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


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.”



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.”



POPE FRANCIS MET WITH NATIONAL DIRECTORS, CHAPLAINS AND VOLUNTEERS FROM THE STELLA MARIS APOSTOLATE, urging them to be missionaries of compassion and to confront issues that are the fruit of human greed. The Stella Maris apostolate – the name means Star of the Sea – is active in over 300 ports worldwide, offering spiritual and material assistance to sailors, fishermen and their often-distant families. The Pope said, “without sailors, the global economy would come to a standstill; and without fishermen, many parts of the world would starve.” He asked those present to convey his esteem and encouragement to all the sailors and fishermen they come across in their work. He also noted that, “the life of a sailor or fisherman is not only marked by isolation and distance. At times it is also painfully affected by shameful experiences of abuse and injustice, by the snares of those engaged in human trafficking.”

THE VATICAN ANNOUNCED THAT ON MONDAY JULY 1, 2019, at 10 am in the Clementine Hall of the Apostolic Palace, the Holy Father Francis will preside over the celebration of the Third Hour and the Ordinary Public Consistory for the Canonization of 5 Blesseds, including John Henry Newman, Cardinal of the Holy Roman Church, Founder of the Oratory of Saint Philip Neri in England. Others to be canonized at a date to be announced Monday include: Italian Sister Giuseppina Vannini (born Giuditta Adelaide Agata), founder of the Daughters of Saint Camillus; Indian Sister Mariam Thresia Chiramel Mankidiyan, founder of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Family; Brazilian Sister Dulce Lopes Pontes (born Maria Rita) of the Congregation of the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Conception of the Mother of God and Marguerite Bays of Switzerland, virgin of the Third Order of Saint Francis of Assisi.

POPE FRANCIS ADDRESSED 500 PARTICIPANTS IN THE 41ST GENERAL CONFERENCE OF THE ROME-BASED UNITED NATIONS FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION (FAO), urging the cooperation of all in order to tackle the “scourges of hunger and food insecurity” in the world. One way to fight hunger and food insecurity, the Holy Father suggested, is to reduce the wastage of food and water. Addressing the group in his native Spanish, the Argentine Pope called for tackling the underlying causes of the lack of food and access to drinkable water. He blamed the tragedy on “a failure of compassion, the lack of interest on the part of many and a scant social and political will to honor international obligations.” The lack of food and water, he pointed out, is not an internal and exclusive affair of the poorest and most vulnerable countries, but one that concerns each of us. He said that responsibility lies on all for increasing or alleviating the suffering of many of our brothers and sisters whose desperate cries we are called to hear. (source: