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SOON TO BE CARDINAL: Papal Almoner Created Cardinal “for the Poor”

Monsignor Krajewski’s Reaction

Papal Almoner Monsignor Konrad Krajewski will be “created” Cardinal on June 29, 2018, together with 12 other Bishops and a priest. A choice of Pope Francis destined to the “poor,” he assures.

In an interview with Vatican News, immediately after the announcement, the Polish Prelate said that the Pontiff’s nomination was for the poor and the volunteers, I have no merit.” It’s “an unexpected choice, never sought,” by Monsignor Krajewski who learnt it, as everyone else, at midday during the Regina Coeli on May 20.

“This nomination isn’t for me, it’s for the Almoner. I only do what the Holy Father wants to do. There is nothing personal; it comes from the office I hold, which is to be his charitable arm,” he stressed. This Cardinalate is “for all the volunteers, it goes to all those who go out in the evening . . . I believe that this recognition is also for them.”

A gesture that recalls the “first Cardinals who were deacons, hence those that serve the poor,” added the Almoner who said he was “overwhelmed.”

Konrad Krajewski was born at Lodz in Poland on November 25, 1963. He was ordained a priest on June 11, 1988 and was first Parish Vicar in his diocese. In 1990 he was sent to Rome to study at the Saint Anselm Liturgical Institute and the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas. During those years, he collaborated with the Office of Papal Liturgical Celebrations and was Almoner at the Orthopaedic and Traumatology Clinic of La Sapienza University.

On his return to his diocese in 1995, he became Master of Ceremonies of the Archdiocese and taught Liturgy in several Seminaries and at the Warsaw Academy. He returned to Rome in 1998 to work in the Office of Papal Liturgical Celebrations.

On May 12, 1999, he was appointed Papal Master of Ceremonies. Then on August 3, 2013, a few months after his election, Pope Francis appointed him Papal Almoner and Archbishop. The Grand Almoner forms part of the ecclesiastical personnel of the Papal Family. He is present at ceremonies and audiences next to the Prefect of the Papal Household. He is also in charge of Apostolic Blessings, which he authenticates with his signature and he receives applications for aid and subsidies, which he examines before their attribution.

After his appointment, Monsignor Krajewski multiplied the initiatives in favour of the homeless in Rome in the name of Pope Francis: dormitories, showers, hairdressing, medical consultations, umbrellas, outings to the beach . . .  The Almoner also celebrates the funerals of the homeless around the Vatican. In addition, the Pope sends him to express his support when there are disasters, such as the fire in a Rom caravan in the Eternal City or earthquakes in Italy.

About Anne Kurian

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