The Path to Peace Foundation annual dinner last night in New York that honors peacemakers honored King Abdullah and Queen Rania of Jordan. It was one of the more amazing events of my life for many reasons. I have been to Jordan and my experiences were very memorable, happy and instructive. Truly a wonderful country and great people, a people whose respect and love for their monarch, in my experience, is palpable.

When I was in Amman in 2014 to cover Pope Francis’ three-day visit to Amman, Bethlehem and Jerusalem, I actually spent 6 days in Jordan, getting acquainted with the nation’s history and culture, including a remarkable visit to the ever-breathtaking Petra!

While there I bought King Abdullah’s book, “Our Last Best Chance: Pursuit of Peace in a Time of Peril.” It is a riveting read by a leader consumed for peace, a well-educated, thoughtful and, in so many ways, a down-to-earth, common sense man.

I also wanted to honor a man I greatly respect and have known for over 25 years, Cardinal Renato Martino, who instituted the Path for Peace Foundation in 1991. As Archbishop Martino, he headed the Holy See Mission to the U.N. for 16 years. Some of those years were in the mid-1990s, a time when I was a member of the Holy See delegations to four international conferences: Cairo, September 1994; Copenhagen, March 1995, Beijing, September 1995 and Istanbul, June 1996.

Last night we were all asked to turn off our phones, so I have no personal photos of Abp. Gabriele Caccia, head of the Holy See Mission to the United Nations and president of the Path to Peace Foundation, or King Abdullah or Queen Rania on the dais for the awards and speeches. I hope to have more photos from the official photographer and also will try to get the full text of King Abdullah’s memorable talk, interrupted numerous times by applause.

In the meantime, here is a great story and photo from the king’s official website: King at New York award ceremony: Our journey on path to peace must travel through Jerusalem | King Abdullah II Official Website

So often, when people say to me “God bless you,” my reply is “He really has!” And now you know one more reason why I feel that way!


Exactly one year ago, I posted the following blog that features one of my favorite saints, St. Damien of Moloka’i, whose feast is today. At the time, I was about to leave for Chicago for the ordination of a young man who now, this coming Sunday, will celebrate his first anniversary as Fr. Ryan Brady! Congratulations, dear Ryan! May God continue to bless you and to bless us through you! SAINT OF THE DAY: SAINT DAMIEN OF MOLOKA’I’ | Joan’s Rome (

The Collect for today’s Mass:

“Father of mercy, who gave us in Saint Damien a shining witness of love for the poorest and most abandoned, grant that, by his intercession, as faithful witnesses of the heart of your Son Jesus, we too may be servants of the most needy and rejected.  Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever.”

Today is another very big day in the diocese of Honolulu!

Following is a letter from Honolulu Bishop Larry Silva regarding the opening of the diocesan phase of the cause for canonization of Servant of God Joseph Dutton. As you know from reading his story, Joseph Dutton worked for 44 years, half of his life, alongside Fr. Damien and Mother Marianne Cope, both now saints, with the victims of leprosy, also known as Hansen’s disease, who had been exiled to the peninsula of Kalaupapa on the island of Moloka’i.

Several years ago I was asked to become a member of the diocesan guild for the cause of canonization of Joseph Dutton. It has been a joy to work with the incredible members of this guild and to have reached such a high point as today’s Mass. I usually attend one guild meeting a year in person but Covid, and some restrictions in Hawaii, kept me from visiting in 2020 and 2021. I am hoping to remedy that this year!

From Bishop Silva:

“On Tuesday, May 10, 2022, I will celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass at 6:00 p.m. at the Cathedral Basilica of Our Lady of Peace1184 Bishop Street, Honolulu, Hawaii. It is the Memorial of St. Damien DeVeuster. At the end of the Mass, there will be a short ceremony to formally open the Diocesan Inquiry Phase of the cause of Servant of God Joseph Dutton. The members of the Joseph Dutton Guild will be present, and the officials who will play various roles in the investigation of the cause will take their oaths of office.

“It should be noted that beatification and canonization in the Catholic Church is a rigorous process, and there is no guarantee that the process will finally result in Joseph Dutton’s beatification or canonization. Nevertheless, many of the faithful in the Diocese of Honolulu and in other parts of the world have spoken favorably and are hopeful that Joseph Dutton’s holiness of life will be deemed by the Church to be worthy of public veneration and imitation. Please pray that the Holy Spirit will guide this process to its completion according to the will of God and for the good of his holy Church.”

I will be in Honolulu in spirit and prayer as my Hawaii brothers and sisters celebrate this important milestone!

And, as things move along, I will bring you updates!


The Lord and weather willing, I will be off tomorrow to New York for a few days with the highlight of my visit being the May 9th Path to Peace Foundation dinner that is offered annually by the Holy See Mission to the United Nations.

The Foundation was instituted in 1991 by Archbishop (now Cardinal) Renato Martino who was the Vatican’s point man – the apostolic nuncio – to the U.N. for 16 years, I was honored to be a member of four Holy See delegations to international United Nations conferences when I worked at the Vatican: Cairo 1994, Copenhagen 1995, Beijing 1995 and Istanbul 1996, three of which were led by Abp. Martino. Mary Ann Glendon led the September 1995 delegation to Beijing for the U.N. conference on women and Abp. Martino was adjunct head of delegation.

Those were truly amazing times for me, personally and professionally.

The president of the foundation is always the apostolic nuncio and permanent observer to the United Nations. Currently that is Archbishop Gabriele Caccia. I’ve been blessed to know him for many years as well.

As the foundation website notes, at a special event held each year the Path to Peace Foundation honors an individual whose life and work have dramatically affected the world community for the better. The first Path to Peace Award was bestowed in 1993 upon H.E. Boutros Boutros-Ghali, Secretary General of the United Nations. The honorees this year are King Abdullah of Jordan and his wife, and Queen Rania.


Join me on Vatican Insider this weekend when my guest, Brad Hahn, CEO of Solidarity Health Share, returns in Part II to tell us more about this community that supports you and your family by lowering your medical bills, providing you with a team of care professionals to help you navigate the health care system, and giving you peace of mind knowing your health care dollars are used ethically. Learn of the challenges facing health care providers and how solidarity helps families in their own health challenges. Brad is a lawyer and has worked for decades in the Phoenix, Arizona area.  (photo taken after lunch at the marvelous Taverna Agape)

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