Diocese of

Hexham and Newcastle

Bishop Robert Byrne CO

Pope's Worldwide Prayer Network

The Holy Father has asked the Jesuits across the world to promote a network of prayer as a new initiative from the former Apostolate of Prayer.

Each province has a national contact for this work, ours being Fr. David Stewart SJ.

Each month the Holy Father will have a main prayer intention for people to use as part of their daily prayer, and he will also announce an "urgent intention" for people’s prayer. A short video based on the main intention published each month and known as 'The Pope Video'.

Fr. Stewart publishes a webpage each month with prayer reflections based on the main intention.

Bookmark this page and revisit monthly for the latest intentions.

Further information through the Pathways to God and Click to Pray websites.


Image reproduced courtesy of The Catholic Church in England and Wales.

December 2019

The Future of the Very Young

Children are the first to suffer from wars, corruption, poverty, and environmental imbalances and disasters. This means that their rights, from the right to play or study to the right to be heard, should be especially protected.

Every child who is marginalized, abused, abandoned, without schooling, or without medical care, is a cry that rises up to God.

In each of them is Christ, who came to our world as a defenseless child; it is Christ who looks at us through the eyes of each of these children.

Let us pray that every country decides to take necessary measures to make the future of children, especially those who suffer, a priority.

Link to Fr. Stewart's webpage for December.

NB. All previous videos can be viewed on our YouTube channel.

November 2019

Dialogue and Reconciliation in the Middle East

In the Middle East, as in the entire world, people need to speak the language of reconciliation, forgiveness, and dialogue. Although sometimes it’s not easy, it’s very worthwhile.

This is why Pope Francis encourages us all to become men and women of reconciliation.

"In the Middle East, concord and dialogue among the three monotheistic religions is based on spiritual and historic bonds.

The Good News of Jesus, risen out of love, came to us from these lands.

Today, many Christian communities, together with Jewish and Muslim communities, work here for peace, reconciliation, and forgiveness.

Let us pray that a spirit of dialogue, encounter, and reconciliation emerge in the Middle East."

Link to Fr. Stewart's webpage for November.

October 2019

Mission Spring in the Church

Pope Francis has convoked an Extraordinary Missionary Month to remind us that we live in a permanent state of mission.

Every baptized person is a mission. A Mission that doesn’t consist in proselytism, but in offering Christian salvation while respecting each person’s freedom.

“Today, a new impulse to the Church’s missionary activity is needed to face the challenge of proclaiming Jesus and his death and resurrection.

Reaching the peripheries – the human, cultural, and religious settings still foreign to the Gospel: this is what we call the missio ad gentes.

We must also remember that the soul of the Church’s mission is prayer.

In this extraordinary missionary month, let us pray that the Holy Spirit may engender a new missionary spring for all those baptized and sent by Christ’s Church.”

Link to Fr. Stewart's webpage for October.

September 2019

Protecting the Oceans

One way to explain the importance of taking care of the oceans is to use a couple of simple but effective examples: one out of every two people lives off of the ocean, and of every two breaths we take, one is thanks to the oceans. Let us take care of them. Their death is the death of all life on earth, including us.

“Oceans contain the bulk of our planet’s water supply, and also most of the immense variety of living creatures, many of which are threatened for various reasons.

Our solidarity with the ‘common home’ is born from our faith. Creation is a project of love given by God to humanity.

Let us pray this month that politicians, scientists and economists work together to protect the world’s seas and oceans.”

Link to Fr. Stewart's webpage for September.

August 2019

Families, Schools of Human Development

In our families, we learn things that will stay with us throughout our entire life. They’re where our values are formed, and, above all, they’re the place where we first discover love through our parents and our siblings, a reflection of God’s love. Loving and being loved makes us more human and helps us to recognize God’s love. Jesus revealed this path to us. Let us live this love in our families, joining together in prayer.

“What kind of world do we want to leave for the future?

Let us leave a world with families.

Let us care for our families, because they are true schools for the future, spaces of freedom, and centers of humanity.

And let us reserve a special place in our families for individual and communal prayer

Let us pray that families, through their life of prayer and love, become ever more clearly “schools of true human development.”

Link to Fr. Stewart's webpage for August.

July 2019

Integrity of Justice

The people in charge of imparting justice have a great responsibility. Their task is not an easy one, and it has consequences that directly affect people’s lives. Consequently, they must maintain their independence and impartiality. This will help ensure that justice always has the last word.

“The decisions made by judges influence the rights and property of citizens. Their independence should keep them safe from favoritism and from pressures that could contaminate the decisions they have to make. Judges must follow the example of Jesus, who never negotiates the truth.

Let us pray that those who administer justice may work with integrity, and that the injustice which prevails in the world may not have the last word.”

Link to Fr. Stewart's webpage for July.

June 2019

The Priest’s Way of Life

Let us draw near to one of the many parish priests who work in our communities. What gives meaning to his life? Whom does he serve? Why does he give so much of himself? Jesus Christ is the center of his life, and he wants to imitate his lifestyle. It’s not easy to live “Gospel simplicity,” understanding and doing all things under the sign of mercy, near to those who are poorest.

“I would like to ask you to look at the priests who work in our communities.

They are not perfect, but many give it their all until the very end, offering themselves with humility and joy. They are priests who are close to the people, ready to work hard for everyone. Let us be thankful for their example and testimony. Let us pray that priests, through the modesty and humility of their lives, commit themselves actively to solidarity with those who are most poor.”

Link to Fr. Stewart's webpage for June.

May 2019

The Church in Africa, a Seed of Unity

Africa is full of contrasts that are an essential part of its identity. On the rich African continent, the Church strives to work for unity in diversity, respecting ethnic and linguistic divisions.

“The ethnic, linguistic, and tribal divisions in Africa can be overcome promoting unity in diversity.

I want to thank the religious sisters, priests, laity, and missionaries for their work to create dialogue and reconciliation among the various sectors of African society.

Let us pray this month that the Church in Africa, through the commitment of its members, may be the seed of unity among her peoples and a sign of hope for this continent.”

Link to Fr. Stewart's webpage for May.

April 2019

Doctors and Humanitarians in War-Torn Areas

In the most difficult and dramatic situations, such as in war, we can also find examples of goodness and generosity. The doctors and their humanitarian collaborators who work in armed conflicts are a good example. In those places where some people fight to kill, others fight for life.

“The presence of doctors, nurses, and other health care workers in war-torn areas is a sign of hope.

They are wise, valiant, and good-hearted people who, following their vocation, work under extremely dangerous conditions.

Let us pray for doctors and their humanitarian collaborators in war-torn areas, who risk their lives to save the lives of others.”

Link to Fr. Stewart's webpage for April.

March 2019

Recognition of the Right of Christian Communities

Today, our modern society, which is so advanced, continues to persecute people because of their faith. There are people who die and who are persecuted for following Jesus Christ, not to mention the discrimination against Christians in so many countries where they are not acknowledged, or where their existence is subtly rejected through insults and unjust demands.

Let us defend their rights!

“It might be hard for us to believe, but there are more martyrs today than in the first centuries.

They are persecuted because they speak the truth and proclaim Jesus Christ to this society.

This happens particularly where religious freedom is not yet guaranteed.

However, it also happens in countries where, in theory and on paper, they protect freedom and human rights.

Let us pray that Christian communities, especially those who are persecuted, feel that they are close to Christ and have their rights respected.”

Link to Fr. Stewart's webpage for March.

February 2019

Human Trafficking

There are issues where you are morally obligated to take a side, such as human trafficking. You cannot be neutral. If you don’t take a stand against it, if you don’t do something to fight it, you’re contributing to the continued existence of this tremendous injustice. Open your eyes to reality. Open your heart to the victims.

“Although we try to ignore it, slavery is not something from other times.

Faced with this tragic reality, no one can wash their hands of it without being, in some way, an accomplice to this crime against humanity.

We cannot ignore the fact that there is as much slavery in the world today as there was before, or perhaps more.

Let us pray for a generous welcome of the victims of human trafficking, of enforced prostitution, and of violence.”

Link to Fr. Stewart's webpage for February.

January 2019

Young People & The Example of Mary

Young people who move, who throw themselves into the adventure of faith, who follow Mary´s example. Thousands, tens of thousands, even millions of them are gathering this month of January in Panama for the 2019 World Youth Day. Let us share with them the joy of the Gospel.

"You young people have, in the Virgin Mary, a reason for joy and a source of inspiration.
Take advantage of the World Youth Day in Panama to contemplate Christ together with Mary. Let us pray the Rosary together for peace, each of us in our own language.

And ask for strength to dream and to work for peace.

Let us pray that young people, especially in Latin America, follow the example of Mary and respond to the call of the Lord to communicate the joy of the Gospel to the world."

Link to Fr. Stewart's webpage for January.



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