2023 Month for Protecting All Life A Statement from the Laudato Si’ Desk Responsible Bishop


2023 Month for Protecting All Life A Statement from the Laudato Si’ Desk Responsible Bishop ‘Let Justice and P […]

2023 Month for Protecting All Life
A Statement from the Laudato Si’ Desk Responsible Bishop
‘Let Justice and Peace Flow’

As part of our response to Pope Francis’ call “To Protect All Life” when he visited Japan in 2019, since 2020 the Catholic Church in Japan has marked the period from September 1 to October 4, the feast of St. Francis of Assisi, as the Month for Protecting All Life. This coincides with the global ecumenical Season of Creation when Christian denominations transcend their differences to celebrate and work together.

The theme of this year’s Season of Creation, “Let Justice and Peace Flow,” comes from Amos 5:24: “Let justice roll down like water and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.” In his message for the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation this year, Pope Francis noted that various environmental injustices such as unscrupulous consumption of fossil fuels and deforestation are causing global warming and water scarcity. He said, “Let us raise our voices to halt this injustice towards the poor and towards our children, who will bear the worst effects of climate change,” and, “come together like so many streams, brooks and rivulets, merging finally in a mighty river to irrigate the life of our marvelous planet and our human family for generations to come. So let us join hands and take bold steps to ‘Let Justice and Peace Flow’ throughout our world.”

Last October, the Catholic Bishops’ conference of Japan set up the Laudato Si’ Desk to support Japan’s Church in our integral ecological journey. Along with this, from this year, the Laudato Si’ Desk will make a call to spend the Month for Protecting of All Life more richly. The call for common action each year includes the following:

  • Each year on the first Sunday of September (World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation), prayers such as “A Christian Prayer for the Protection of All Life” (approved by the CBCJ on May 8, 2020) will be offered nationwide to encourage ecological conversion.
  • During the period, keeping in mind the purpose of the month, and with a view to collaborating with other denominations and religions, we will work on the practice of “integral ecology” through prayer and action.
  • To foster understanding of “integral ecology” and promote ecological education, we will devise ways to enable children and youth to enjoy taking the initiative in ecological activities.
  • We will cooperate with governments, civil entities, and organizations working to protect the environment.

This year we have created a pamphlet to help your reflection and action for an integral ecological way of life. Is my life in harmony in this world that God has created so good? All things that God has created are connected and need each other. As one of the people who weaves that connection, how does my way of life affect our environment? It is something to think about.

We also plan to introduce eco-friendly initiatives at Catholic junior and senior high schools. A short video that introduces activities related to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Laudato Si’ Goals (LSGs) will be available on the Laudato Si’ Desk website. We hope these initiatives will become opportunities to gain encouragement and ideas from each other’s activities.

May St. Francis of Assisi, “the example par excellence of care for the vulnerable and of an integral ecology lived out joyfully and authentically,” (LS10) intercede for us.

+ Daisuke Narui, Bishop of Niigata
Bishop Responsible for the Laudato Si’ Desk
Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Japan

July 18, 2023