POPE’S DECEMBER PRAYER INTENTION: FOR VOLUNTEER ORGANIZATIONS

POPE’S DECEMBER PRAYER INTENTION: FOR VOLUNTEER ORGANIZATIONS

Pope Francis released his prayer intention for December, asking the faithful to pray that volunteer organizations, and those who work in them, may work as “artisans of mercy.” In the last Pope Video of the year, The Holy Father encourages volunteer organizations and volunteers to continue in their labor promoting human dignity and the common good, working “not just for the people, but with the people, being close to them, and listening to their needs.”

To see his video with English subtitles, click here: Pope’s December prayer intention: For volunteer organizations – Vatican News

PAPAL NOVEMBER PRAYER INTENTION: FOR CHILDREN WHO SUFFER

A little heads up on Pope Francis’ schedule for coming days…

Tomorrow, November 1, All Saints Day and a holy day of obligation in the Church, Francis will recite the Angelus at noon and, at 5:30 pm at St. John Lateran basilica, he will ordain permanent deacons. November 1 is a big holiday in Italy and the Vatican and many Italians took today off of work, creating a “ponte” or bridge between the weekend and the Tuesday holiday. Rome has seen huge crowds for weeks now and they are even bigger with the “ponte,” but the continuing beautiful weather has surely helped the travel scenario!

November 2, All Souls Day, the Holy Father will say Mass at 11 in St. Peter’s for the cardinals and bishops who died in the last year. At 12:30 he is scheduled to visit the Teutonic cemetery in the Vatican. It’s been a tradition of his to visit a cemetery on All Souls Day.

November 3 to 6 the Pope will visit Bahrain.

PAPAL NOVEMBER PRAYER INTENTION: FOR CHILDREN WHO SUFFER

Pope Francis released his prayer intention for November, inviting everyone to pray for the millions of children who are suffering around the world, especially for those who are homeless, orphans, and victims of war.

By Vatican News staff writer

“An abandoned child is our fault,” says Pope Francis in the video prepared by the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network announcing his prayer intention for November.

In the video, Pope Francis calls on Catholics to pray for children who are suffering due to rejection, destitution, poverty, and conflict around the world.

“There are still millions of boys and girls who suffer and live in conditions very similar to slavery,” the Pope said, emphasizing that these children are not “numbers” but “human beings with names and an identity that God has given them.”

Every marginalized child living without schooling, without a family, without health care, the Pope continued, is “a cry,” a cry “that rises up to God and shames the system that we adults have built.”

Every child has the right to access basic needs

The Pope continued by saying every child should have the right to access basic services and be able to feel the warmth and love of a family: “We can no longer allow them to feel alone and abandoned — they are entitled to an education and to feel the love of a family so they know that God does not forget them.”

One billion children living in poverty

According to UNICEF, one billion children currently live in “multidimensional poverty” — that is without basic access to education, health care, shelter, food, sanitation, or water; the agency also estimates that 153 million children are orphans.

Fr. Frédéric Fornos, S.J., International Director of the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network, provided his thoughts on the November prayer intention, saying that this month, Pope Francis “opens our eyes, ears, and hearts to millions of forgotten children who suffer in silence on the streets and in hidden labour, victims of violence and war, migrants and refugees. In the face of indifference and impotence, we must pray.”

It is our responsibility, the Pope concluded in the video, that no child feels left alone or abandoned — “they are entitled to an education and to feel the love of a family so they know that God does not forget them.”

FOR VIDEO: Pope’s November prayer intention: ‘For children who suffer’ – Vatican News

 

PAPAL PRAYER INTENTION FOR AUGUST: FOR SMALL BUSINESSES – AGENDA FOR PAPAL TRIP TO KAZAKHSTAN IN SEPTEMBER

PAPAL PRAYER INTENTION FOR AUGUST: FOR SMALL BUSINESSES

Pope Francis releases his prayer intention for the month of August, urging special prayers for small businesses.

By Deborah Castellano Lubov (vaticannews)

As August kicks off, Pope Francis is calling on Catholics to pray for small and medium-sized businesses, so that “in the midst of economic and social crisis, they find ways to continue operating, and serving their communities.”

The Pope released his monthly prayer intention on Tuesday in a video prepared by the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network. (NB: video ahs English subtitles)

In the message, he recognizes the “courage, effort and sacrifice” of small and medium-sized entrepreneurs, and acknowledges that they are among the most affected by “the grave socio-economic crisis,” brought to new heights by wars and the devastating Covid-19 pandemic.

According to statistics for 2021 from the World Bank, one in four companies lost half of their volume of sales because of the global pandemic. Further exacerbating their reality is that they do not receive adequate public assistance.

Constant sacrifices and hard work to help others

In his video message, the Pope praised those who through their workshops or shops “invest in life,” by “generating well-being, opportunities and work.”

The Holy Father acknowledged their hard work and constant sacrifices made, in order to invest in the common good.

“Stores, workshops, cleaning businesses, transportation businesses, and so many others. The ones that don’t appear on the world’s richest and most powerful lists, and despite the difficulties, they create jobs, fulfilling their social responsibility.”

The Holy Father concluded his video message remembering the value of small businesses.

“Let us pray for small and medium-sized businesses, hard hit by the economic and social crisis, so they may find ways to continue operating, and serving their communities.”

The ‘great importance’ of small businesses

Father Federic Fornos, S.J., the International Director of the Pope’s Worldwide Network, reflected on the intention.

“The crises that we are going through, are—as the Pope says—a ‘Noah moment,’” he said, are “an opportunity to build something different. In this sense, small and medium-sized businesses are of great importance, with their creative force and their capacity to contribute solutions from the bottom up.”

“Without them, it would not have been possible to make it through the COVID crisis, and they continue to be necessary now. This is why it is important to pray for them.”

Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network and Pope Video

The Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network is a Vatican foundation, with the mission of mobilizing Catholics through prayer and action in response to the challenges facing humanity and the mission of the Church. Founded in 1844 as the Apostleship of Prayer, the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network currently is present in 89 countries and is made up of more than 22 million Catholics. The Pope Video is an official global initiative with the purpose of disseminating the Holy Father’s monthly prayer intentions.

AGENDA FOR PAPAL TRIP TO KAZAKHSTAN IN SEPTEMBER

Kazakhstan’s capital of Nur-Sultan is a 6 ½ hour flight from Rome. The return flight is 7 ½ hours. The country is 4 hours ahead of Italy.

FYI: The Palace of Peace and Reconciliation will be the focal point of the Pope’s attendance at the conference. It has been a top tourist and visitors’ site since 2006, offers unique cultural and religious exhibits and spaces for meetings and cultural encounters. One of the more unusual facts is its diagonal moving elevator inside, one of only several in the world. It is also called the Pyramid of Peace and Reconciliation.

TUESDAY, 13 September 2022 Rome – Nur-Sultan

07:15 Departure by airplane from Rome/Fiumicino international airport to Nur-Sultan

17:45 Arrival at Nur-Sultan international airport

17:45 – 18:30   Official welcome ceremony at the presidential palace in Nur Sultan

18:45 Courtesy visit to the president of the republic

19:30 Meeting with the authorities, civil society and the diplomatic corps at the Qazaq concert hall. Address of the Holy Father

WEDNESDAY, 14 September 2022 Nur-Sultan

10:00   Silent prayer of religious leaders. Opening and plenary session of the “VII Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions” at the Palace of Peace and Reconciliation. Address of the Holy Father

12:00   Private meetings with various religious leaders at the Palace of Peace and Reconciliation

16:45 Holy Mass in the Expo Grounds. Homily of the Holy Father

THURSDAY, 15 September 2022   Nur-Sultan – Rome

09:00 Private meeting with members of the Society of Jesus at the Apostolic Nunciature

10:30 Meeting with bishops, priests, deacons, consecrated persons, seminarians and pastoral workers in Our Lady of Perpetual Help Cathedral. Address of the Holy Father

15:00 Reading of the Final Declaration and Conclusion of the Congress at the Palace of Peace and Reconciliation. Address of the Holy Father.

16:15 Farewell ceremony at Nur-Sultan international airport

16:45 Departure by airplane from Nur-Sultan international airport to Rome

20:15 Arrival at Rome/Fiumicino international airport

VATICAN INSIDER FROM POLAND: ST JOHN PAUL, NATURAL LAW AND HUMAN RIGHTS – JUNE PAPAL PRAYER INTENTION: PRAY FOR FAMILIES

VATICAN INSIDER FROM POLAND: ST JOHN PAUL, NATURAL LAW AND HUMAN RIGHTS

As you know from earlier posts, I was recently in Warsaw, and spent several amazing days attending and speaking at a conference co-sponsored by Ave Maria Law School and Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University of Warsaw.

The conference focus was Pope St. John Paul’s Natural Law Legacy and International Human Rights. My guests this weekend, as they were last weekend, are John Czarnetzky, CEO and dean of the Ave Maria Law School, and Ron Rychlak, vice chair of the Board of Governors of this pre-eminent Catholic law school.

We spoke of many of the topics raised in the Warsaw conference, such as the need for a positive change in the human rights climate towards freedom of speech, of practice, of religion. Other talks centered on how national constitutions have changed over the years, going in some cases from protecting rights to watering them down. Many talks focused on human dignity.

As I wrote last Friday, I envisioned a huge, vibrant tapestry as I listened to the talks in Warsaw – the depth of each one, the brilliance, the thoroughness with which each topic was treated and the challenging nature of each presentation! The common thread, of course, was always St. John Paul and his teaching on natural law, human rights, the right to life, human dignity, etc.

I think you will be riveted by the conversation so tune in after the news segment – no time this week for a Q&A.

IN THE UNITED STATES, you can listen to Vatican Insider (VI) on a Catholic radio station near you (stations listed at www.ewtn.com) or on channel 130 Sirius-XM satellite radio, or on http://www.ewtn.com. OUTSIDE THE U.S., you can listen to EWTN radio on our website home page by clicking on the right side where you see “LISTEN TO EWTN.” VI airs at 5am and 9pm ET on Saturdays and 6am ET on Sundays. On the GB-IE feed (which is on SKY in the UK and Ireland), VI airs at 5:30am, 12 noon and 10pm CET on Sundays. Both of these feeds are also available on the EWTN app and on www.ewtnradio.net ALWAYS CHECK YOUR OWN TIME ZONE! For VI archives: go to https://www.ewtn.com/radio/audio-archive and write the name of the guest for whom you are searching in the SEARCH box. Below that, will appear “Vatican Insider” – click on that and the link to that particular episode will appear.

JUNE PAPAL PRAYER INTENTION: PRAY FOR FAMILIES

Pope Francis released his prayer intention for June 2022 via video, in which he urged Catholics to pray for all families during the month in which Rome hosts the 10th World Meeting of Families.

Devin Watkins (vaticannews)

“There is no such thing as a perfect family. There are always ‘buts’.’’

Pope Francis made that affirmation in The Pope Video released on Thursday to promote his prayer intention for June.

Yet, he added, “that doesn’t matter. We shouldn’t be afraid of mistakes; we have to learn from them so we can move forward.”

As the Church prepares to gather in Rome on 22-26 June for the 10th World Meeting of Families, Pope Francis upheld the family and urged all Catholics to pray for them.

For the video and more: Pope’s June prayer intention: ‘For families’ – Vatican News

 

PAPAL PRAYER INTENTION FOR APRIL: HEALTH CARE WORKERS

PAPAL PRAYER INTENTION FOR APRIL: HEALTH CARE WORKERS

Pope Francis’ prayer intention for April 22: “That we pray for health care workers who serve the sick and the elderly, especially in the poorest countries; may they be adequately supported by governments and local communities.”

In the video, the Pope also mentions that “The pandemic has shown us the self-giving and generosity of health care workers, volunteers, support staff, priests, and religious men and women.” He says the pandemic “exposed the fact that not everyone has access to a good public healthcare system,”

Francis goes on to say, “the poorest countries, the most vulnerable countries, cannot access the necessary treatments to treat the countless diseases they continue to suffer. Often this is due to poor resource management. Therefore, I want to ask the governments of all the countries of the world not to forget that good healthcare, accessible to all, is a priority. But let us also remember that healthcare is not just an organization, it depends on men and women who dedicate their life to taking care of other people’s health, and who have given their lives during this pandemic to help so many people recover and the elderly, especially in the poorest countries; May they be adequately supported by governments and local communities.”

Click here for video with English subtitles; Pope’s April Prayer Intention: For health care workers – Vatican News

 

 

POPE’S JANUARY PRAYER INTENTION: FOR THOSE WHO SUFFER RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION – “BE MERCIFUL, EVEN AS YOUR FATHER IS MERCIFUL”

POPE’S JANUARY PRAYER INTENTION: FOR THOSE WHO SUFFER RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION

Pope Francis dedicates his first prayer message of 2022 to combatting religious discrimination and persecution, reminding us that religious freedom is not limited to freedom of worship, but is tied to fraternity. Click here for text and video: Pope’s January prayer intention: For those who suffer religious persecution – Vatican News

“BE MERCIFUL, EVEN AS YOUR FATHER IS MERCIFUL”

Pope Francis’ Message for the 30th World Day of the Sick, celebrated annually on February 11, feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, was released today by the Vatican. It is entitled, “Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful: (Lk 6:36). Standing beside those who suffer on a path of charity.”

Francis starts by noting that, “Thirty years ago, Saint John Paul II instituted the World Day of the Sick to encourage the people of God, Catholic health institutions and civil society to be increasingly attentive to the sick and to those who care for them.

He wrote, “May the Thirtieth World Day of the Sick – whose closing celebration, due to the pandemic, will not take place as planned in Arequipa, Peru, but in Saint Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican – help us grow in closeness and service to the sick and to their families.” (photo is from Vatican media taken during July 2021 hospital stay of Pope Francis)

The Holy Father underscores that, “the theme chosen for this Thirtieth World Day of the Sick, ‘Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful’ (Lk 6:36), makes us first turn our gaze towards God, who is “rich in mercy” (Eph 2:4); he always watches over his children with a father’s love, even when they turn away from him. Mercy is God’s name par excellence; mercy, understood not as an occasional sentimental feeling but as an ever-present and active force, expresses God’s very nature. It combines strength and tenderness. … God cares for us with the strength of a father and the tenderness of a mother; he unceasingly desires to give us new life in the Holy Spirit.”

Pope Francis comments, “How often do the Gospels relate Jesus’ encounters with people suffering from various diseases! … We do well to ask ourselves why Jesus showed such great concern for the sick, so much so that he made it paramount in the mission of the apostles, who were sent by the Master to proclaim the Gospel and to heal the sick.”

He answers: “One 20th-century philosopher suggests a reason for this: ‘Pain isolates in an absolute way, and absolute isolation gives rise to the need to appeal to the other, to call out to the other’…. How can we forget, in this regard, all those patients who, during this time of pandemic spent the last part of their earthly life in solitude, in an intensive care unit, assisted by generous healthcare workers, yet far from their loved ones and the most important people in their lives? This helps us to see how important is the presence at our side of witnesses to God’s charity, who, following the example of Jesus, the very mercy of the Father, pour the balm of consolation and the wine of hope on the wounds of the sick.”

The Holy Father addresses healthcare workers: “Your service alongside the sick, carried out with love and competence, transcends the bounds of your profession and becomes a mission. Your hands, which touch the suffering flesh of Christ, can be a sign of the merciful hands of the Father. Be mindful of the great dignity of your profession, as well as the responsibility that it entails”

Francis emphasizes that, “patients are always more important than their diseases, and for this reason, no therapeutic approach can prescind from listening to the patient, his or her history, anxieties and fears. Even when healing is not possible, care can always be given. It is always possible to console, it is always possible to make people sense a closeness that is more interested in the person than in his or her pathology. For this reason, I would hope that the training provided to health workers might enable them to develop a capacity for listening and relating to others.

He explains that, “the World Day of the Sick is also a good occasion to focus our attention on care centers. Down the centuries, showing mercy to the sick led the Christian community to open innumerable ‘inns of the good Samaritan’ where love and care can be given to people with various kinds of sickness, especially those whose health needs are not being met due to poverty or social exclusion or to the difficulties associated with treating certain pathologies.”

However, writes the Pope, “We still have a long way to go; in some countries, access to adequate care remains a luxury. We see this, for example, in the scarcity of available vaccines against Covid-19 in poor countries; but even more in the lack of treatment for illnesses that require much simpler medicines. In this context, I wish to reaffirm the importance of Catholic healthcare institutions: they are a precious treasure to be protected and preserved; their presence has distinguished the history of the Church, showing her closeness to the sick and the poor, and to situations overlooked by others.”

“At a time in which the culture of waste is widespread and life is not always acknowledged as worthy of being welcomed and lived, these structures, like ‘houses of mercy’, can be exemplary in protecting and caring for all life, even the most fragile, from its beginning until its natural end.”

Pope Francis concludes: “I would like to remind everyone that closeness to the sick and their pastoral care is not only the task of certain specifically designated ministers; visiting the sick is an invitation that Christ addresses to all his disciples. How many sick and elderly people are living at home and waiting for a visit! The ministry of consolation is a task for every baptized person, mindful of the word of Jesus: ‘I was sick and you visited me’.

 

PAPAL NOVEMBER PRAYER INTENTION: PEOPLE WHO SUFFER FROM DEPRESSION

PAPAL NOVEMBER PRAYER INTENTION: PEOPLE WHO SUFFER FROM DEPRESSION

Following is the message sent by Pope Francis in the video released this afternoon with his November 2021 prayer intention:

“Overwork and work-related stress, cause many people to experience extreme exhaustion —mental, emotional, affective, and physical exhaustion.

“Sadness, apathy, and spiritual tiredness end up dominating people’s lives, who are overloaded due to the rhythm of life today.

“Let us try to be close to those who are exhausted, to those who are desperate, without hope. Often, we should just simply listen in silence, because we cannot go and tell someone, “No, life’s not like that. Listen to me, I’ll give you the solution.” There’s no solution.

“And besides, let us not forget that, along with the indispensable psychological counseling, which is useful and effective, Jesus’ words also help. It comes to my mind and heart: “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

“Let us pray that people who suffer from depression or burn-out will find support and a light that opens them up to life.”

Vatican news said the November prayer intention video was prepared with the Association of Catholic Mental Health Ministers. It also noted that around 1 in 10 people worldwide lives with a mental health disorder, amounting to 792 million people or 11 percent of the population. Depression and anxiety account for around 3 and 4 percent, respectively, of those illnesses. They can sometimes lead to suicide when left untreated or are severe and recurrent. Some 700,000 people commit suicide each year, making it the fourth leading cause of death in people aged 15 to 29.

Click here for papal video with English subtitles: Pope’s November prayer intention: For those who suffer from depression – Vatican News

 

POPE’S OCTOBER PRAYER INTENTION: ‘MAY ALL CHRISTIANS BE MISSIONARY DISCIPLES’

I’m working on sorting out all of my photos from the past month and I expect many of you know that is no small task. Add to that the notice from Gmail that my storage is above 90% and needs to be cleaned or I can no longer send or receive emails! I actually spent about two hours trying to clean out mail boxes as well as my immense photo archive, transferring many thousands of pictures to my external hard drive. All in a day’s work!

More cleaning tomorrow but for now, some papal news…..

POPE’S OCTOBER PRAYER INTENTION: ‘MAY ALL CHRISTIANS BE MISSIONARY DISCIPLES’

Pope Francis released his prayer intention for the month of October, calling on everyone to pray that all Christians might be missionary disciples and open to the demands of the Church’s evangelizing mission.

By Devin Watkins (vaticannews)

“Jesus asks us all, and you as well, to be missionary disciples. Are you ready?”

Pope Francis opened The Pope Video—containing his prayer intention for the month of October—with that invitation to all Christians.

The Pope said we are all invited to be open to Jesus’ call and to live united to Him in the mundane events of our daily lives.

“Work, meeting other people, our daily duties, and the chance events of each day”: These are the opportunities we have to allow ourselves to be “guided by the Holy Spirit,” said the Pope.

He said other people easily take notice when our every action is motivated by Christ.

“And your testimony of life will inspire admiration, and admiration inspires others to ask themselves, ‘How is it possible for this person to be this way?’ ‘What is the source of the love with which this person treats everyone —the kindness and good humor?’”

Availability for the mission
Pope Francis also recalled that the mission is evangelization and not proselytism.

“The mission is based on an encounter between people, on the testimony of men and women who say, ‘I know Jesus, and I’d like you to know Him too’,” he said.

The Pope then urged all baptized Christians to be open to the demands of the Gospel.

“Let us pray that every baptized person may be engaged in evangelization, available to the mission, by being witnesses of a life that has the flavour of the Gospel,” he said.

Synodal and missionary Church
A press release accompanying The Pope Video, which is prepared by the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network, noted that the October intention comes during the same month in which the synodal process begins and World Mission Day is celebrated.

The Synod process kicks off on 10 October, and will launch a call for all Catholics to walk together as the “pilgrim and missionary people of God.”

According to the Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops, Cardinal Mario Grech, a “synodal Church cannot be other than a missionary Church, because the mission necessarily starts with the dynamism of mutual listening.”

Discernment of the Spirit
Another aspect of Pope Francis’ prayer intention for October is the invitation to “discern and recognize how the Spirit of the Lord is calling us to face the challenges facing humanity and the mission of the Church.”

Fr. Frederic Fornos, SJ, International Director of the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network, said the Pope is inviting all Christians to participate in that discernment process by rooting our actions in prayer.

Click here for video of Pope Francis’ message (with subtitles in English): Pope’s October prayer intention: ‘May all Christians be missionary disciples’ – Vatican News

 

PAPAL PRAYER INTENTION FOR SEPTEMBER: RESPECT FOR THE PLANET’S RESOURCES

PAPAL PRAYER INTENTION FOR SEPTEMBER: RESPECT FOR THE PLANET’S RESOURCES

The Vatican has released Pope Francis’ video message accompanying his prayer intention for September, which is Respect for the Planet’s Resources, that we “Take care of Creation responsibly.”

By Vatican News

In his prayer intention for September 2020, Pope Francis asks everyone to pray that we learn to respect the planet’s resources

It has become the custom of Pope Francis to release a video message detailing his prayer intention for each month.

 Following is the full text:

We are squeezing out the planet’s goods. Squeezing them out, as if the earth were an orange. Countries and businesses from the global north have enriched themselves by exploiting the natural resources of the south, creating an “ecological debt.” Who is going to pay this debt?

 In addition, this “ecological debt” is increased when multinationals do abroad what they would never be allowed to do in their own countries. It’s outrageous. Today, not tomorrow; today, we have to take care of Creation responsibly.

Let us pray that the planet’s resources will not be plundered, but shared in a just and respectful manner. No to plundering; yes to sharing.

Each year, the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation is observed on September 1. The international celebration marks the beginning of the Season of Creation, which extends to October 4, the feast of St Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of ecology.

The Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network of the Apostleship of Prayer developed “The Pope Video” initiative to assist in the worldwide dissemination of monthly intentions of the Holy Father in relation to the challenges facing humanity.

Click here for video: https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2020-08/pope-francis-video-prayer-intention-september-respect-planet.html

At the August 30 Sunday Angelus, Pope Francis spoke of this:

“Dear brothers and sisters, the day after tomorrow, September 1st, is World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation. From this date, until October 4, we will celebrate with our Christian brothers and sisters from various Churches and traditions the ‘Jubilee of the Earth’, to commemorate the establishment, 50 years ago, of Earth Day. I send my greeting to the various initiatives promoted in every part of the world and, among them, the Concert held today in the Cathedral of Port-Louis, capital of Mauritius, where unfortunately an environmental catastrophe has occurred recently.”

AUGUST PAPAL PRAYER INTENTION ONCE AGAIN FOR SEAFARERS – A LAYMAN, MAXIMINO CABALLERO LEDO, IS THE NEW SECRETARY OF SPE

Fascinating news today about the Vatican’s Secretariat for the Economy with the appointment of a layman as secretary general (see story below).

AUGUST PAPAL PRAYER INTENTION ONCE AGAIN FOR SEAFARERS

The Vatican Tuesday released the monthly video message from Pope Francis with his prayer intention for August 2020 in which he invites people to pray for those “who work and live from the sea, among them sailors, fishermen and their families.”

The Vatican noted that, “This is the third time in less than two months that the Holy Father has addressed the issue of maritime workers. On June 12, he sent a video message to the Catholic Church’s Apostleship of the Sea (AOS), in which he thanked the maritime workers and fishermen for their important contribution to feeding the people of the world.  Remembering the hardship they face, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic, the Pope encouraged seafarers in their work, assuring they are not alone or forgotten.

Pope Francis says: “The life of sailors or fishermen and their families is very difficult. Sometimes they are victims of forced labor or are left behind in distant ports. The competition of industrial fishing and the problem of pollution make their work even more complicated.  However, without the people of the sea, many parts of the world would starve. Let us pray for all those who work and live from the sea, among them sailors, fishermen and their families.”

FOR VIDEO CLICK HERE: https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2020-08/pope-francis-prayer-intention-august-2020-video-message.html

A LAYMAN, MAXIMINO CABALLERO LEDO, IS THE NEW SECRETARY OF SPE

A Spaniard, married and the father of two children, childhood friend of Prefect Fr. Juan Antonio Guerrero, expert in finance, will take up work in the Vatican leaving behind a highly responsible position at Baxter Healthcare, Inc.

By Vatican News

“Of all the various career opportunities I could have imagined, this is one that would never have crossed my mind…” These are the words with which Maximino Caballero welcomed Pope Francis’ appointment, announced today, that designates him as the new secretary general of the Secretariat for the Economy (SPE), the dicastery headed by Prefect Fr. Juan Antonio Guerrero.

Spanish by birth and American by adoption, Caballero was born in Mérida (Badajoz), Spain, in 1959. Married for 31 years and the father of two children, he developed his professional career in the field of finance. After graduating in economics from the Autónoma University of Madrid, he earned an MBA from the IESE Business School in Barcelona. He worked for 20 years from Barcelona and Valencia as a leader of finance in various European countries, the Middle East and Africa. In 2007 he moved to the United States along with his family where he has since resided.

While in the United States, Caballero held various finance positions at Baxter Healthcare, Inc., an international, publicly owned, medical products and services company, based in Deerfield, Illinois, with a portfolio of critical care, nutrition, renal, hospital and surgical products. His positions include Vice President of Finance for Latin America, Vice President of Finance International, and Vice President of Finance of the Americas, in addition to directing projects on a global level within the same company.

“The United States and Baxter have been my home for many years,” explains the new Secretary for the SPE. “Here I have had the opportunity both of growing professionally and of interacting with persons and projects coming from practically all over the world. My work has allowed me to know diverse cultures and helped me to understand the importance and the power of diversity. On a personal level, I admire the degree of involvement of Catholics in this country with the Church and their generosity in supporting their local parishes and their social works.”

Maximino Caballero and Father Juan Antonio Guerrero, current prefect of the SPE, come from the same city and are childhood friends. “Father Guerrero and I grew up together,” Caballero confides- “Our families have maintained our friendship throughout all my life, and we were very close until the end of university. From that time on, life brought each one of us on different paths, but without ever losing contact.”

“When Father Guerrero called me and proposed this project to me, explains the new secretary for the SPE, “a long list of reasons why I could not accept passed through my head: my family is established in the United States; I would have to temporarily leave my children, Sandra and Maxi, who are working there; my work; my home… However, my wife Immaculada and I knew from the first moment that God’s call comes in many different ways, and this was ours. Therefore, there was only one response: ‘fiat’”

After handing in his resignation from his current position, the new secretary general of the SPE and his wife will move to Rome within the next few days. Caballero will be active in his new position as of the second half of August.

“The thought is quite widespread that only priests and nuns matter in the Church and that the rest of us are only spectators. However, the lay faithful have a very important task to carry out within the Church. We are all members of the same body and we all have our mission. To collaborate with the Holy See,” Caballero concludes, “at the service of the Holy Father is an honour and a great responsibility for me. My experience and my work are my ‘talents’, and I hope that with them I can do my part to collaborate in the economic transparency of the Holy See.”

“I will face this new phase in our lives with humility and with gratitude to Father Guerrero for having proposed me as a candidate, and to the Holy Father for having placed his trust in me.”