Father Bryce T. Nishimura, MM

Born: June 12, 1928
Ordained: June 9, 1956
Died: February 4, 2024

Father Bryce T. Nishimura died on February 4, 2024 in the Assisted Living Unit at Maryknoll, New York. He was 95 years old and a Maryknoll priest for 67 years.

Bryce Thomas Nishimura was born on June 12, 1928, in Glendale, California, one of eight children of Mark and Take Sekiguchi Nishimura. He had four brothers and three sisters. Bryce became very interested in Maryknoll and mission through Father Leo Steinbach, M.M. Father Steinbach worked in the internment camps for Japanese American citizens in California. At the age of 13, Bryce and his family were some of the 120,000 Japanese-Americans families living on the West Coast during World War II. All of them were interned in the ten desolate relocation centers set up by the government. Father Steinbach would see that the children in the camps came to Mass. As a young boy, Bryce, served as an altar boy for him. With encouragement from Father Steinbach, Bryce graduated from Manzanar High School, and entered Maryknoll in September 1945. He received a B.A. in Philosophy in 1951, and a Master of Religious Education (M.R.E.) in 1956, both from Maryknoll School of Theology, Maryknoll, New York.

Father Nishimura was ordained on June 9, 1956 at Maryknoll, New York and assigned to Japan. He served in several parishes over the next 23 years, and taught in the schools.

In January 1979 Father Nishimura was assigned to the United States and named Administrator of St. Francis Xavier Parish in Los Angeles with its thriving, highly respected Japanese School. Father Nishimura continued at St. Francis until July 1982, at which time he was re-assigned to the Japan Region. Before returning to Japan, he was granted permission to study at the Institute of Spirituality at the Angelicum in Rome.

Upon completion of this course, Father Nishimura returned to Japan in the summer of 1983. In November 1983, he was appointed pastor of Uji parish and in 1999, became pastor at Ise Catholic Church. Father Nishimura was working in two parishes, in Nabari and Ueno cities. He also was engaged in an apostolate which served a large group of Peruvian and Brazilian migrant workers.

In 2017, Father Nishimura joined the Senior Missioner Community with residence at the Society Center. He moved to the Los Altos Residence in 2019 where he lived for the next three years, before returning to the Society Center at Maryknoll, New York in 2022.

Father Nishimura is survived by his brother, Donald Nishimura and by sixteen nieces and nephews and sixteen grandnieces and grandnephews.  He was predeceased by his brothers, John Nishimura, Richard Nishimura and George Nishimura, and his sisters, Flora Saisho, Laura Yakabe and Katherine Shigemoto.

Wake services were held on February 15, 2024 at the Holy Spirit Chapel and the Queen of Apostles Chapel at the Maryknoll Society Center. Mass of Christian Burial followed at 11:00 a.m. and was concelebrated in the Queen of Apostles Chapel. Father John McAuley was the Celebrant and homilist.  Father James Jackson read the biography and Father Robert Nehrig read the Oath. Burial followed in the Maryknoll Society Cemetery with Father Juan Zuñiga presiding at the graveside prayers.