Diocese of

Hexham and Newcastle

Bishop Séamus Cunningham

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.

August 2018

The Treasure of Families

No family is perfect. Love is demanding, although there is no greater happiness. There are many ways to approach the ideal of a Christian family (see "The Joy of Love" 32-57). 

But what all of them have in common is respect for others and lasting love, values that make them a treasure that must be protected. “When speaking of families, often the image of a treasure comes to my mind.

Today's rhythm of life, stress, pressure at work, and also the little attention paid by institutions, could put them in danger.

It's not enough to talk about their importance: it's necessary to promote concrete means and to develop their role in society with a good family policy.

Together, let us ask Jesus that any far-reaching decisions of economists and politicians may protect the family as one of the treasures of humanity"

Link to Fr. Stewart's webpage for August is not available.

2018 Living Prayer Calendar and Booklet now available!

The Pope’s Global Prayer Network in Britain (formerly Apostleship of Prayer) offers you their 2018 annual wall-calendar and popular Living Prayer booklet. These give you a quick and easy daily reminder of the Holy Father’s prayer intention for each month during 2018. Available for immediate dispatch, and in a limited-quantity special-offer twin-pack, the calendar and Living Prayer booklet could be a useful seasonal gift as well as a way of uniting the Holy Father’s concerns to your own prayer. For more information and details on how to order these items, please visit their website.

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

July 2018

Priests and their Pastoral Ministry

Your parish priest is always available for you, to celebrate Mass, visit the sick, speak with someone who doesn't have anyone else who will listen to him, and much more. 

But he's not a superman. He's a person who, like everyone else, also feels alone sometimes. During those moments of loneliness, you can do a lot for him. Listen to him, visit him, smile at him. He needs it.

“The tiredness of priests... Do you know how often I think about it?

Priests, with their virtues and defects, work in many different areas. Working on so many active fronts, they cannot remain inactive after a disappointment. At such times, it's good for them to remember that the people love their priests, need them, and trust in them.

Let us pray together that priests, who experience fatigue and loneliness in their pastoral work, may find help and comfort in their intimacy with the Lord and in their friendship with their brother priests.”

Link to Fr. Stewart's webpage for July is not available.

June 2018

That Social Networks may work towards that inclusiveness which respects others for their differences.

Internet and social networks open many possibilities to us. However, it is necessary to use them well, and to do good; not to isolate ourselves, but to communicate better; not to spread lies, but to speak the truth.

"The Internet is a gift of God, but it is also a great responsibility.

Communication technology, its places, its instruments have brought with it a lengthening of horizons, a widening, for so many people.

It can offer immense possibilities for encounter and solidarity.

May the digital network not be a place of alienation. May it be a concrete place, a place rich in humanity.

Let us pray together that social networks may work towards that inclusiveness which respects others for their differences."

Link to Fr. Stewart's webpage for June.

May 2018

The laity are a fundamental part of the Church. Our commitment, our testimony, and our service, especially in the most difficult situations, help to spread the truth of the Gospel.

"Lay people are on the front line of the life of the Church. We need their testimony regarding the truth of the Gospel and their example of expressing their faith by practicing solidarity.

Let us give thanks for the lay people who take risks, who are not afraid and who offer reasons for hope to the poorest, to the excluded, to the marginalized.

Let us pray together this month that the lay faithful may fulfill their specific mission, the mission that they received in Baptism, putting their creativity at the service of the challenges of today's world."

Link to Fr. Stewart's webpage for May.

April 2018

The economy needs to be at the service of social justice, benefitting, above all, those who need it most. Those who have responsibility in economic matters must put it at the service of the common good.

"The economy cannot attempt only to increase profits by reducing the work force and thereby adding to the ranks of the excluded.

It must follow the path marked out by business leaders, politicians, thinkers, and leaders in society who place the human person in first place, and do everything possible to ensure that there are opportunities of dignified work.

Let us say “no” to an economy of exclusion, an economy that kills. And let us fight to achieve a “yes” to an economy that lets live because it shares, includes the poor, and uses profits to create communion.

Let us raise our voices together, asking that economists may have the courage to reject an economy of exclusion and know how to open new paths".

Link to Fr. Stewart's webpage for April.

March 2018

In the midst of all the things we hear and the messages that we get, we must learn how to discern what Christ is asking. To do this, we must have good formation based on discerning the voice of the Lord. “The Church today needs to grow in the ability of spiritual discernment. There are many ways of living life well, using it for serving human and Christian ideals. We were created by God out of love and to love. Every Christian ought to grow in the ability to “read within” his or her life, and to understand where and to what he or she is being called by the Lord, in order to carry on his mission. The times in which we live demand that we develop a profound capacity of discernment… To discern, from among all the voices we hear, which is the Lord’s voice, which is the voice of Him who guides us to the Resurrection, to Life, and the voice that frees us from falling into the “culture of death. Let us pray together that the Church may appreciate the urgency of formation in spiritual discernment, both on the personal and communitarian levels.”

Link to Fr. Stewart's webpage for March.

February 2018

Ignoring the corruption around us doesn’t do any good. If we want to end corruption and stop it from doing so much damage in our world, we have to stare it down and speak clearly, just as Pope Francis is. “What is at the root of slavery, unemployment, and disregard for nature and goods held in common? Corruption, a process of death that feeds the culture of death. Because the thirst for power and possessions knows no limits. Corruption is not countered with silence. We must speak about it, denounce its evils, and try to understand it so as to show our resolve to make mercy reign over meanness, beauty over nothingness. Let us pray that those who have material, political or spiritual power may resist any lure of corruption."

Link to Fr. Stewart's webpage for February.

January 2018

Sometimes we might think that being Christian is difficult. But what’s certain is that it is much more difficult in some places than in others. Asia is one of these places. Here, Christianity is a minority religion, and like other minorities, Christians often suffer persecution. Let us pray that all religions, also those that are minorities, are given the freedom that sometimes today on the Asian continent, they are lacking.

Link to Fr. Stewart's webpage for January.

December 2017

The Pope’s December prayer intention invites us to consider a different source of wisdom. Pope Francis asks the people of God to pray with him “that the elderly, sustained by families and Christian communities, may apply their wisdom and experience to spreading the faith and forming the new generations”.

Link to Fr. Stewart's webpage for December.

November 2017

November’s monthly Intention from Pope Francis reflects his concern for the whole of the universal church and the whole of the world, especially the frontiers. Frequently he draws our attention to those frontiers, to the realities of the "rest of the world" geographically as well as economically. He has been particularly interested in Asia and in November he points us towards that vast continent, asking us to pray with him that “Christians in Asia, bearing witness to the Gospel in word and in deed, may promote dialogue, peace and mutual understanding, especially with those of other religions”. 

Link to Fr. Stewart's webpage for November.

October 2017

This month, Pope Francis asks us to pray that the rights of workers and the unemployed will be respected. Work is one of the fundamental human rights. Let us make an effort so that everyone has access to employment in dignified conditions. “We should always remember the dignity and rights of those who work, condemn situations in which that dignity and those rights are violated, and help to ensure authentic progress by man and society. Let us pray that all workers may receive respect and protection of their rights, and that the unemployed may receive the opportunity to contribute to the common good.”

Link to Fr. Stewart's webpage for October.


September 2017

Many are the concerns in the Pope’s heart, for the serious challenges that face humanity and for the spread of the Gospel, not least its call for peace and justice. His first request to us for September will catch the attention of many of us, for it is about parishes. He invites us to pray "that our parishes, animated by a missionary spirit, may be places where faith is communicated and charity is seen."

Link to Fr. Stewart's webpage for September.

August 2017

The Pope’s first intention for August are for artists. The arts and nature express the beauty of creation and bring joy to the soul. Let us join the Pope in praying for artists, so that with their creativity, they continue showing us the greatness of God.

Link to Fr. Stewart's webpage for August.

July 2017

The pope’s first intention for July refers us not to those who have, as it were, taken a holiday from Christian faith but who have drifted away more permanently. And it is highly likely that they have done so for the good reason that others of us have indeed gone on holiday from the Christian life – because of counter-examples that demonstrate anything but the “beauty” of that life that this month’s intention names.

Link to Fr. Stewart's webpage for July.

June 2017

The main intention this month is that national leaders may firmly commit themselves to ending the arms trade, which victimises so many innocent people.


The Pope's urgent intention this month is Peace and Healing:

May the Holy Spirit grant peace to the entire world.
May He heal the wounds of war and terrorism,
Which most recently struck innocent civilians in London.
Let us pray for the victims and their families.


Link to Fr. Stewart's webpage for June.

May 2017

The main intention this month is Christians of Africa, witnesses for peace. That Christians in Africa, in imitation of the Merciful Jesus, may give prophetic witness to reconciliation, justice, and peace.

Link to Fr. Stewart's webpage for May.

April 2017

The main intention this month is for Young People and the Synod next year. Pope Francis asks that our prayers be joined to his, that young people may respond generously to their vocations and seriously consider offering themselves to God in the priesthood or consecrated life.

The "urgent intention" this month is to pray for peace in Democratic Republic of Congo (Kasai) and for the situations faced by people in Colombia, Venezuela and Paraguay.

Link to Fr. Stewart's webpage for April.

March 2017

Pope Francis, inviting us as he does each month to join our prayers to his for the concerns that are in his own heart, asks this month that we pray that persecuted Christians may be supported by the prayers and material help of the whole Church.

Link to Fr. Stewart's webpage for March.