Archbishops Of Santa Fe And Seattle Dioceses To Make Month-Long Pilgrimage To Japan

John C. Wester, Archbishop of Santa Fe, speaking at a recent forum held by Department of Energy officials at the Santa Fe Convention Center. Photo by Maire O’Neill/


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. Funding for the Archdiocese of Santa Fe delegation is strictly funded by grants and personal contributions; no funds from the Archdiocese of Santa Fe are being used.

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 August 1 and ending August 9, the anniversary of the dropping of the atomic bomb on Nagasaki in 1945. The novena can be found on the Pilgrimage of Peace website.