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.

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

Nov. 22, 2017 - On #GivingTuesday, join friends, alumni and parishioners in two projects that will sponsor six months of care for a senior Jesuit, and six months of training for a Jesuit in formation. Help us support the mission of our Jesuits, past and future.

Nov. 20, 2017 - Fr. Edward C. Lynch, SJ, was called to eternal life on Nov. 17, 2017. Fr. Lynch was born on Jan. 9, 1934, entered the Society of Jesus at St. Andrew-on-Hudson, Poughkeepsie, N.Y., on Sept. 7, 1951, and was ordained on June 18, 1964, in the Fordham University Church. He pronounced his final vows on Aug. 15, 1967.

Nov. 20, 2017 – Blessings and warm wishes for you and your loved ones during this Thanksgiving and as we prepare for the Christmas season. The USA Northeast Province has assembled several thanksgiving prayers that can be used for your family gatherings.

Nov. 17, 2017 - For five years, Father Michael Boughton, SJ, served as formation director for the East Coast. As he begins a new part of his own Jesuit journey, he shares insights on the state of Jesuit formation today.

Nov. 14, 2017 - From Nov. 4-6, 2,000 individuals - representing 26 Jesuit colleges and universities, Jesuit high schools, Jesuit parishes, current and former Jesuit Volunteers, and hundreds of alumni of Jesuit schools - gathered for the 20th annual Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice in Washington, D.C.

November 15, 2017 — Two members of Ecojesuit, the Jesuits’ worldwide ecological network, have been reporting from the COP23-Fiji U.N. Climate Change Conference in Bonn, Germany. Read about the issues that have been discussed at this conference.

Nov. 6, 2017 - In his November prayer video Pope Francis talks about his intention of Christians in Asia. “Let us pray that Christians in Asia may promote dialogue, peace and mutual understanding, especially with those of other religions.”

view all news

Search news







Campion Renewal Center
Campion Renewal Center, situated 20 miles west of Boston, is located in a peaceful setting that provides plenty of walking trails through the woods and fields.