Response and support for the Pastoral Letter on nuclear disarmament

At the beginning of the year Archbishop John Wester took the bold and courageous stance of calling for the ongoing threat of nuclear destruction and calling for nuclear disarmament in his pastoral letter titled Living in the Light of Christ’s Peace: A Conversation Toward Nuclear Disarmament. We, the men and women leaders of the Roman Catholic religious orders of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, stand with Archbishop Wester in urging continued dialogue on this issue. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and Vladimir Putin’s veiled threats of the use of nuclear weapons demonstrate the continued danger these horrible weapons hold over the world and the survival of humanity. We are not naïve enough to believe one country eliminating its nuclear weapons will end the threat of a nuclear holocaust, but we know that the discussion of eliminating the threat must start somewhere. That start can be with us.

As leaders of religious orders serving in New Mexico, we understand the issues this state faces, both economically and spiritually, and we are not advocating actions that would damage the fragile state of the economy in the Land of Enchantment. Like Archbishop Wester, we understand the role the nuclear weapons industry has played in the State of New Mexico. But we also recognize that the benefit has reached only a privileged few. The overall economic condition of New Mexico has not been improved by the money spent in developing and maintaining the nuclear weapons arsenal of the United States. We urge the members of our communities, and those whom we serve, to understand the true impact the continued nuclear weapons race has on our state, country, world, and future. Jesus called us to be peacemakers.  We now stand up and answer that call.

We stand with Archbishop Wester, Pope Francis, and other peacemakers in calling for nuclear disarmament that begins with dialogue. The urgency of this issue is heightened by the reality of current geopolitical issues. After dropping its deadly payload on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, Enola Gay co-pilot Robert Lewis wrote in his official log “my God, what have we done?” We must act now so we do not have the same regret.

We urge every person who reads these words to also read Archbishop Wester’s pastoral letter, to share that letter with others, and to join us in praying for and working for worldwide nuclear disarmament.

Wishing you God’s peace,

  • Abbot Joel Garner, O. Praem.
    • Santa Maria de la Vid Abbey
  • Reverend Ron Walters, OFM
    • Provincial Minister, Franciscans
  • Brother David Lynch, OH
    • Provincial Hospitaller, Order of St. John of God
  • Sister Anna Maria Serrafini, FdCC
    • Provincial Leader, Canossian Daughters of Charity
  • Sister Patricia Hayden, SC
    • President, Sisters of Charity
  • Sister Maryann McMahon, OP
    • Prioress, Congregation of St. Catherine of Siena
  • Sister Judith Marie Kubicki, CSSF
    • Provincial Minister, Felician Franciscan Sisters
  • Sister Diana De Bruin, OSF
    • Director, Sisters of St. Francis of Assisi
  • Sister Mary Jo Nelson, OLVM
    • President, Our Lady of Victory Missionary Sisters
  • Sister Leila Hogan, CSJ
    • President, Sisters of St. Joseph of Boston, MA
  • Reverend Lance Nadu, MM
    • Superior General, Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers