A man in a tie, a Cardinal, and a priest smile in front of a bookcase.
Cross Catholic Outreach visited with cardinals and Church leaders in the Vatican to discuss our partnership and relief efforts. Pictured here from left to right: Father Bernard Olszewski, Jim Cavnar, Cardinal Robert Sarah, and Msgr. Ted Bertagni.

Cross Catholic Outreach Visits the Vatican

In 2015, Cross Catholic Outreach received official recognition as a Catholic charitable organization when the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, under the leadership of Cardinal Robert Sarah, approved the canonical statutes required by Church law.

In June 2022, under Pope Francis’s pontificate, the Roman Curia’s organizational structure was reformed, and the ministry for charity was placed into the Dicastery for the Service of Charity. This important Catholic outreach was placed under the direction of the papal almoner, Cardinal Konrad Krajewski. This position is of such importance that it is one of only two positions that retain authority during the sede vacante, the period between two papacies. The principle is that the service of charity is never to be interrupted.

In April of this year, Jim Cavnar, co-founder and CEO, and Michele Sagarino, president of Cross Catholic Outreach, joined Msgr. Ted Bertagni, director of clergy and diocesan relations, and Fr. Bernard Olszewski, senior outreach priest, are in Rome for a meeting with Cardinal Krajewski for the following purposes:

  1. To present a donation of an additional $300,000 for the continued efforts of the dicastery in the war relief efforts in Ukraine.
  2. To celebrate the collaboration between the Vatican and Cross Catholic Outreach.
  3. To understand the duties and operations — both ordinary and extraordinary — of his office.
  4. To thank Cardinal Krajewski for agreeing to celebrate Mass for the staff, missionary partners, beneficiaries, and donors of Cross Catholic Outreach on the occasion of its annual Day of Prayer on the Feast of the Assumption.

During the meeting, Cardinal Krajewski demonstrated a deep love for the poor, which has motivated his daily life and aligns well with the pontificate of Pope Francis. While the meeting’s focus was on the relief efforts in Ukraine, the group also learned of the dicastery’s efforts on behalf of the poor in Rome.

The cardinal gave a personal tour of the facilities steps near St. Peter’s Square used to bless the poor and marginalized.  These facilities included a shower area, a medical facility with volunteer physicians and nurses, a pharmacy, and a meal and clothing distribution area run by the deacons in the Diocese of Rome.  The meeting ended with a special blessing from Cardinal Krajewski for Cross Catholic Outreach, our ministry partners, and our donors. Cross Catholic Outreach is committed to continuing its prayers for and support of the dicastery.

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