David Stewart SJ, British Director of the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network (PWPN), speaks to Pat Coyle about the success of the organisation and how it recently celebrated its 175th anniversary. The Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network is a pontifical work, whose mission is to pray and encounter the challenges facing humanity and the mission of the Church that concern the Holy Father, expressed in his monthly intentions.
Regarding the establishment of the network, Fr Stewart points to French Jesuit students who wished to be more active in the midst of their studies. They decided to align with the pope in praying for the mission of the Church, which developed into praying for a specific intention of the Holy Father each month and reaching out to people of goodwill. Speaking about the pope’s intention, the British Jesuit says: “We see the invitation as a proposal, a challenge even, to mobilise for Christ’s mission.”
Formerly called the Apostleship of Prayer, the new network involved a development process of around ten years and resulted in new ways of communicating in the digital age. These include The Pope Video in which the Holy Father speaks about his intention by video, the Click To Pray App which provides a platform to pray three times per day and the Vatican website which gives information on the intentions for the year. He began by explaining to Pat how he feels to be involved in such an important mission in terms of modernising the Church.