Jesuits Move to Revamp Apostleship of Prayer
Tags: Apostleship of Prayer, Jesuit, jesuits, Society of Jesus
For more than a century, the Jesuit-run Apostleship of Prayer has helped deliver the pope’s monthly prayer intentions to the public. Now, the group is working hard to recreate itself and broaden its outreach.
Given the explosive popularity of the Internet and social media, the Apostleship of Prayer is focusing on making its ministry a digital prayer network. The group is also working with dioceses and parishes to introduce the Apostleship to more people and developing branches for children and teens.
Currently, Apostleship of Prayer directors send prayer ideas to AOP’s international office in Rome. The international director and the superior general of the Jesuits choose 12 themes and send them to the Vatican Secretariat of State where they may be modified. The final list — along with the missionary intentions — is returned to the Jesuits for distribution.
According to the Apostleship of Prayer, many people, including Jesuits, view the group as “an obsolete ministry that belongs to the past” or one that is “just ‘a devotion for old ladies’ that doesn’t speak to younger generations.”
However, the group also acknowledged that millions of people around the world see the pope’s monthly prayer intentions, share them online and make them part of their prayer lives.
The proposals for the Apostleship include some modifications in the papal prayer intentions “to address matters of interest to everyone, not just Catholics, not even just believers. The general intentions would challenge humanity, aimed at themes of universal justice.” The “missionary prayer intentions,” prepared by the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, would keep their general focus on issues of special concern to the Catholic Church.
The group also intends to harness the capacity of websites and social networks to share the pope’s prayer intentions, notify people about emergency prayer intentions and create connections among people around the world.