VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis has named Salesian Sister Alessandra Smerilli undersecretary for faith and development at the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development.
The 46-year-old Italian is an economist and professor of economy policy, an adviser to the governing office of Vatican City State, a consultant to the Synod of Bishops and coordinator of the economy task force of the Vatican’s COVID-19 commission.
Sister Smerilli also is one of the driving forces behind the ongoing “Economy of Francesco” project, which is bringing together young economists and other young scholars searching for ways to make the economy more responsive to human dignity and more respectful of creation.
She becomes the sixth female undersecretary of a Vatican office; two serve at the Dicastery for Laity, the Family and Life, and one each at the Synod of Bishops, the Vatican Secretariat of State and the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life.
In a statement after the announcement of her appointment March 24, Sister Smerilli said, “I will now strive to bring my expertise in the field of economics and the social doctrine of the church to an ever more concrete service to the mission of the church and the Holy See.”
“We are going through times of great trial in which the values on which humanity has always been founded are being questioned, in which individuals and families are suffering from a devastating social, political, anthropological and cultural crisis that the COVID-19 pandemic has contributed to exacerbate, and in which reference points are wavering,” she said. Believers, in response, are called to rediscover what truly sustains them.
Thanks to the contributions of “many colleagues, experts, academics and external partners, believers and nonbelievers,” she said, the Vatican COVID-19 commission has highlighted “how much humanity feels wounded and needs concrete answers and love to recover. We cannot go back to the old world; we need to prepare the future well.”
In a time to build, CatholicPhilly.com connects people and communities
As society emerges from the loss and separation of the pandemic, CatholicPhilly.com works to strengthen the connections between people, families and communities every day by delivering the news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live.
By your donation in any amount, you join in our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103