News
Fr. William Blazek, SJ, the new U.S. director of The Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network
New Director Named for World’s Largest Prayer Network

By Tracey Primrose

Prayer is the “sea of the boundless love of God” says Pope Francis, and one of the most important ways the Holy Father communicates his prayer intentions is through The Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network (PWPN).

Founded as the Apostleship of Prayer and recently renamed by Pope Francis, the network communicates the pope’s monthly intentions to 50 million members in 89 countries, seeking to mobilize people in prayer and action. Its youth branch, the Eucharistic Youth Movement (EYM), is present in 56 countries.

In the U.S., the group has been led by its long-serving national director, Fr. James Kubicki, SJ; next month the mantle will be handed over to Fr. William Blazek, SJ.

PWPN traces its roots to France, where in 1844 a group of Jesuit seminarians, anxious to hurry their studies so they could set out as missionaries, were instructed by their spiritual director to use their time and talents for the salvation of souls as “apostles of prayer.” In 1879, the group received its first statutes, approved by Pope Pius IX. From the beginning, the Apostleship of Prayer, also devoted to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, has been entrusted by the pope to the Jesuits.

In recent years, Fr. Kubicki is credited with helping the PWPN broaden its outreach through digital communications and his support for innovative programs, such as the Hearts on Fire retreats, which target young adults.


Fr. James Kubicki, SJ, outgoing national director of the PWPN

Fr. Timothy Kesicki, SJ, president of the Jesuit Conference, the organization that represents the Society of Jesus in Canada and the U.S., said, “I wish to express my deep gratitude to Fr. Kubicki for his 14 years of service. He has worked tirelessly and with great zeal to promote the PWPN throughout the country. Among his many creative contributions was the encouragement and support of Jesuits in formation offering ‘Hearts on Fire’ missions in parishes, a deeply formative experience for some of our men who will be ordained this year.”

The appointment of Fr. Blazek was made by Fr. Frédéric Fornos, SJ, PWPN’s international director, headquartered in Rome. Fr. Blazek will work from the U.S. headquarters in Milwaukee and will simultaneously serve as the organization’s North American coordinator.


Fr. Frédéric Fornos, SJ, PWPN’s international director, greets Pope Francis during a centenary celebration for the Eucharistic Youth Movement in 2015.

Currently an associate director at the Manresa House of Retreats in Convent, Louisiana,
Fr. Blazek served as an infantry officer for five years in Iraq before attending medical school and becoming a doctor. After many years of discerning a vocation, he entered the Jesuits in 2001 and was ordained to the priesthood in 2012.

Membership in the PWPN, which is available online, involves “a commitment to offer yourself to God for his purposes each day.” In May, the pope’s prayer intentions are for Christians in Africa and for priestly vocations.

Last year, the PWPN launched “Click to Pray,” an app available in English, Spanish, Portuguese, French and German. Click to Pray offers users a digital way to accompany Pope Francis in his prayer intentions.





Recent News

Father Michael Schultheis, SJ, a staunch proponent of education who spent 40 years in Africa teaching and helping to open schools in several nations there, entered into God’s peace April 11 in Monrovia, Liberia. He was 84.

Father George Kalib Aziz, SJ, entered into God’s peace May 12 at Sacred Heart Jesuit Center, Los Gatos. He was 89. Fr. Aziz was a member of the Society of Jesus for 72 years and an ordained priest for 59 years.

It's that time of year again! Check out the roster of speakers and dates for the 2017 commencement ceremonies at the 28 Jesuit colleges and universities in the United States.

The University of San Francisco will dedicate Burl A. Toler Hall on May 9, renaming Phelan Hall in honor of Burl Toler '52, MA '66, co-captain of USF's famous 1951 football team.

May 3, 2017 — Pope Francis gave a surprise recorded TED Talk presented on April 25 at the TED2017 conference, the first time a pope has ever given a TED Talk.

May 1, 2017 — Today, on the feast of Saint Joseph the Worker, the Catholic Church is also celebrating the first-ever Religious Brothers Day.

For the fourth consecutive year, Gonzaga University accounting and economics students working with the IRS and United Way have helped generate more than $1 million in refunds through their free income tax return preparation efforts.

view all news

Search news

Publications

Mission Magazine - Fall 2016

Mission Magazine - Spring 2016

Mission Magazine - Summer 2015


Update
Spring, 2017

Update
Winter, 2016

Update
Fall, 2016


Jesuit Retreat Center of the Sierra
The Jesuit Retreat Center of the Sierra is an adult, youth, and family retreat center in Applegate, Placer County, California, for nonprofit groups of 20-130 (105 guests overnight; +25 additional beds in summer only).