The Remarkable Pope Francis—Cuba and Beyond!

My Christmas Prayer for 2014 involves his special leadership.

My special Christmas photo that I snapped last week on December 13, 2014.

Christmas photo that I snapped on December 13, 2014, in Vermont. All that WHITE reminds me of the pope.

In my most recent blogpost a few weeks ago, after hearing of his speech at a U.N. conference about world hunger and the environment, I made an appeal for the pope to get seriously involved in promoting the ONLY pragmatic solution to climate change and sustainability. That appeal was posted on 11-26-14. Pope speaks out regarding FOOD & ENVIRONMENT

Three weeks later, we learn of how Pope Francis helped facilitate the normalization of relations with Cuba—after 53 years. From the NY Times (See link below):

WASHINGTON — The deal that freed an American jailed in Cuba and ended 53 years of diplomatic estrangement between the United States and Cuba was blessed at the highest levels of the Holy See but cut in the shadowy netherworld of espionage.

A personal appeal from Pope Francis, American officials said, was critical in persuading Cuba’s president, Raúl Castro, to agree to a prisoner swap and the freeing of the American aid worker Alan P. Gross. The pope, officials said, acted as a “guarantor” that both sides would live up to the terms of a deal reached in secret.

How can anyone not like this guy?

How can anyone not like this guy?

Just a month earlier (10-23-14), I had mentioned the Pope in my “top ten list” of potential global leaders capable of Tearing down the single biggest roadblock to sustainability.

After fully understanding that longterm sustainability of our ecosystem AND our species is not possible without changing the way we eat—he will know what to do. Here’s what I said near the end of that post:

Circulate this article. Find those leaders. Dispel that protein myth. Unlock the brains of the best, brightest, wealthiest and most powerful leaders on Earth. Who are they? Here’s my top-ten list and someone you know may know how to reach them:

Pope Francis, Bill Gates, Ted Turner, Oprah Winfrey, Michael Bloomberg, Prince Charles, Warren Buffett, Joel Osteen, Mark Zuckerberg, and Barack Obama.

Few people took me seriously when I mentioned the pope’s name two months ago in that 10-23 blogpost. Since then, he’s spoken to the U.N. about world hunger and the environment AND he’s helped broker a normalization of relations with Cuba. With a bit of enlightenment about the lunacy of the way we’re eating in the developed world, who knows what an impact he could have in bringing about rapid global change on this most urgent of ALL topics?

Update. There is a Catholic priest in Newfoundland (a new friend of mine) who is currently working on a plan for gaining an audience with Pope Francis to discuss this crucial topic. Stay tuned.

Two more Christmas Photos, the first taken by my son during a recent “dawn patrol” at Wachusett Mountain. He ski-hikes up in the dark and skis down at sunrise. Then he goes to work. The second one is a recent photo of my refrigerator, decorated with Christmas cards featuring the images of ALL six of my grandchildren.

Merry Christmas from Jason Hicks, the co-author of "Healthy Eating, Healthy World."

Merry Christmas from Jason Hicks, the co-author of “Healthy Eating, Healthy World.”

2014 Christmas FridgeFor 2015, pray that we all take some HUGE steps toward SUSTAINABILITY!

In addition to the source document for this blog, I have listed a few of my other 2014 blogs on this topic. Although I began blogging about mostly health in 2011, most of my recent blogs (out of a total of 875) have been focused on activism and leadership aimed at promoting sustainability.

The following five books and one DVD can be purchased on Amazon for a grand total of less than $60—and will enable you to understand the overwhelming challenges we face—along with the single most-powerful solution of all.

Six-Pack from Hicks—for health, hope & harmony on planet Earth

  1. Healthy Eating, Healthy WorldThe “big picture” about food (our book)
  2. A life changer for millions, including James Cameron. Forks Over Knives DVD 
  3. An essential scientific resource: The China Study by Dr. T. Colin Campbell; the primary book that influenced Bill Clinton to adopt a whole food, plant-based diet.
  4. What have we done to our planet? Full Planet, Empty Plates by Lester Brown
  5. A horrifying wake-up call for leaders. TEN BILLION by Dr. Stephen Emmott
  6. Food choices are the primary cause of our environmental problems, yet our world leaders, scientists & experts are Comfortably Unawareby Richard Oppenlander.

Why should we be eating mostly plants? The “big picture” in 4 minutes.

Want to find out how healthy your family is eating? Take our free 4Leaf Survey. It takes 2 or 3 minutes. eCornell is now using our survey in their plant-based nutrition course. Check it out on your smartphone at

International. We’re now reaching people in over 100 countries. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter or get daily blog notices by “following” us in the top of the right-hand column. For occasional updates, join our periodic mailing list.

J. Morris Hicks, working daily to promote health, hope and harmony on planet Earth.

To order more of my favorite books—visit our online BookStore now For help in your own quest to take charge of your health, visit our 4Leaf Program and also enjoy some great recipes from Lisa’s 4Leaf Kitchen.

Got a question? Let me hear from you at Or give me a call on my cell at 917-399-9700.

—J. Morris Hicks, board member since 2012; click banner for more info:

Nutrition Certificate

About J. Morris Hicks

A former strategic management consultant and senior corporate executive with Ralph Lauren in New York, J. Morris Hicks has always focused on the "big picture" when analyzing any issue. In 2002, after becoming curious about our "optimal diet," he began a study of what we eat from a global perspective ---- discovering many startling issues and opportunities along the way. In addition to an MBA and a BS in Industrial Engineering, he holds a certificate in plant-based nutrition from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies, where he has also been a member of the board of directors since 2012. Having concluded that our food choices hold the key to the sustainability of our civilization, he has made this his #1 priority---exploring all avenues for influencing humans everywhere to move back to the natural plant-based diet for our species.
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5 Responses to The Remarkable Pope Francis—Cuba and Beyond!

  1. billkranker1 says:


    First off, I want to wish you a great Christmas and New Year as well !!!

    With regard to the Pope, I appreciate the fact that he has some fresh opinions and ideas. The catholic church is going to need to slightly rebrand itself in order to retain membership going forward. A lot of the young people that I talk to have been indoctrinated into the “science” philosophy and are not as strong in their beliefs. My only concern with Pope Francis is his stand on business and capitalism. While I understand that businesses can become corrupt, the free market is still the most effective way of providing opportunity for all people at all levels. The so-called rags to riches path. Socialism and government control never works long term. That is one of the reasons that I am not in favor of Michelle Obama’s school lunch doctrine. I am completely for making schools more healthy but you will never accomplish this through government mandates but only really through educating the students to make and demand better choices through a more grass roots effort which involves the students themselves – having them come to the right conclusion on there own.

    With regard to Cuba, I certainly like the idea of having better relations with our southern neighbor but I am fearful that we are just buying this friendship by subsidizing another dictatorship. I am sure that this agreement has some form of aid funding attached to it. Also I have not seen any real changes demanded from the Cuban side. Are they going to treat their people better? Are they going to institute more freedoms? I kind of have a wait and see attitude as our government does not have a great track record in these sort of deals.

    Anyway sorry for the serious note. Have a great holiday!!


  2. Joanne Irwin says:

    It’s been wonderful to learn of our renewed diplomatic relations with Cuba. High time! For those in Congress who debunk President Obama’s mature, sane policy, I encourage them to undergo a consciousness lobotomy. Time to remove the reptilian part of their brains. I certainly hope and pray, Jim, that you are blessed with an audience with the Pope. We need someone to be a voice of sanity and authenticity among the loud empty barrels who want to maintain insane policies of an eye for an eye. Have a blessed Christmas with your loved ones! Off to Naples on 12/31!!

    • Joanne Irwin says:

      One more thing – my son skis Wachusett all the time. My grandson is a member of his school’s ski club, and that’s where they ski weekly. They love it. It’s beautiful up there. Spent Thanksgiving in Rutland!

  3. Lester Sukenik says:

    Jim, I am always inspired to read your words of wisdom and hope. Truly you are an angle who will make a difference in this imperfect world. I truly hope that you will be able to have an audience with the Pope and bring your message to the masses. Have a wonderful holiday season and my best to you and family.

  4. Lisa says:

    Thank you for your continued hard work, Jim. Merry Christmas and many blessings to you and your family.

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