Pope Francis is changing up the practice of his monthly prayer intentions, distributed worldwide by the Apostleship of Prayer.
In an announcement at his blog today, Jesuit Father James Kubicki, national director of the Apostleship of Prayer, explained that a monthly papal prayer intention has been given to the world through the the Apostleship of Prayer, now known as the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network, since the late 1800s. A second intention for missions was added in 1929.
“Today these are called his ‘universal’ and ‘evangelization’ intentions,” Fr. Kubicki noted, explaining that the “process of soliciting suggestions from Vatican Congregations and from members around the world, then proposing them to the Holy Father, then receiving his final versions and translating them from Italian into various languages, then publicizing them via print—is a long process.”
During 2016, a new development was added, with a video featuring the Pope illustrating each month’s intentions.
Now Pope Francis is introducing a change to this process.
He is “returning to the practice of one monthly intention; the twelve intentions for 2017, which alternate between evangelization and universal intentions, have already been published,” Fr. Kubicki explained. “However, given the speed of communication in the digital age, he is adding a second, urgent prayer intention that he will make known during his Angelus Address on the first Sunday of the month. As soon as we hear what they are we will be publicizing them on our website and other social media.
“Fr. Frederic Fornos, S.J., the international director of the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network, sees this as a way that Pope Francis wants to confront ‘the culture of indifference’ by focusing our prayerful attention on situations that are ‘more concrete, precise, current, related to actual circumstances.'”