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January 18, 2019

Holy See Welcomes Spring 2019 Interns


Above, Spring 2019 Interns pose for a photo in the Holy See Mission Headquarters in New York during their training. Pictured from left to right: New interns Roxane Heidrich, Jose Villanueva, Lia Alejo, Chiara Mocchi, Luke Miller, Corrinne Burns, Veteran interns Alexander MacDonald and Giulia Iop. (Not pictured: Juan Daray)
The Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the UN happily welcomed its new interns and fellows for the Spring 2019 Session.

Six new interns began on January 14, joining three interns who were awarded second terms from the Fall.  

Six nationalities are represented, including Peru, the Philippines, Germany, Italy, Canada and the United States. The interns and fellows will follow, among other things, the Commission on the Status of Women, the Statistical Commission, the Commission for Social Development, the Commission for Population and Development, the negotiations on Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction (BBNJ),  the Security Council, and much more.

The interns spoke briefly about what they hope to gain from this experience and what they are most anticipating.

Chiara Mocchi, an Italian fellow sponsored by the Toniolo Institute of the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Milan, said the training provided "has been really inspiring and stimulating.” She added, "We are learning so much and I really appreciate that the people here are really professional and really believe in what we are doing. I have great examples to follow."

José Villanueva of Peru spoke to his aspirations for the program, which will extend through the end of May.

"I had a great internship with the Dicastery for Social Communications in Rome. Now I am interested in seeing how the Holy See interacts with the world in the realm of diplomacy. I am interested in social development and ending poverty in the world, and how the States at the UN, and particularly the Holy See, help impact change.”

Corrinne Burns, from Ave Maria Law School in Florida, said, "I was interested in this internship because I wanted to see diplomacy at work and how the Holy See influences diplomacy in general.” Burns is scheduled to marry in May at the very end of the internship.

Fellow American Luke Miller, a graduate of St. Thomas University in Minneapolis, expressed his excitement "to learn about all the different arenas at the UN and how so many different aspects of world politics are covered. It's a great opportunity to witness the Church's social teaching in action on a global stage.”

Roxane Heidrich, a German native who grew up in Italy and is the John Paul II Fellow from Seton Hall University’s School of Diplomacy and International Relations said she was interested in the internship "because I wanted to explore the role of the Holy See in the fostering in peacebuilding. I know instances in which mediators linked to the Church have made an impact and I wanted to see that in action."

In the past three years, the Mission has enhanced its training program for interns and set up programs with various Catholic universities to sponsor fellowships for students or graduates to serve. The Mission has seen a growing number of applicants since strengthening the application and interview process, making the selection process increasingly arduous and creating a nice problem for the Mission to have to solve. Applications are now being received for the Fall 2019 Session (September through December 2019). Information on applying can be found here.



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