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

By Tracey Primrose

May 11, 2017 — 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.

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.

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.

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 Carl Dehne, SJ, died May 13, 2017, in St. Louis. He was 80 years old, a Jesuit for 58 years and a priest for 46 years.

May 10, 2017 — Irish Jesuit Father John Sullivan, remembered for his healing prayers, will be beatified on May 13 at St. Francis Xavier Church in Dublin.

The Jesuit-sponsored Alum Service Corps (ASC) announced today that 15 young men and women will commit a year of service to six Jesuit schools of the U.S. Central and Southern (UCS) Province of the Society of Jesus.

As we celebrate commencement in the Jesuit schools of this province, we offer congratulations and a prayer.

As the school year at Southern University in Baton Rouge, La., draws to a close, students serve as liturgical ministers at the Sunday Eucharist at Immaculate Conception Parish on the Sunday after Easter.

It’s not every school day that students get to interact with someone who works at and for the Vatican. That's what made the visit of Br. Guy Consolmagno, SJ, director of the Vatican Observatory, to Regis Jesuit High School so special.

Singer Harry Connick Jr. said his personal relationships with Jesuits and other faculty made all the difference when he was a student at Jesuit High School in New Orleans. He even gave a shout-out to a few men of this province.

view all news

Search news

Publications






White House Jesuit Retreat Center
The White House Jesuit Retreat Center is located on a beautiful 80-acre campus on the bluffs of the Mississippi River in St. Louis.