By Brian Harper
When the pope kneels to pray, who does he ask God to
For more than 170 years, the Apostleship of Prayer has
answered that question, inviting people of faith across the globe to pray along
with the bishop of Rome. Recently renamed The Pope’s Worldwide
Prayer Network – Apostleship of Prayer, this global ministry
has been a trailblazer in using the latest technology to carry out its mission.
In January 2016, the Vatican began producing videos featuring
Pope Francis’ monthly prayer intentions. “The Pope Video” beautifully depicts each month’s
intention — such as interreligious dialogue, care for creation, journalists,
and an end to child soldiers — with the pope narrating and calling on all
people of good will to join him in prayer.
Since 2003, Fr. James Kubicki, SJ, has served as U.S. director of the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network – Apostleship of Prayer. Soon, a new U.S. director will be named to succeed Fr. Kubicki, who will become the next president of St. Francis Mission on the Rosebud Reservation in western South Dakota this summer.
The following is an edited conversation with Fr.
you give an overview of the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network – Apostleship of
Back in 1844 in a seminary in France, Jesuit
scholastics would read letters from Jesuit missionaries in India to be inspired
in their studies. The scholastics began thinking, "What am I doing here in this seminary,
studying philosophy, wasting my time, when I could be out there helping in the
work of the Church?" Their spiritual director challenged them. He said, “Don’t wait to be an apostle. Be an apostle of prayer. Make
an offering of your whole day with the prayers you’re going to pray, the Mass you
participate in, your homework, your papers, the frustrations you have living
with 60 other guys in a community.”
By the 1860s, one of those Jesuit students wrote a
book called "The Apostleship of Prayer in
League with the Sacred Heart of Jesus," combining this spirituality of daily
offering with devotion to the heart of Jesus. By the 1880s, the pope saw a great resource for
himself in the Apostleship of Prayer and began approving monthly prayer
intentions that would go throughout the world so millions of people could pray
together for one particular intention every month.
does membership in the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network involve?
The commitment is simply to pray the daily offering
and try to live it. There are various ways of making a daily offering. There
are traditional prayers people like to use, that they grew up with, or new
prayers. There’s no required formula that has to be followed.
And there’s no membership fee. Our hope is that as
people begin praying for the pope’s intentions, they will want to be more
involved in our work and help other people learn about it.
|The March 2017 "Pope Video" calls on people to pray for persecuted Christians.|
Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network is also behind the Click to Pray app. How does
the app work?
At the beginning of the day, a message will
come with a prayer inviting you to offer your day to God and keep in mind the
pope’s prayer intention for the month. In the mid-day period, another message
comes, usually with an inspirational quote to remind you about the offering you
have made. Then, at the end of the day, there’s a review question to help you
make an Examen. It’s
available for free in both iPhone and Android platforms.
can someone become a member of the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network?
The easiest way is to go online and enroll via our
We also get enrollments from our leaflets, which have all the pope’s intentions
for the year and a little enrollment form people can send in. Or they can just
call us at 414-486-1152.
[Source: Midwest Jesuits]
|Fr. James Kubicki, SJ, in Rome|