VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis met with the members of the U.S.-based Papal Foundation, who were in Rome for their annual pilgrimage April 17. The pope thanked the foundation members for their “hard work and sacrifice” and for their ongoing support in the field of education.

In his prepared remarks, the pope said the foundation “wisely” devotes “a sizeable percentage of its resources to the education and formation of young priests, religious and laymen and women, hastening the day when their local churches may be self-supportive and, indeed, pass on the fruits of such generosity to others.”


Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl of Washington, foundation president, presented Pope Francis will this year’s donation: 130 grants totaling more than $14 million, as well as more than $600,000 earmarked for scholarships for priests, religious and laypeople studying in Rome.

“The wide variety of projects supported by the foundation gives witness to the ceaseless efforts of the church to promote the integral development of the human family,” the pope said.

The foundation has made more than $111 million in grants in supporting the evangelizing mission of the papacy over its 27-year history.

At the end of the audience, the Papal Foundation and Saint John’s University in Collegeville, Minnesota, presented Pope Francis with the final volume of a limited, fine-art edition of “The Saint John’s Bible.” Michael Hemesath, university president, said the pope seemed to appreciate the Bible and its gilded illuminations, expressing joy and satisfaction particularly at the depiction of the New Jerusalem in the Book of Revelation.