The internship program at the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations in New York provides the opportunity for bright, Catholic, college graduates or graduate students to gain invaluable experience assisting the work of the Holy See in its multilateral work at the UN, seeking to bring the light of Catholic Social Teaching to the debates of the international community. Interns receive a special orientation on the history of the diplomatic work of the Holy See at the United Nations, attend the wide variety of UN meetings, conferences and debates, file reports to be sent to the Holy See’s central offices in the Vatican, assist in running the Mission’s many conferences, regularly attend receptions and cultural events held by the Holy See and other Missions, and many other activities.
Internship Cycles and Numbers
There are three internship cycles each year, Fall, Spring and Summer. It is possible for an intern to remain for more than one, doing two cycles or even a full year, but with the number of applications the Mission has been receiving, and the desire to give capable applicants the chance, it is becoming rarer that applicants will be accepted to more than one session, at least initially. The Fall Session extends from the beginning of September through just before Christmas; the Spring Session begins on Monday of the second week of January and extends the end of May; the Summer Session runs from the Tuesday immediately following Memorial Day [the last Monday of May] through the end of August. An orientation and training program is given at the beginning of each cycle. Up to eight interns are taken for any given session.
Application deadlines are April 15 for the following Fall Session, October 1 for the following Spring Session and January 1 for the upcoming Summer Session. The Application process involves sending a cover letter, a curriculum vitae, and two letters of recommendations (one from a teacher or academic advisor, the second from a Catholic pastor or chaplain) to arrive by the respective deadline at Internship Program, Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations, 25 E. 39th Street, New York, NY 10016. A PDF copy of the mailed application should also be emailed by the deadline to email@example.com with “Internship Application” listed in the subject line. Applicants are encouraged to get in their applications well before the deadline. After applications have been received and evaluated, certain applicants may be invited to submit an essay on one of the themes in debate at the UN as the second stage of the process. After that, interviews may be scheduled via Zoom or, for those in the New York area, in person as the third stage.
Because of the nature of the work of the Holy See at the United Nations, interns must be practicing Catholics; understand, appreciate and believe in Catholic Social Teaching and in the values the Church seeks to convey before the international community; have graduated from university or be enrolled in a graduate program (undergraduates enrolled in programs may apply for the internship program, but preference will be given to graduates); be fluent in English and, if possible, in one or more of the six official UN languages; be a good, clear and precise writer, capable of analytic and synthetic thought and sound research in libraries and via the internet; and have the ability to work collaboratively as a member of a team. The maximal age to be eligible for the internship is 35 (at the beginning of the internship).
Interns normally work Monday through Friday 9 am to 6 pm. There are occasional nighttime events, as well as, once or twice a year, the need to assist in covering sessions when the UN is meeting on weekends. Attendance at the daily staff meeting after Midmorning Prayer each day at 9 am in the Mission Chapel is obligatory. Every first Friday of the month, and on Holy Days of Obligation, a Mass is celebrated at the Chapel in the Mission that all staff and interns are expected to attend.
Fellowships, Housing, and Meals
Interns are responsible for making their own housing arrangements while in New York, covering their initial travel to and from New York, purchasing travel/health insurance, and other expenses. However, the Mission offers reimbursement for travel to and from the Mission Office each day and a staff lunch at the Mission at 1:15 pm. is provided daily.
The Mission maintains a list of possible housing options (normally dormitory style setting) in New York City. This information is offered once the intern has been selected for a position. Interns can make arrangements to stay in these locations, find alternative housing, stay with friends/family, or look at possible sublet opportunities and short term rentals.
The Mission has established Fellowship Programs with certain Catholic Colleges and Universities that provide funding for the housing and living expenses for a mutually-agreed upon student or recent graduate to serve as fellows for a semester or for an academic year at the Mission. If the intern is not from one of these established programs, he/she can apply for the Viscogliosi Brothers Fellowship. There is an application process for the VBF and the intern will need to show demonstrable financial need to qualify. These funds can be used for housing and monthly expenses while the intern is in New York City and working for the Mission. The application process for the VBF is shared with the intern upon request.
First row/Seated (L to R): Matthew Matisz (USA), Hazel Fernandez (Philippines), Archbishop Gabriele Caccia, Jackalyn Ballard (USA), Augustine Preziosi (USA)
Second/Back row (L to R): James Basch (USA), Marcell Máttyus (Hungary), Francesco Laureti (Italy), Max Yun (Canada), Bernardo Cellini (Portugal/Italy)
Further Inquiries and questions
Those with questions not answered here are invited to email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Fr. Mark Knestout (212.370.7885 x127; email@example.com).