The Pope thanks the Papal Foundation for its support of the Church’s mission

Pope Francis meets with a delegation from the Papal Foundation and expresses his gratitude for their significant charitable contributions to the work of the Church around the world.

By Devin Watkins

A 100-member delegation from the Papal Foundation is on a pilgrimage to Rome this week, meeting Pope Francis on Thursday.

The pope welcomed the members, administrators and stewards of the Foundation to the Vatican and thanked them for the “generous support they have given me and the Church in so many parts of the world.”

“As we celebrate the Lord’s victory over sin and death and his gift of new life in this holy season of Easter, I hope that the joy of the resurrection will always fill your hearts and that your visit to the tombs of the apostles and the martyrs will strengthen your fidelity to the Lord and to his Church.

Support integral development

Pope Francis pointed out that the Papal Foundation has offered significant financial support to promote the “integral development of so many of our brothers and sisters.”

He particularly appreciated the group’s support for “educational, charitable and ecclesial projects”, which help to facilitate “the continuous efforts of the Church to build a culture of solidarity and peace”.

“Your charitable work continues to reach out to those on the periphery of society who live in material and often spiritual poverty.”

Pope Francis addresses the delegation

Spread love, hope, mercy

The global situation of conflict, the Pope added, calls on them to offer care and humanitarian aid to victims and refugees of war, especially those forced to flee their homelands in search of safety.

“Your work,” he said, “helps bring the love, hope and mercy that the Gospel proclaims to all who benefit from your generosity and commitment.”

Pope Francis again expressed his gratitude to the Foundation for its generosity and commitment, and prayed that members would be renewed in their zeal to serve the Lord in those who suffer.

Solidarity with the Pope

Finally, the Pope noted that the Papal Foundation has always been driven by solidarity with the Successor of Peter.

Thus, Pope Francis urged them to pray for him and his ministry, as well as for the needs of the universal Church.

“Entrusting all of you and your families to the loving intercession of Mary, Mother of the Church, I wholeheartedly impart my Apostolic Blessing as a pledge of joy and peace in Christ our risen Saviour.

Work of the Papal Foundation

According to its website, The Papal Foundation helped finance the construction of 358 churches and chapels, 170 seminaries, 404 presbyteries and convents, 273 schools and 104 hospitals.

Founded in the United States in 1988, the Foundation has provided over $200 million in grants and scholarships to more than 2,000 projects in coordination with the Bishop of Rome.

Pope Francis shakes hands with Cardinal O'Malley, Chairman of the Foundation's Board of Trustees

Pope Francis shakes hands with Cardinal O’Malley, Chairman of the Foundation’s Board of Trustees

Charles K. Eckert