The Pope salutes the generosity of the Papal Foundation, including towards Ukraine

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis has commended members of the U.S.-based Papal Foundation for helping the Catholic Church build “a culture of solidarity and peace,” including providing assistance to victims of the war in Ukraine.

“As we witness these days the devastating effects of war and conflict, you increasingly see the need to provide care and humanitarian assistance to its victims, to refugees and to those forced to leave their homes. homeland in search of a better and more secure future. for themselves and their loved ones,” the pope told members of the foundation April 28.

“Your work helps bring the love, hope and mercy that the Gospel proclaims to all who benefit from your generosity and commitment,” the pope told the foundation’s main donors, called Stewards of St. -Pierre, and to the members of the Board of Trustees.

Although all six active American cardinals residing in the United States are on the foundation’s board of directors, only Cardinals Seán P. O’Malley of Boston and Timothy M. Dolan of New York were part of the group’s pilgrimage to Rome. .

Cardinal O’Malley, chairman of the board, told Pope Francis: “As we gather today, we join in Your Holiness’ concern and prayer for the tragic circumstances of the attacks on Ukraine and the plight of the Ukrainian people”.

The foundation, he said, provided funds to the Ukrainian Catholic Church “to help with emergency relief efforts.”

After the meeting with the pope, the foundation announced the approval of $14 million in grants, scholarships and humanitarian aid to be distributed worldwide. The amount included more than $9 million in grants requested by the Vatican for 123 projects in 64 countries, the foundation said.

For the year ending June 30, 2021, the foundation said it distributed grants of just over $9.8 million and scholarships of $794,000. Since its inception in 1988, the Papal Foundation and its Stewards of St. Peter have awarded more than $200 million in grants and scholarships worldwide to more than 2,000 projects selected based on priorities set by the Pope.

The group’s 2021 report highlighted the foundation’s help in building a religious training center in Burundi, building an orphanage in the Philippines, renovating a retirement home in Chile and expanding a church-run health center in Rwanda.

The scholarships offered by the foundation allow nearly 100 priests, nuns, religious brothers and lay people to study in one of the Pontifical Universities in Rome.

“Since its inception,” the Pope told members of the foundation, “solidarity with the Successor of Peter has been the hallmark of the Papal Foundation. I ask you, please, to pray for me and for my ministry, for the needs of the Church, the spreading of the Gospel and the conversion of hearts.

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