Pope's global prayer network

Catholic & Serbian Orthodox churches Credit Wikimedia Commons
January, and a new year, usually feels like a chance of a fresh start in more ways than just the numbers on the calendar. A great many of us have experienced the year just ended as pretty awful, quite exceptional in so much tragedy and suffering, such intolerance and hatred. The world is full of anger.It is on this world that the trinity gazes, this world and no other. If we feel a desire welling up from deep within our hearts for something better in 2017, so does the heart of God, in that...
One human family and refugees welcome banners
As the days really shorten and darken in the nations of Britain and of the northern hemisphere, the monthly Universal Intention of the Holy Father, commended to the church though his Prayer Network, keeps us mindful of the awful suffering of refugees, many of whom have come to these nations to escape persecution and violence. We are invited, through prayer and reflection, to grow in compassion for all displaced people, most of whom experience great need and pain. We have a powerful reminder of...
It is October and the Holy Father invites us all to consider a fresh pair of intentions throughout the month. Like his predecessors did, Francis entrusts these intentions to the Apostleship of Prayer, his own worldwide prayer-network, for us to spread to the whole people of God.This month, the first intention concerns an area we maybe don’t pray about often – journalism, and journalists.The month’s missionary concern reminds us of World Mission Sunday and our missionary roles....
In this month of September, we get ready to say goodbye to summer for another year. Some of us have to get used to going back to work after a summer break or,to get ready to go back to school or to begin a new course of studies, perhaps in a new place. We need to keep in mind that summer holidays and the possibility of studying are among the opportunities unavailable to many people for whom life is a struggle that has to continue no matter what month or season it is.A disadvantaged family might...
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This month, Pope Francis has asked us to join him in a prayer for, and about, sports – that sports may be an opportunity for friendly encounters between peoples and may contribute to peace in the world. Do we ever think about sports as a topic for our prayer? Maybe, only when our favourite team is about to participate in a big match or prestigious tournament! Maybe the only time we ever might link our prayer and whatever sport we follow, or play, is at that moment, and it’s...
Quechua Woman, Peru
Most of us would never dream of leaving the house without checking (sometimes, for some of us, five or six times!) if we’ve got certain items with us. Keys – check. Rosaries in the pocket, and maybe a small prayer-card or prayer-book – check. Transport card or money for fares – check. Wallet and credit-cards – check. Outer jacket or rainwear, especially in a British summer – check. Wristwatch – check.  And something that almost everyone has to have...
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If we feel drawn, this June, to praying with Pope Francis for the concerns that lie in his heart, we can definitely make our prayer richer and more consoling if we unite them to Christ’s heart, too.This month has traditionally been devoted to the heart of Christ, the Sacred Heart, and it’s at the beginning of the month, when the church – you and I – mark the feast-day properly known as the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart. Pope Benedict XVI urged Catholics "to renew,...
praying with the rosary
In this month of May we’re asked to pray with Pope Francis for respect for women: that in every country of the world, women may be honoured and respected, and that their essential contribution to society may be highly esteemed. The pope’s Evangelisation Intention concerns the Holy Rosary: that families, communities and groups may pray the Holy Rosary for evangelisation and peace.It’s well known that, not long ago in our own history, women had to struggle for the most basic of...
A farmer on his farm, ploughing
Here in the northern hemisphere, spring arrives around now yet many of us feel anything but spring-like, despite the fact that the Lord is risen indeed and that plant-life in our gardens, city squares and window-sills is burgeoning, even blooming. There just seems too much to sadden, even terrify us, too many reasons to repudiate hope. It feels that our days are darker, not brighter. But the new life is springing; “now the green blade riseth”, as we can sing. We can learn much from...
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In March, we want to pray with Pope Francis for families – “that families in need may receive the necessary support and that children may grow up in healthy and peaceful environments". It’s a prayer we want to make at this time of Lent and in this Year of Mercy. As Pope Francis said, last year, "All families need God: all, all! They need his help, his strength, his blessing, his mercy, his forgiveness". This month’s universal intention of the Holy Father brings that need to our attention,...

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