VATICAN CITY (CNS) — In a world marked by violence, conflict as well as material and spiritual poverty, men and women need the Gospel message of hope, Pope Francis told members of the U.S.-based Papal Foundation.

Speaking to foundation members May 10, the pope thanked them for their contributions and work that “helps to bring the Gospel message of hope and mercy to all who benefit from your commitment and generosity.”

“For this I thank you, and I pray that you will be renewed in your purpose to help build the church in unity and advance her charitable outreach to the least of our brothers and sisters,” he said.


Each spring, members of the foundation make a pilgrimage to Rome and present to the pope the projects they have funded for the year. Established in 1988, the foundation has awarded millions of dollars in grants and scholarships since 1990.

The grants provide funds to build or repair churches, schools, convents and seminaries and to fund projects ranging from evangelization and communications training to helping a parish in Africa install a solar energy plant.

Pope Francis said since its founding, the Papal Foundation has “contributed much to the fostering of a spirit of fraternity and peace.”

“Through your support of various educational, charitable and apostolic projects, as well as the scholarships made available to lay men and women, those living the consecrated life and priests, you give witness to the untiring efforts of the church to promote the integral development of the human family,” he said.