Upcoming Events: Annual UN Prayer Service on September 5, 2023
Each year since 1986, on the occasion of the opening of the new session of the General Assembly of the United Nations, the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See has organized a Prayer Service for the United Nations Diplomatic Community and personnel, together with religious leaders from the New York area.
This year, an Evening Prayer Service will take place on Tuesday, September 5, 2023, which marks the beginning of the 78th Session, from 6:00 to 6:50 p.m. at the Church of the Holy Family. His Excellency, Most Reverend Frank Dewane, Bishop of Venice (Florida), will deliver the meditation on the double anniversary that falls this year: 75 years of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and 60 years of Pope St. John XXIII’s Encyclical Letter Pacem in Terris.
Prayers will be offered in gratitude for all that has been accomplished during the 77th Session of the General Assembly, and for the success of the upcoming 78th Session. It will also be an occasion to entrust to God our efforts for peace in the world, for the development and advancement of the human family, and for a solution to the ongoing refugee crisis.
Mass with Archbishop Gallagher on September 25, 2023
All are welcome to attend a Mass celebrated by Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, the Secretary for Relations with States and International Organizations of the Holy See.
Archbishop Gallagher will be serving as the Head of the Holy See Delegation to the High-Level Week at the opening of the 78th Session of the United Nations General Assembly.
His Holiness Pope Francis to Travel to Mongolia on Apostolic Journey (31 August-4 September)
Image source: Vatican Media
Pope Francis departed today to Ulaanbaatar on his Apostolic Journey to Mongolia. Here, His Holiness will meet with the President and civil authorities, as well as the Bishops, priests, religious men and women, and lay ministers at the Cathedral of Sts. Peter and Paul in Ulaanbaatar. His Holiness will also hold an ecumenical and inter-religious encounter in the city.
"To go to Mongolia," Pope Francis said, according to Vatican News, "is to go to a [numerically] small people in a vast land," he said. "Mongolia seems to have no end, and its inhabitants are few, a people few in number of a great culture. I think it will do us good to understand this silence, so vast, so big. It will help us understand what it means: not intellectually but with the senses."
Pope Francis's Message for 2023 World Youth Day
Image source: Vatican News
"After a long period of social distancing and isolation, we will all rediscover in Lisbon – with God’s help – the joy of a fraternal embrace between peoples and generations, an embrace of reconciliation and peace, an embrace of new missionary fraternity! May the Holy Spirit kindle in your hearts a desire to “arise” and the joy of journeying together, in synodal fashion, leaving behind all false frontiers. Now is the time to arise! Like Mary, let us 'arise and go in haste.'"
–Pope Francis, Message of His Holiness for
the XXXVII World Youth Day
Archbishop Caccia Offers Statement During the UN High-Level Forum on the Culture of Peace
On August 31, 2023, Archbishop Gabriele Caccia, the Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, offered his remarks the UN High-Level Forum on the Culture of Peace. The theme was “Promoting Peace in the Digital Era.”
Archbishop Caccia began with an observation that digital progress has brought both opportunities and challenges to promoting a culture of peace. He highlighted that Pope Francis, as a result, chose Artificial Intelligence and Peace for his message on the 57th World Day of Peace.
The Holy See’s statement first focused on the impact of digital technologies on education. While these technologies can be critical in fostering the values and goals of a culture of peace, an over-reliance on them risks commodifying education, Archbishop Caccia said.
Second, digital technologies can facilitate the spreading of “a culture of encounter” and “dialogue,” allowing individuals to exercise their right to freedom of opinion and expression; however, this also comes with corresponding duties to protect against a “disinformation society.”
Archbishop Caccia Delivers Statement on the International Day Against Nuclear Tests
On August 29 2023, Archbishop Gabriele Caccia, the Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, delivered remarks during the General Assembly High-level Plenary Meeting to Commemorate and Promote the International Day Against Nuclear Tests (IDANT).
In his remarks, Archbishop Caccia reflected that in the seventy-eight years following the first nuclear-explosive test in New Mexico, nuclear tests have caused grave harm including displacement, multigenerational health problems, and poisoned food and water. States that rely on nuclear deterrence, he said, have moral and legal obligations to restore the lives, communities, and ecosystems harmed by such testing.
Archbishop Caccia expressed the Holy See delegation’s support of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban-Treaty and the strengthening of the ban on nuclear-explosive testing in the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW).
Holy See Statement on Famine and Conflict-Induced Global Food Insecurity
On 3 August 2023, Archbishop Gabriele Caccia, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, delivered a statement at the United Nations Security Council’s open debate on “Famine and Conflict-Induced Global Food Insecurity.”
The Holy See delegation recalled that every human person has the right to food, while highlighting that over a quarter of a billion people currently face high levels of acute food insecurity worldwide. In light of this, Archbishop Caccia stressed the need for responsible multilateral cooperation that generates proactive solidarity with those who hunger.
In furtherance of this, the Holy See urged all parties to return to dialogue regarding the renewal of the Black Sea Initiative, stressed the need to ensure that economic sanctions avoid negative effects on food security at the local and global levels and called on all States to protect our common home from climate change, in part due to its affects on local food systems.
Life of the Mission
(Above) On August 28, 2023, His Grace Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, along with his wife, Mrs. Caroline Welby, visited the Holy See Mission.
Birthdays and Ordination Anniversaries
The Mission celebrated two birthdays in August: Ms. Luisa Shida and Mr. Sea Yun Pius Joung. Ad multos annos!
Farewell, Summer Interns!
On August 30, the Holy See Mission bid farewell to its cohort of Summer 2023 interns.
The Summer Cycle of Interns, as usual here at the Holy See Mission, was a very international cohort, spanning five continents and manifold perspectives, but united in their Catholic faith. During this Summer, the UN held various Executive Boards for different UN agencies, which all culminated in the High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development. Sea Yun Pius Joung, a graduate student studying Patristics at Harvard, explained that his internship was a "sound opportunity" to explore the Church’s role in the UN, apply his studies in theology, and "form life-long friendships with brothers and sisters from a cross-section of the global Church." Pius will be returning to Harvard for the second year of his Fellowship and studies at the Divinity School.
The Holy See Mission looks forward to welcoming its Fall 2023 Intern cohort on September 5, 2023.
Since 2015, the Holy See Mission has had 162 interns from 37 countries.
The internship program provides the opportunity for bright, Catholic, English-speaking college graduates or graduate students to gain experience assisting 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.
Our interns are integral to the work of the Holy See at the United Nations. They attend various UN meetings, conferences, and debates, and then prepare reports that, once reviewed, are sent to the Holy See’s central offices in the Vatican. Our interns also assist with the Mission’s conferences, receptions, and cultural events.
There are three internship cycles each year: Fall, Spring, and Summer, and eight internship positions are available per cycle. The Mission is currently accepting applications for the Spring 2024 session, which will run from January through May 2024.