Two U.S. archbishops, Archbishop John C. Wester of Santa Fe, New Mexico, and Archbishop Paul D. Etienne of Seattle, are taking the lead in organizing a “Pilgrimage of Peace” to Japan. The primary objective of this journey is to advocate for global nuclear disarmament. The pilgrimage, scheduled from July 31 to August 12, will take the archbishops and their delegation to several significant cities in Japan, including Tokyo, Akita, Kyoto, Hiroshima, and Nagasaki. Accompanying the archbishops on this important mission are representatives from various archdiocesan offices and organizations. As stated on the pilgrimage’s website, the primary mission of this journey is to form ecclesial as well as personal relationships with the bishops of Japan. Through this connection, the participants aim to collaborate toward the common goal of abolishing nuclear weapons globally. They also seek to express sincere and heartfelt sorrow for the profound and devastating experiences endured by the nation of Japan in the past due to the impact of nuclear weapons.
National Catholic Reporter reports:
Two U.S. archbishops are leading a “Pilgrimage of Peace” to Japan, hoping to promote global nuclear disarmament.
Archbishop John C. Wester of Santa Fe, New Mexico, and Archbishop Paul D. Etienne of Seattle are traveling July 31 – Aug. 12 to Japan’s cities of Tokyo, Akita, Kyoto, Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Joining the archbishops are representatives from archdiocesan offices and various organizations focusing on nuclear disarmament and social justice. Funding for the trip is underwritten by “grants and personal contributions,” rather than archdiocesan funds, according to a July 18 news release from the Archdiocese of Santa Fe.
Participants are escorted by Hirokazu Miyazaki, anthropology professor at Northwestern University, and a peace correspondent for Nagasaki, appointed by that city to speak on behalf of its residents for nuclear disarmament.
The pilgrimage features a “Novena for Nuclear Disarmament,” prayers for which are available in English on the trip’s website.
According to the website, the pilgrimage’s mission is to “establish an ecclesial and personal relationship with the bishops of Japan to work toward the abolition of nuclear weapons, expressing our heartfelt sorrow for the devastating experiences endured by their nation.”
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