The Apostleship of Prayer, now known as the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network and Eucharistic Youth Movement have truly come a long way. The beginning of this prayer network dates back to 1844 in Vals, France, by the Jesuits. It was truly conceived as a response to participate in the mission of the Church in daily life. By the grace of God, it quickly permeated throughout the world. In 1861, Fr. Henri Ramière S.J., gave it new vitality, compounding it with the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus from a missionary perspective. Soon after, Pope Leo XIII entrusted it with his prayer intentions. In time, it spread to more than one hundred countries and gained more than 50 million members promoting devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Today, the “Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network” is a Pontifical Work constituted by the Holy Father in March 2018, with its legal headquarters in Vatican City. The sublime mission is to pray with the Pope for the challenges faced by humanity and for the mission of the Church.
The dawn of the missionary month of October, had graciously assembled the representative agents of the Pope’s Prayer intentions from various parts of South Asia, in the green pastures of Inigo Sadan, Pune – India, from 3rd to 6th October 2022. The meet was organized under the guidance of Rev. Fr. Jagdish Parmar, S.J., the continental Director, National Director, and the team of executive members of PWPN/EYM, South Asia. The meet was officially inaugurated by Rev. Fr. Robert Das, S.J., of the Pune Jesuit Province, who provided us with a fascinating keynote address and sumptuous food for thought. What surfaced in the limelight was how experience-based learning, leads to reflection and subsequent action. We are apostles in daily life, walking on the way of the heart, encountering the daunting challenge of the mundane, said Rev. Fr. Francis Gonsalves, S.J., who also succinctly shared with us about the ABCDEF of Pope Francis. The adjustable and flexible timetable enabled us to acquire the maximum potential while moving on regular momentum of fun and frolic and hearty laughter during the meals.
Some of the Highlights of the annual meeting were the zoom conference by the International Director, Rev. Fr. Frederic Fornos, S.J., in Rome, and the release of the EYM handbook and the E Bulletin. The rest of the time was dedicated to group discussions on concrete action plans, evaluation, and announcement of the upcoming events and the photo session. On behalf of the executive committee – Rev. Fr. Peter Durairaj, S.J., Mr. Jesuraj and Ms. Angelina Gabriel painstakingly kept a record of every event from day one to the end. Meanwhile, Rev. Fr. Jagdish Parmar, S.J., successfully navigated the rudder of the meet during stipulated days. The assembly pondered on how regular meetings on Zoom, constructive feedback and evaluation could boost our affiliation with one another, making us companions of the synodal journey of participation, communion and mission of the heart of Jesus.
The meeting synergized much-needed consolation to the ones who do well and aspirations and hope for the newbies to venture into the unknown, keeping before their eyes, the known God. All departed with hearts contented, enthused and reinvigorated, to be the agents of prayer and detectives of grace in the heart of the Church’s mission.
Prabath Sanjeeva Fernando, SJ