More than 230 million children around the world live in areas affected by armed conflict. Although there is no accurate data on the total number of child soldiers, it is estimated that there are around 250,000. Child soldiers — some as young as 6 years old — are forced to fight and kill. They are also compelled to participate in espionage, support armed groups as informants, and engage in illicit activities such as drug production.
Prayer and supporting JRS and Entreculturas programs can help ensure that children do not spend their childhood on a battlefield. People are also encouraged to support Pope Francis' initiative by signing the related petition.
Below is The Pope's Video — a worldwide call to turn prayer into "concrete gestures" — from December 2016, in which the pope prays that the scandal of child soldiers may be eliminated.
February 14, 2019 — Let us pray in thanksgiving for the life of Fr. Daniel L. Flaherty, SJ, who died at 2:20 p.m. (EST) on February 13, 2019, at Colombiere Center in Clarkston, Michigan. He was 89 years old. Dan was provincial of the Chicago Province from 1973-1979. May he rest in peace.
February 13, 2019 — Ever since middle school I had loved science, but I also remembered many of the stories my mom told of the Jesuits she knew in India. So in high school when I first thought of a religious vocation the Jesuits came to mind immediately, even though I’d never met one!
February 11, 2019 — Let us pray in thanksgiving for the life of Fr. Philip J. Grib, SJ, who died at 7:47 a.m. (CST) on Friday, February 8, 2019, at Resurrection Hospital in Chicago. He was 80 years old. May he rest in peace.
January 28, 2019 — Let us pray in thanksgiving for the life of Fr. Timothy J. Shepard, SJ, who died at 4:00 p.m. (EST) on Friday, January 25, 2019, at Colombiere Center in Clarkston, Michigan. He was two days short of 73 years old. May he rest in peace.