Pope Francis received members of the “Papal Foundation” who were in Rome for their annual pilgrimage to present Pope Francis $8.6 million for support of the Holy Father’s charitable work during the coming year.
The organization, whose headquarters are in Pennsylvania, was established by the late Cardinal John Krol as a means to provide the Holy See with a source of income to finance the Church’s needs in the world.
“The annual pilgrimage to Rome is always a deeply spiritual experience,” reflected William Canny, the Foundation’s Chief Operating Officer, “but this year we were especially blessed to have a private audience with Pope Francis as he sets the course for his papacy. These are exciting, hope-filled days for the Church, and for a world in need.”
The Holy Father thanked the members of the Papal Foundation their support of the apostolates and charities of the Successor of Saint Peter.
“In these years, you have contributed significantly to the growth of local Churches in developing countries by supporting, among other things, the continuing formation of their clergy and religious, the provision of shelter, medical assistance and care to the poor and needy, and the creation of much-needed educational and employment opportunities,” Pope Francis said.
The Holy Father also noted that today is the 50th anniversary of John XXIII’s encyclical “Pacem in Terris“ and he asked that this opportunity “serve as an incentive for your commitment to promoting reconciliation and peace at every level.”
Over 100 participants attended the 2013 pilgrimage which included Stewards of Saint Peter and their families, priests and Foundation staff, as well as Cardinal Donald Wuerl,Archbishop of Washing, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, Archbishop Emeritus of Washington and Cardinal Justin Rigali, Archbishop Emeritus of Philadelphia. U.S. Bishops from Los Angeles, Newark, Wheeling-Charleston, Dallas and Las Vegas also joined the pilgrimage this year.