A delegation from the ACN International met with the Pope during the International Conference for the Ongoing Formation of Priests, at the end of last week, and offered him a “missionary hat”, a symbol of the presence and work of the sisters of the congregation of Jesus Word and Victim, in Guasimal, a poor region of Cuba.

A delegation from ACN International, which included, among others, the international executive president, Ms Regina Lynch, and the director of projects for Latin America, participated in the audience last Thursday, 8 February, with the Holy Father, during the International Conference for the Ongoing Formation of Priests. The audience was promoted by the Dicastery for the Clergy in conjunction with the Dicastery for Evangelization and the Dicastery for the Eastern Churches.

The event, whose theme was “Revive the gift of God that is in you” (2 Tim 1:6), had the support of the pontifical foundation, Aid to the Church in Need (ACN). The Foundation’s international executive president, Regina Lynch, expressed her gratitude to the more than 850 priests present for their missionary ministry in favor of those in need. 

During the meeting with the Pope, Rafael d’Aqui, team leader of the Latin American projects section, had the opportunity to offer him a “missionary hat” that had been given to ACN by the Missionary Sisters of Jesus the Word and Victim, during a visit in 2023.


This hat, produced by local inhabitants of the community of Paredes, in the parish of Guasimal, in Cuba, is a symbol of the missionary work supported by Aid to the Church in Need in regions with a shortage of priests. The Holy Father received the gift with appreciation and blessed the missionary work carried out in the world. The Missionaries of Jesus the Word and Victim have a special vocation for work in poor and remote regions, where there are few or no priests.

This congregation was founded in 1961 in Peru and is now present in seven different countries in Latin America, such as Cuba. As part of their ministry, these sisters pray with the faithful, comfort the sick and dying, bring them the Eucharist, baptize children, perform funerals and the Celebration of the Word, and give catechesis. They also help with practical day-to-day matters and the concrete concerns of the lives of the faithful. Since 2015, the congregation has also been present in Cuba. They are in Guasimal, in the Diocese of Santa Clara, where there are more than 27 thousand Catholic faithful for one priest. It is an extremely poor region. Most people live from fishing, agriculture or pastoralism. The work of these sisters is directly supported by the benefactors and friends of ACN in Malta and around the world.