David Stewart SJ

This month Pope Francis has declared an additional, urgent intention.The Holy Father asks all the faithful for a greater effort in our personal and community prayer. He invites us to pray every day the Holy Rosary with the intention that the Virgin Mary help the Church in these times of crisis, and to pray each day to St. Michael the Archangel that he defend us against the attacks of the Devil.During these last years and months, we in the Church have lived through difficult situations, brought...
I never miss a day of school banner. Loyola Secondary School South Sudan
In September, we join the Holy Father in prayer for his Universal Intention, that young people in Africa may have access to education and work in their own countries. His personal Prayer Network shares this Intention with all the People of God, the Church, inviting us all to unite our prayer with what is in the Pope’s heart as he reviews the challenges that face humanity and the mission of the Church.This month, Pope Francis combines at least three of his urgent concerns and commends them to us...
Credit Brandon Wong via Unsplash
Every priest, at some point, will recognise this statement, usually uttered in all innocence: “Ah, but Sunday’s your busy day, isn’t it, Father?” Rarely would this be said with any malice although maybe with a little touch of gentle teasing. Priests work hard and wouldn’t complain  They feel sure that it’s part of their vocation, but some do work too hard and risk burning themselves out, even permanently damaging their health. The Pope is well aware of this and has selected, as his...
Fist bumps over open lap tops
Pope Francis is renowned for breaking new ground. He encourages all of us to “go to the frontiers”. He goes there too - in his preaching and teaching, in his travelling, but also in the topics that he raises. He wants the light of the Gospel to shine on so many varied areas of human experience. He reminds us that it must. This month’s Universal Intention is a great example: he invites the whole people of God to pray with him that “social networks may work towards that inclusiveness which...
Love thy neighbour Credit Nina Strehl via Unsplash
As we move into Mary’s month, and the beginning of the northern-hemisphere summer, our Holy Father points to the mission that we all share as baptised followers of the Risen Christ – the Mission of the Laity. Pope Francis asks us to pray with him this month that the lay faithful fulfil their specific mission by responding with creativity to the challenges that face the world today. In Mary’s month, we could surely ask her prayers in support of ours, as we pray with the Pope for this intention....
Boy running into cityscape Credit Linh Nguyen
Easter Sunday begins the month of April this year. The Pope has invited us to witness to the Resurrection in several ways, including his Intention for this month – “that economists may have the courage to reject any economy of exclusion and know how to open new paths.” We, his personal Prayer Network, are given a mission directly from the Holy Father to make his intention widely known, offering our day each morning to become more apostolically available, uniting our prayer with his. We are...
Two sheep in mountains Credit Jack Cairney
In March we continue with our Lenten observance and move into the most solemn week of the year, Holy Week.  We are taken to Palm Sunday, when we first hear proclaimed the Passion of the Lord just moments after His triumphal entrance into Jerusalem. Then we begin the solemn Paschal Triduum on Maundy Thursday. Each of us hears an invitation to ponder these awesome events. We conclude these holy days on the evening of the last day of the month at the Easter Vigil when the new light of the...
Tower blocks credit Jakub Gorajek
Pope Francis’ prayer intention for February, entrusted to the people of God through his personal network of prayer, is expressed bluntly: “Say “No” to Corruption. That those who have material, political or spiritual power may resist any lure of corruption”.This is not the first time that Francis has been blunt about this matter; he has not been afraid to be outspoken on this “smog of corruption”, as he put it in a daily Mass homily last November. It is of sufficient concern for him to present...
Woman praying Credit Guilherme Romano
Pope Francis constantly invites us to think about specific concerns and challenges that face all of humanity and the Christian’s mission in the world. We are not only to think about these issues but to take them into our prayer then, from there, to try to be more open to whatever action we might be drawn towards, in the power of the Good Spirit. His Prayer Network, which anyone can join, is the principle means by which the Holy Father shares these prayer-requests with the rest of us, indeed...
Fr David Stewart SJ
Pope Francis said, in a powerful and outspoken intervention reported on Friday, that "The presence of God today is also called 'Rohingya'." This of course was the word that he had carefully avoided using while he was in Myanmar. This came in Bangladesh, to where he had next travelled. The report had it that he next said: "Maybe we can't do much for you, but your tragedy has a place in our hearts. For those who have hurt you, and above all the indifference of the world, I ask your forgiveness."...

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