It has been wonderful to be in residence at St. Paul’s for these past 9 months and to celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass here with you. In that same spirit of joy, I share with you the news of my recent appointment to the Vatican’s Dicastery for the Promotion of Integral Human Development. It is one of the largest and newest dicasteries, or ministries, in the Vatican. Pope Francis, in his letter instituting the dicastery, emphasized that it would focus on “issues regarding migrants, those in need, the sick, the excluded and marginalized, the imprisoned and the unemployed, as well as victims of armed conflict, natural disasters, and all forms of slavery and torture.” Additionally, care of creation is also a priority. The prefect of the dicastery is Cardinal Peter Turkson. His support and encouragement throughout this past year have been a tremendous grace for me. In September, Cardinal Turkson arranged for me to serve at the Holy See’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York City (while also coming back each weekend to celebrate Mass here at St. Paul’s!).
In the several months that I was at the U.N., I learned a great deal about the very issues outlined above. The U.N. is organized to address not only situations of crisis, but to facilitate development that will avoid conflict to begin with. The Dicastery for the Promotion of Integral Development has a similar mission, although one aided supernaturally by the grace of Christ and the charisms He has given to the Church. Now that the preparatory work is complete, I am excited about beginning service at the Vatican in the coming month. I am grateful for Bishop Tobin’s generosity and support and pray that I will represent him and the Diocese of Providence well in this new assignment. I am also grateful to Fr. Young for his spiritual friendship and support during this transition and look forward to keeping my residence at St. Paul’s so that I can continue to see all of you whenever I am back home! Let us continue to pray for each other as the great Solemnity of the Resurrection approaches.