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Pope to Papal Foundation: ‘Don’t neglect prayer in your work’

Pope Francis meets with a delegation of The Papal Foundation on the occasion of the US-based organization’s annual pilgrimage to Rome, and highlights the importance of the spiritual dimension of their generous contribution to the Holy See’s charitable work.

By Lisa Zengarini

For 36 years, the US-based Papal Foundation, which was founded in 1988 in response to a wish expressed by St. John Paul II, has provided funding for Catholic charitable projects worldwide specifically identified and requested by the Pope.

Bringing the love of Jesus to the less fortunate

Welcoming to the Vatican some 140 members of the Foundation on the occasion of their annual pilgrimage to Rome, Pope Francis once again warmly thanked them for their generous work “bringing the closeness, compassion, and tender love of Jesus” to the less fortunate throughout the world.

“Your support of various educational, charitable, and apostolic projects,” he said, “enhances the integral development of so many, including the poor, refugees, immigrants, and nowadays the increasingly large numbers of those affected by war and violence.”

The Pope also recalled the scholarships provided by the Foundation to lay people, consecrated religious, seminarians, and priests from developing nations enabling them to pursue their studies at Pontifical Universities in Rome.

“Through these various worthy initiatives,” he noted, “you continue to help the Successors of Peter to build up many local churches and care for large numbers of the less fortunate, thus fulfilling the mandates entrusted to the Apostle by our Lord.”

Cultivate your faith

Recalling that their work finds its source and inspiration in their Catholic faith, Pope Francis encouraged the members of The Papal Foundation to nourish the faith by actively participating in the life of the Church, in the Sacraments, and cultivating prayer and adoration.

“Don’t forget worship. We have neglected the prayer of adoration, we must take it up again: adore, in silence”

This spiritual dimension, the Pope emphasized, is important for their efforts, as it fosters a fraternal bond with people from many different cultures, languages, and regions who receive assistance. 

Pope Francis concluded by remarking that their generous service “is all the more necessary in our time, marked by individualism and indifference.”

More than 2,400 projects sponsored in 36 years

According to its website since its inception in 1988, The Papal Foundation has allocated more than US$225 million in grants and scholarships worldwide to more than 2,400 projects selected by Pope Francis, Pope Benedict XVI, and Pope St. John Paul II.

In 2024 the Foundation plans to distribute 9,921,000 USD to recipients selected by the Holy See.

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