There is an annual tradition, in conjunction with the  opening of the United Nations General Assembly, that brings together senior U.N. officials and members of Catholic Church’s hierarchy (plus leaders of other denominations), for the purpose of praying for the work of the United Nations.

This year’s Prayer Service was held on September 12, and included Mr. Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, along with The Most Reverend Francis A. Chullikatt, Apostolic Nuncio and Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations.

The service concluded with a blessing of an image of Pope John Paul II, that will hang permanently in Holy Family Church — to commemorate John Paul II’s addressing the UN General Assembly on 2 October 1979 and 5 October 1995.

“The United Nations Organization needs to rise more and more above the cold status of an administrative institution and to become a moral center where all the nations of the world feel at home and develop a shared awareness of being, as it were, a “family of nations.” Pope John Paul II, 5 October 1995