U.S. Catholic Leaders Embark on Peace Pilgrimage to Japan; Will Advocate Universal Nuclear Disarmament

A delegation from the Archdioceses of Santa Fe and Seattle is embarking on a Pilgrimage of Peace to Japan for the purpose of building stronger ties with the Church there and advocating for universal, verifiable nuclear disarmament.

SEATTLE, July 18, 2023 – A delegation from the Archdioceses of Santa Fe and Seattle is embarking on a transformative Pilgrimage of Peace to Tokyo, Akita, Kyoto, Hiroshima, and Nagasaki, Japan, from July 31 to August 12, 2023. The delegation comprises Most Reverend John C. Wester, Archbishop of Santa Fe, and Most Reverend Paul D. Etienne, Archbishop of Seattle, along with representatives from various organizations and archdiocesan offices dedicated to nuclear disarmament and social justice.

The Pilgrimage of Peace is driven by a compelling vision and mission statement, which is rooted in a world free from nuclear weapons due to their inherent threat to lasting peace. By advocating for universal disarmament and fostering global cooperation, the delegation aims to eliminate nuclear weapons and cultivate an environment where peace can flourish unimpeded.

Most Reverend John C. Wester, Archbishop of Santa Fe stated, “During this Pilgrimage of Peace to Japan, I hope to encourage conversation about universal, verifiable nuclear disarmament and to walk together toward a new future of peace, a new promised land of peace, a new culture of peace and nonviolence where we all might learn to live in peace as sisters and brothers on this beautiful planet, our common home. I hope one day, we will stop building these weapons, disarm our state and our world, and embark on a new future without the fear and terror of the nuclear threat.

The mission of the Archdioceses of Santa Fe and Seattle’s Pilgrimage of Peace is to establish a strong ecclesial and personal relationship with the bishops of Japan.

“God calls us to build a global community where the whole human family can flourish,” said Most Reverend Paul D. Etienne, Archbishop of Seattle. “Let us keep educating ourselves, praying for peace, and appealing for verifiable nuclear disarmament, which reflects our Catholic teachings and is the path for the common good.”

Guided by the Holy Spirit and under the patronage of Our Lady of Guadalupe and Our Lady of Nagasaki, the delegation embarks on this sacred mission, standing in solidarity with the bishops of Japan to build a lasting legacy of peace for present and future generations.

As part of this pilgrimage, the delegations will be praying a Novena for peace starting on August 1 and ending on August 9, the anniversary of the dropping of the atomic bomb on Nagasaki in 1945.

This press release originally appeared on the website of the Archdiocese of Seattle.

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