Expanding its mission to reach out to children is the latest endeavor for the Apostleship of Prayer. The children’s ministry, started in January, encourages daily offering of prayer by even the youngest members of the church.A gift box is one of the items available through the Apostleship of Prayer website. Packaged as a first Communion gift set, it includes a card of congratulation, Sacred Heart key chain and card, cloth Frisbee, and message to parents about the Apostleship of Prayer. (Submitted photo courtesy the Apostleship of Prayer)

The organization’s website, www.apostleshipofprayer.org, includes a special section, “Children’s Reflections and Activities,” including prayers and printable activities designed for children ages 3 to 12.

Grace Urbanski, newly appointed director of children’s ministry and 15-year member of the Apostleship of Prayer, shared her enthusiasm for her new role. “God has a unique relationship with each of us,” she said. “My favorite part of this new venture is conveying to children just how confident they can be in God’s love and how to cultivate their own prayer life.”  

For children to become an Apostle of Prayer, they must:

For more information, visit apostleshipofprayer.org

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Pray every day. Ask God to help you love him and other people as Jesus does.  Offer your whole day and all your love for the good of the world and the church.

Pray with the pope and become a part of the pope’s prayer group. The pope provides two special intentions each month for the Apostleship of Prayer.  

Started in 1844 in France, the Apostleship of Prayer is a ministry of the Society of Jesus. A group of Jesuit seminarian scholastics were eager to do their mission work. Fr. Francis Xavier Gautrelet encouraged them to slow down and offer up each and every day with prayer, even in the simplest of acts, “Be apostles now, apostles of prayer! Offer everything you are doing each day in union with the Heart of our Lord for what he wishes, the spread of the Kingdom for the salvation of souls.”  

Today, the Apostleship of Prayer is an international prayer group with millions of members. The United States office, located in Milwaukee, is led by Jesuit Fr. James Kubicki, national director of the apostolate. Jesuit Fr. Phil Hurley serves as youth and young adult director.

“Children have always been a part of the Apostleship of Prayer,” said Fr. Kubicki. “Many people have forgotten to share devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Morning Offering with their children. We are making a concerted effort to help families learn about the Sacred Heart and Morning Offering. Part of the Apostleship of Prayer is to pray for Pope Francis’ monthly intentions and the prayers of children are powerful.”

Fr. Kubicki has been a part of the Apostleship of Prayer since 1995 and has been its national director since 2003. He is passionate about his calling because he believes it can help people find meaning and purpose in their everyday lives.

“The Morning Offering prayer, which we encourage, helps people unite every moment of their day to the perfect offering of Jesus in the Mass,” he said. “Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus can help people know the love of God in a deeper and more intimate way.”

St. Therese of Lisieux and St. Francis Xavier are co-patrons of the Apostleship of Prayer. According to thereseoflisieux.org, “In 1885, less than three months before her 13th birthday, St. Therese became a member of the Apostleship of Prayer. Apostles of Prayer offer their lives in solidarity with the Eucharist to draw hearts to the Heart of Jesus. They pray for the special intentions the pope entrusts to them, and every month a volunteer delivered a leaflet with these intentions to Les Buissonnets.”