Secretary of State, Statutes, Pope's Worldwide Prayer Network, May 2018.
POPE’S WORLDWIDE PRAYER NETWORKMay 2018
(APOSTLESHIP OF PRAYER) 2018Including its youth branch: The Eucharistic Youth Movement
Pope Francis, in appointing the International Director of his Worldwide Prayer Network, Fr. Frederic Fornos, S.J., in his letter to the bishops of June 7, 2016, asked for "an update of these Statutes in relation to the recreation process that is taking place."
In June 2017, the Superior General of the Society of Jesus, Fr. Arturo Sosa, S.J., accompanied by the International Director, Fr. Frederic Fornos, S.J., gave to the Holy Father a first draft of the Statutes of the Apostleship of Prayer as the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network, which includes the EYM – Eucharistic Youth Movement.
After several months of dialogue and work with the Secretariate of State, the Procurator of the Society of Jesus, Fr. Benoît Malvaux, S.J., with the help of the International Director – mentioned above – and the International Assistant of the Network, Fr. Luis Ramirez, S.J., delivered a new version on March 14, 2018.
Mons. Angelo Becciu, the Substitute for General Affairs of the Secretariat of State, in his letter N. 400.627, from April 10, 2018, declared: “The Holy Father, on March 27th, 2018, constituted the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network (Apostleship of Prayer) as a Pontifical work, with legal headquarters in Vatican City State, and has approved the new Statutes”
The complete letter and the Statutes follow.
Segreteria di Stato
Prima Sezione, Affari Generali
Dal Vaticano, 10 aprile 2018
P. Benoît MALVAUX, SJ
Procuratore Generale della Compagnia di Gesù
Borgo S. Spirito, 4, 00193 ROMA
faccio riferimento al testo degli Statuti della Red Mundial de Oración del Papa (Apostolado de la Oración) da Lei consegnato presso questa Segreteria di Stato il 14 marzo scorso.
A tale riguardo, sono lieto di significarLe che il Santo Padre in data 27 marzo 2018 ha costituito la _Red Mundial de Oración del Papa (Apostolado de la Oración) come opera pontificia, con sede legale nello Stato della Città del Vaticano e ne ha approvato i nuovi Statuti nel testo allegato.
Profitto della circostanza per confermarmi con sensi di distinta stima
dev.mo nel Signore
+ Angelo Becciu
POPE’S WORLDWIDE PRAYER NETWORK(APOSTLESHIP OF PRAYER)
I. THE POPE’S WORLDWIDE PRAYER NETWORK
II. SPIRITUAL ITINERARY AT THE SERVICE OF THE MISSION OF THE CHURCH
III. FORMS OF PARTICIPATION
V. ADMINISTRATION OF GOODS
VI. APPROVAL AND MODIFICATION OF THE STATUTES
Even after more than fifty years, the Second Vatican Council continues to be an inspiration for all believers, driving them to discover the signs of the times in history, through which God still offers fullness of life to human beings.
In the guidance of the Holy Spirit towards the Father’s Kingdom, we have received as a Church the Gospel of salvation that was given to us by Jesus Christ for communication to the entire Christian community and to all men and women of good will. In this mission received by the Church from the Lord, the Second Vatican Council emphasised the importance and value of the lay apostolate, arising from its Christian calling in the grace of Baptism.
From this perspective, the Apostleship of Prayer, now named and structured as the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network, continues to make its own the joys and hopes, griefs and anxieties of God’s people and of all humanity, taking on their challenges, especially for the poorest and most forsaken.
By becoming a network of prayer across the length and breadth of the world, the Apostleship of Prayer expresses a renewed sense of spiritual communion between people and groups whose prayers have an apostolic and missionary outlook, in union with the Supreme Pontiff. Once again, the Lord’s call to His disciples to go “into the deep” and to “cast out a net,” is profoundly relevant in the global context of the new millennium.
On the one hand, our contribution is through spreading and praying intensely for the Pope’s intentions, which address humanity’s great challenges and are entrusted by the Holy Father to the entire Church. On the other hand, it is through receiving, spreading and promoting prayer intentions proposed by local Churches for their faithful.
Praying for the needs of humanity and the Church, as proposed by the Holy Father and by local Churches, opens the faithful to intimacy with Christ, commitment to service and the exercise of mercy. Communion with the Lord opens the door to collaboration and charity, whether in a personal capacity or through a group commitment in diverse charitable organisations or social institutions, in union with other believers or men and women of good faith.
In this manner, the Apostleship that stems from our Prayer for the intentions of the Holy Father, forming the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network, maintains and promotes the union between faith and everyday life.
Therefore, drawing on the one hundred and seventy-three year lived experience of the Apostleship of Prayer and the spirit of the Second Vatican Council, translated legally in the Code of Canon Law of 1983, in this new millennium it becomes necessary to renew the Statutes, so that they may encompass the guidance of recent Popes and particularly the will of Pope Francis.
By promoting the Prayer Intentions, which the Holy Father presents monthly to the Church, we want Christians — adults, children and young people — to know them, to pray for them and to meditate on them. In this way, they may discover creative ways to embody the realities of the prayer intentions, in their own environment, behaviour, gestures and words. For this reason, the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network (Apostleship of Prayer), which is intended for people over 25 years of age, has a youth branch called the Eucharistic Youth Movement.
The Eucharistic Youth Movement is an international movement of Christian formation for children and young people from 5 to 25 years of age. It allows members to participate in this dynamic of prayer and service, learning to live like Jesus. Its mission, organisation and pedagogical process are duly explained in its official documents, which are inspired by share in the same spirituality and direction as the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network.
I. THE POPE’S WORLDWIDE PRAYER NETWORK
The Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network (which includes its youth branch, the Eucharistic Youth Movement) is an ecclesial service of the Holy See, which the Supreme Pontiff entrusts to the Society of Jesus. It represents a network of associations, with legal headquarters resident in the Vatican City.
The Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network serves people and groups who, in the length and breadth of the world and in very diverse countries and dioceses, adopt prayer as a form of apostleship and, in particular, receive the monthly Prayer Intentions proposed by the Holy Father to the Church as a theme of their personal or group prayer. In this manner they collaborate with the mission of the Church by putting themselves at the service of humanity’s challenges.
The Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network is open to all Catholics who wish to awaken, renew and live the missionary spirit emanating from their baptism. It has its own structure which can be adapted to the diverse national, regional or diocesan environments where the activities are carried out.
It is founded on the spirituality of the Heart of Jesus as laid out in the document on the “Recreation,” offering a pathway to the disciple of Jesus to successfully harmonise their feelings and actions with Christ’s heart.
II. SPIRITUAL ITINERARY AT THE SERVICE OF THE MISSION OF THE CHURCH
The Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network proposes a spiritual itinerary to Catholics that integrates two dimensions:
a. Compassion for the world and human beings
The Prayer Intentions, proposed each month by the Holy Father to the Church, offer Catholics a spiritual pathway to enter into communion and compassion with the challenges facing humanity and the mission of the Church.
The Holy Father entrusts the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network with the mission of publicising, promoting and stimulating prayer for these intentions. The Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network is responsible for spreading them throughout the world and it commits itself to promoting them so that, each month, the prayers and actions of its members will be guided by and for the intentions. Receiving and praying for these intentions opens one’s perspective and heart to the needs of the world, taking ownership for the happiness and hope, pain and suffering of humanity, and the Church. Furthermore it inspires both the spiritual and corporal works of mercy. In this way, a spiritual pathway is offered that allows an escape from the “globalisation of indifference,” opening the door to compassion for the world.
b. Communion with the mission of the Son
Through their involvement with the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network, the members’ baptismal missionary vocation is awakened, allowing them to collaborate in everyday life in the mission entrusted by the Father to the Son. In this way, within themselves, they become ready and open to God’s summons, through the Holy Spirit, which appeals to each heart and conscience guiding it towards good. This pathway, called “The Way of the Heart,” transforms Christian life for those who are involved in the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network, readying them to serve in the mission of the Church.
This spiritual itinerary, which integrates these two inseparable elements of Christian life, is a school of the heart, as it infuses the very feelings of the Heart of Jesus in the real-life story of each of His disciples. In nine stages, pedagogically structured, a spiritual process is offered to help participants identify with Jesus’ thoughts, desires and projects; in this way, the Christian is set on the path to receive and serve the Kingdom of God, fueled by compassion, in the style of the Son of God.
This explains why, since the outset, the Apostleship of Prayer, now organised as the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network, maintains and promotes devotion to the Heart of Jesus, nourished specifically by the intentions proposed by the Holy Father. Each of Jesus’ disciples, thanks to their willingness for prayer and the work of the Holy Spirit, is open to sharing the feelings of the Heart of Jesus in their own heart. For this reason, in 1986, Pope St. John Paul II endrusted to the Society of Jesus in the mission of spreading the spirituality of the Heart of Jesus, especially through the Apostleship of Prayer.
III. FORMS OF PARTICIPATION
The Apostleship of Prayer, now established as the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network, offers two ways to participate: one “open” form and another form of “membership and commitment,” with the Eucharist as the model of offering and readiness, to live as Jesus did.
1. The open form of participation, accessible to anyone who has been baptised, involves including the Pope’s Prayer Intentions in one’s daily prayers. This may be done when celebrating the Eucharist. Those who participate in this manner are especially called to join the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network on the first Friday of each month, to reflect on the intentions of the Holy Father. This day will be considered “The Monthly Day of Prayer for the Pope’s Intentions.” This form of participation can be adopted spontaneously by people, groups or movements.
2. The form of membership and commitment requires a more active involvement and a relationship must be established with the relevant national or regional centre of the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network, commonly called the National Office. This relationship may involve participating in the activities promoted by the National Office (training initiatives, national gatherings, days of prayer, etc.), and keeping up to date through social networks. This membership and commitment can take place on a personal level or with a group or community. It may also take the form of a personal consecration.
2.1. At a personal level, the form of membership and commitment involves practising three daily moments of prayer to the Lord Jesus: in the morning, with the prayer of offering; during the day, and at night, any of which may be carried out when celebrating the Eucharist. The essential idea is, through the daily routine of prayer, to grow in intimate friendship with the Lord and find one's own way to collaborate in the mission of the Church, within the framework of the challenges identified by the Prayer Intentions entrusted to us by the Pope. This prayer and apostolic readiness is always in union with Mary, the Queen of the Apostles.
2.2. At a group or community level, the form of membership and commitment can be realised through one of the following three options:
- Parishes, Christian communities and various other groups can show their commitment to the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network by coming together specifically to pray for the Pope’s intentions and, in particular, to dedicate the first Friday of the month to this purpose. They will inform the National Office of their commitment to truly and consciously integrate with the network.
- Communities of the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network founded in parishes, schools and other spaces for this purpose. Not only do these communities pray and adopt an internal attitude of readiness to collaborate with the mission of the Church, but they take action, searching for ways to put themselves at the service of humanity’s challenges and the needs of the Church. Those who are part of these communities commit themselves, individually or as a group, to journey through life according to the spirituality of the Heart of Jesus. Furthermore, they will support our youth branch, the Eucharistic Youth Movement, wherever it exists, or engage in youth ministry (parishes, schools, etc).
- Groups in the Apostleship of Prayer, who have been raised in our tradition and are present in parishes, are another form of commitment for communities in the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network. They have a diocesan structure and follow their own internal educational and procedural structures. They can use these guidelines to support them if they feel it supports their organisation, and they are invited to become part of the process of “Recreation.”
2.3. Personal consecration, or “alliance” with Jesus, is for those who experience a call to live in close union with the Heart of Jesus and wish to formalise their personal devotion, commitment and service in this sense. Those who consecrate themselves become “apostles of prayer” and through it they commit themselves to be open and ready to serve the communities of the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network and the Eucharistic Youth Movement, in the mission of the local Church. Consecration, or alliance with Jesus, is realised by following the guidelines of the National Office and in coordination with the International Office.
The Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network (PWPN) which includes the Eucharistic Youth Movement (EYM), is governed by a General Council, an International Director and a number of Regional or National Directors, in accordance with the provisions outlined in articles 7, 8 and 9.
The General Council is composed of the International Director, where possible a Jesuit, appointed by the Holy Father on the proposal of the Superior General of the Society of Jesus, for a three-year renewable term; and five members appointed by the Superior General of the Society of Jesus, for a three-year renewable term.
The General Council will meet at least twice a year. The meeting is convoked by the International Director or, in extraordinary circumstances, by three council members. The General Council’s functions are:
a) To guarantee that the mission, vision, spirituality and ecclesial spirit of the PWPN and the EYM are in harmony with the guidance of the Holy Father and the Church.
b) To receive information from the International Director on the state of the PWPN and the EYM, as well as other projects that are being undertaken, at least twice a year.
c) To approve the action plan aimed at maintaining the purpose of the PWPN and the EYM.
d) At the appropriate time, to work with the International Director to compile a shortlist of three Jesuits for the role of International Director of the PWPN and the EYM. The Superior General will then choose one name to be presented to the Supreme Pontiff.
e) To approve the annual budget and business accounts.
The International Director is responsible for the general management of the PWPN and the EYM. The International Director’s functions are:
a) To manage the general affairs of the PWPN and the EYM.
b) To appoint the Regional or National Directors, having first consulted the Major Superior of the Society of Jesus and sought approval from the relevant Episcopal Conference.
c) To report to the Holy Father on the state of the PWPN and the EYM and receive his guidance, if possible, at an annual audience.
d) To communicate frequently with the Superior General of the Society of Jesus to report to him on the state of the PWPN and the EYM and receive his guidance.
e) To hold, as often as possible, continental meetings with the National or Regional Directors and the National Coordinators.
In each country, or group of countries which will be called a “Region,” the organisation of the PWPN will be entrusted to a National or Regional Director, appointed by the International Director for a three-year renewable term, following appropriate consultation and the approval of the relevant Episcopal Conference. Where possible, the National or Regional Director will be a Jesuit, and this mission will be his principal responsibility.
The National or Regional Director will have jurisdiction over the PWPN and the EYM. In some countries, for historical or ecclesial reasons, there may be distinct National Directors for the PWPN and the EYM. In this case they will be in direct contact with the International Director.
The National or Regional Director is responsible for forming a team, according to the guidance conveyed in the document titled, “Directives for National Teams.” The working group will be comprised of people active in the Church, especially lay people, but also priests or members of religious congregations, appointed by the Director.
If it is not possible to name a National Director, the International Director can name a National Coordinator to be the point of reference for the Episcopal Conference. They are always answerable to a Regional Director.
In each diocese, if it seems appropriate, the local Ordinary can appoint a Diocesan Director, following discussion with the National or Regional Director. This Director may be a priest, a member of a religious congregation, or a lay person.
The Diocesan Directors will meet with the National or Regional Director or the National Coordinator at least once a year. The aim of these meetings is to foster mutual support and coordinate shared plans and pastoral activities.
In order to foster community forms of participation, local groups or communities can come together spontaneously, with their corresponding coordinators. To be members of the PWPN or the EYM, these groups must be acknowledged by the National Director, the National Coordinator, or the Diocesan Director as bearers of the spiritual itinerary that characterises this ecclesial service of communion with the Holy Father’s Prayer Intentions.
V. ADMINISTRATION OF GOODS
The PWPN and the EYM have the civil capacity to acquire, retain, administer and sell temporal goods, according to the legal policies in each country. The International Director, the National or Regional Directors and the Diocesan Directors are responsible for the management of these goods, respectively at international, national and diocesan levels. The International Director reports the management accounts annually to the General Council. The National and Regional Directors report their management accounts annually to the International Director, and the Diocesan Directors to the corresponding National or Regional Director.
With reference to the sale of goods, the incurrence of debt and acts of administration, the PWPN and the EYM follow the norms of the Society of Jesus: above the authorisation limit set by the Provincial Superior for the Local Superior, according to these norms, the Diocesan Director requires the approval of the National or Regional Director to sell goods, incur debts or carry out payments for the PWPN or the EYM; above the authorisation limit set by the Superior General for the Provincial Superior, according to the rules of the Society, the National or Regional Director requires the approval of the International Director to sell goods, incur debts or carry out payments for the PWPN or the EYM.
In the case of the dissolution of a diocesan or national section of the PWPN or the EYM, the ownership of the goods of that section are transferred to the next superior level (national section or international section of the PWPN or EYM). In the case of the dissolution of the EYM, the ownership of its goods is transferred to the PWPN. In the case of the dissolution of the PWPN, the ownership of its goods is transferred to the Holy See.
VI. APPROVAL AND MODIFICATION OF THE STATUTES
These Statutes, or any modification of them, come into force following their approval by the Holy Father on the proposal of the Superior General of the Society of Jesus.
The International Director, having heard the General Council, will propose any necessary modifications of the Statutes to the Superior General of the Society of Jesus, so that the Superior General may present the proposed reforms to the Holy Father to seek his approval.
The national or regional associations will have their own rules and regulations. These will be prepared by the National or Regional Directors, according to the particular national and cultural circumstances, so as to allow for the operation of the PWPN and the EYM. These rules and regulations will be presented to the International Director for approval.
We commend these new Statutes to our patrons, St. Francis Xavier and St. Thérèse of Lisieux.
Vatican, 27th March 2018
Original document in Spanish
Cf. Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World Gaudium et Spes (GS) n. 4.
The importance of this lay apostolate was reaffirmed in the Code of Canon Law, 1983. Cf. Canon 225 §1: “Since, like all the Christian faithful, lay persons are designated by God for the apostolate through baptism and confirmation, they are bound by the general obligation and possess the right as individuals, or joined in associations, to work so that the divine message of salvation is made known and accepted by all persons everywhere in the world. This obligation is even more compelling in those circumstances in which only through them can people hear the gospel and know Christ.”
Cf. GS 1: “The joys and the hopes, the griefs and the anxieties of the men of this age, especially those who are poor or in any way afflicted, these are the joys and hopes, the griefs and anxieties of the followers of Christ. Indeed, nothing genuinely human fails to raise an echo in their hearts.”
Cf. Lk 5:4; Jn 21:6.
The Apostleship of Prayer was first approved at a universal level at the Congregation of Bishops and Regulars, in the decree of 27th July 1866. Later, on 28th May 1879, it was approved by Pope Leo XIII and its Statutes were passed in the same decree. New Statutes were approved successively on 11th July 1896, by Pope Leo XIII; on 28th October 1951, by Pope Pius XII; and on 27th March 1968, by Pope Paul VI.
Initially it was called the Eucharistic Crusade and later, on the request of Pope Saint John XXIII, it was given its current name.
Cf. Complementary Norms of the Society of Jesus, 309 §2: “Among such associations, the Society especially promotes and accompanies, and calls each Province to do the same... the Apostleship of Prayer and the Eucharistic Youth Movement, these latter two being entrusted by the Holy See.”
There are a number of official documents, among them A Pathway with Jesus in Apostolic Readiness, which was approved by Pope Francis (Rome, 3rd December 2014) and presents the pathway of “Recreation” of the Apostleship of Prayer for the present times.
“A Pathway with Jesus in Apostolic Readiness” (Rome, 3rd December 2014).
Letter from His Holiness John Paul II to the Superior General of the Society of Jesus, 5th October 1986.
Cf. “A Pathway with Jesus. ...”
This change in terminology from the previous statutes (which used the terms National or Regional “Secretaries”) is in response to our aim to have more consistency in the PWPN’s national structure. In particular, the National Director will be able to facilitate coordination between the PWPN in the various dioceses of a country. Nevertheless, the diocesan character of the mission is safeguarded by submitting the names of the Diocesan Directors for approval to the Bishops’ Conference – cf. art. 9.
Letter from Pope Francis to his Brother Bishops, 7th July 2016.
In Part 2, titled “The AP/EYM National Team,” Rome, December 2014.
This new aspect differs from the 1968 Statutes, in which the appointment of a Diocesan Director was necessary in any diocese where the Apostleship of Prayer was active. Admittedly, these days it isn’t always possible to find a person capable of being the Diocesan Director. For this reason, it seems more realistic to say that the appointment of a Diocesan Director will happen “if it seems appropriate.”
This point is also a change from the 1968 Statutes, where the Diocesan Director had to be a priest. This is due to the fact that it isn’t always possible to find an available priest in every diocese to be the Diocesan Director. Moreover, it’s important that lay people can participate in the governance of the PWPN.
Cf. CIC Canon 638 §1: “Within the scope of universal law, it belongs to proper law to determine acts which exceed the limit and manner of ordinary administration and to establish what is necessary to place an act of extraordinary administration validly.” In the Society of Jesus own law, cf. particularly Instruction of the Administration of Goods, ns. , , , .
Secretary of State, Statutes, Pope's Worldwide Prayer Network, May 2018. English accessed 9 January 2020 at: https://www.popesprayer.va/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/STATUTES-POPES-WORLDWIDE-PRAYER-NETWORK-MAY2018-ENG-VATICAN-2.pdf