During this Ten Days of Prayer for Peace, let us not forget this year to pray anew for the people of Myanmar.


July 15, 2022

Dear brothers and sisters in the Archdiocese of Tokyo:

During this Ten Days of Prayer for Peace, let us not forget this year to pray anew for the people of Myanmar.

With peace being trampled upon by violence, the Church of Japan once again enters into this period of prayer for peace this year from the 6th to 15th of August.

For more than two years now, the world has been facing this threat to life due to COVID-19 infections, and it is of utmost importance to be in solidarity with others in protecting life. However, the reality of this world shows a completely different situation.

Russia’s military attack of Ukraine continues to shock the world, which is seen as an act of violence by a great power trampling down on the constant effort of the international community to bring peace. The situation in Myanmar, the country of our sister church, has shown no signs of resolution since the coup d’etat in February 2021. Even in our country as well, during a campaign event for the recent Japanese Parliament’s Upper House election, a shocking incident occurred in which former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was shot and his life was taken by fatal violence. It is alarming that our “Common Home” appears to be dominated by violence.

St. John Paul II during his papal visit to Japan in 1981 said in his “Appeal for Peace” in Hiroshima, “War is the work of man. War is destruction of human life. War is death,” and called for peace. Inspired by these words, the Church of Japan has established this Ten Days of Prayer for Peace to look back at the experiences of war and to keep in mind that when we think about peace, it is necessary to take concrete actions, and that it is not merely a desire.

Inasmuch as “war is the work of man,” at the other end of the spectrum, to create peace must also be the “work of man.” Since “war is destruction of human life,” we must also create peace in order to protect God’s gift of life. And because “war is death,” we who treasure our lives must do something to stop war.

When the brutal war involving the whole world ended 77 years ago, we traced back the path that led up to the war, reflected on it, and vowed not to make the same mistake again. However, the world has continued to resort to violence in resolving differences. During these times, the Church together with all the people who seek for peace have raised their voices and repeatedly stood up for the urgency of peace.

But in the last two and a half years, faced with the threat to life due to COVID-19 infections, the world has become more protective of itself and inward-looking, such that it seems to have taken a stance where it is better to eliminate those who are foreign or take the path to hostility rather than solidarity. Now is the time to look back on the past, discern the course of our current path, and stand firm on the importance of peace toward the future.

During this 2022 Ten Days of Prayer for Peace, as we pray for peace in the whole world, especially in Ukraine, again let us also think about the Church of Myanmar, sister church of the Tokyo Archdiocese, and let us continue to pray for the people of Myanmar and for peace upon them.

In a situation where a chain of violence seems to be happening everywhere, the concern of the world seems to have shifted to the tragic circumstances that occur one after another. And since the existing state of affairs in a certain region where peace is destroyed cannot be resolved overnight, the “old” occurrences are unfortunately forgotten. That is why we shall never forget our sister church, the Church of Myanmar, and let us continue to pray for peace in Myanmar once more this year.

As you all know, since the coup d’etat on February 1, 2021, Myanmar’s national condition has not been stable, and violent attacks have been carried out against the Catholic Church for standing up for peace with the people. In response to the call for peace of Cardinal Charles Bo, President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Myanmar, let us pray together during this Ten Days of Prayer for Peace that through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, may the government and military personnel be able to make wise decisions for peace, that the lives of those people in vulnerable situations especially the many minorities in Myanmar may be protected, and that religious freedom be respected and enjoyed.

This year once again as a concrete action, I would like to request your community to offer a mass on Sunday, 7th August, with the intention “for the people of Myanmar” and at the same time appeal for special donations. Your donations will be forwarded to the Church of Myanmar through the kindness of the Committee on Myanmar of the Tokyo Archdiocese (Person-in-charge: Rev. Fr. Leo Schumacher, SSC).

In addition, since the COVID-19 situation also did not quite improve this year, we have decided not to hold the “Mass for Peace” and the Peace Pilgrimage Walk usually scheduled on the Saturday within this period at the Cathedral. Instead, I will be the main celebrant of the Holy Mass for this intention to be offered at Sekiguchi Church at 10:00 am on Sunday, 7th August. I also call on all the parishes to please pray for the people of Myanmar at Holy Mass on this Sunday.

May the peace that God desires for all people be realized in this world. May God’s holy will be done.

Tarcisio Isao Kikuchi, SVD
Archbishop of Tokyo

2022 Catholic Tokyo Archdiocese
Ten Days of Prayer for Peace

Prayer for Peace

O Most Merciful Father,
Save us from all evil,
And grant peace to our present age.

Whenever we feel too helpless to change our reality
Teach us how a small step, a small prayer
Could help us realize Your justice.

May our brothers and sisters in Myanmar
who are left in darkness
Be illumined by the light of hope
that will free them from all darkness.
Help them to achieve true peace and reconciliation.

In many parts of the world where violence dominates
May Your will be done and peace be established.

We ask this through the King of peace, Your Son Jesus Christ.

Blessed Mother Mary, pray for us.