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself' after he was assigned to Sotome. He devoted himself to the people in Sotome with love of humanity rooted in his Catholic and never back to his country until he passed away at the age of 74 in 1914. He has been buried in the grave (currently known as Shitsu Public Cemetery) built by himself.
Energy to live - the origin
In 1879, French missionary Father de Rotz was assigned to the post of Sotome’s head priest. Local residents in poor situation were suffered from long term suppression of christianity and counted only on the faith and led him provide spritual and physical relief to people suffering hardship. He firstly established the Church in Shitsu and started to have village around the church. In 1883 Aid center was built. He provide variety of workshops giving the people of Sotome 'Energy to independently live'.
Father de Rotz' spirit-Value and role
Father de Rotz established facility such as Vocational Training Workshop, Macaroni Factory and Sardine Net Workshop at his own expense wishing to help the people of Sotome escape from the poverty and provide work place for wives, mothers and daughters who lost husband or son due to accident or disease. His social work producing fabric, textile, noodle, macaroni, bread and soy sauce helped independence of women in the Sotome. Also, women who prayed, learned and worked at the facility said 'This is where we have, improve and practice the faith in our life'. Aid center had a role to make better personality with a good faith based on Father de Rotz's principle 'Education makes the man'.
Short Biography of Father de Rotz
Born in Vaux-sur-Aure, Calvados, France
Graduates from Bayeux Seminary and is ordained as a priest
Assistant priest at Julian Church
Joins Paris Foreign Missions Society
Arrives in Nagasaki, establishes lithography office at Ōura Church
Transfers to Yokohama and works as a priest at the chapel of Yokosuka shipyard whilst operating a lithography office
Is assigned as the priest of Ōura church, and runs a printing business (until 1879)
Constructs Ōura Seminary (now a Nationally Designated Important Cultural Property)
Moves to Sotome area and takes up role of priest of Shitsu Church
Sets up Youth Education Center
Constructs the Shitsu Church (now a Prefecturally Designated Cultural Property)
Establishes Relief Center. Begins providing work for local people through the production of bread, macaroni, sōmen and textiles (Nationally Designated Important Cultural Properties: Residential Workplace, Macaroni shop)
Cultivates fields at rear of Hendake in Sotome (until 1901)
Establishes Sardine Net Workshop and Nursery School (now De Rotz Memorial Hall, a Nationally Designated Important Cultural Property). Sets up a mill grinding flour by water wheel. Constructs sea wall in Toishizaki. Operates a pharmacy and treats the sick during a typhoid epidemic.
Moves to residents of Sotome to Tabira in Kitamatsuura-gun and Himosashi in Hirado, in order to cultivate these area (until 1893)
Purchases land in Takematsu-go, Omura for relief of poor.
During an outbreak of dysentery, sets up a quarantine hospital and organizes a youth relief corps.
Construction of Ōno church (Prefecturally Designated Tangible Cultural Property)
Improvement work on prefectural highway (provides food and wages for villagers suffering from drought)
Founds the public cemetery in Nomichi, Shitsu
In order to promote farming, sets up a farm in Hendake and opens tea plantation.
Designs and supervises construction of Archbishop's Residence in Ōura, Nagasaki.
Passed away on November 7 in Minamiyamate, Nagasaki City, at the age of 74. He is buried in Shitsu Public Cemetery.