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No one should go hungry: Pope Francis launches ‘wave of prayer’ against world hunger Print
Editorial
Written by Mary Uhler   
Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013 -- 12:00 AM

Most of us don’t know what real hunger is. We may get some hunger pangs when we skip a meal or wait awhile to eat. But we probably have never experienced the pain, weakness, fatigue, and other symptoms of excessive or chronic hunger.

One Human Family, Food for All

Official prayer from Caritas

O God, you entrusted to us the fruits of all creation so that we might care for the earth and be nourished with its bounty.

You sent us your Son to share our very flesh and blood and to teach us your Law of Love. Through His death and resurrection, we have been formed into one human family.

Jesus showed great concern for those who had no food — even transforming five loaves and two fish into a banquet that served 5,000 and many more.

We come before you, O God, conscious of our faults and failures, but full of hope, to share food with all members in this global family.

Through your wisdom, inspire leaders of government and of business, as well as all the world’s citizens, to find just and charitable solutions to end hunger by assuring that all people enjoy the right to food.

Thus we pray, O God, that when we present ourselves for Divine Judgment, we can proclaim ourselves as “One Human Family” with “Food for All”.

AMEN.

If you check for symptoms of hunger on the Internet, you find that there are many other affects of extreme hunger, especially in children. Hunger hits children physically with delayed growth and development, as well as greater susceptibility to diseases. Hunger also affects children’s learning and impacts their social interactions.

What is really sad is that since over 40 percent of households in the United States live below the poverty level, approximately 13 million American children live with hunger or are at risk of experiencing hunger.

Campaign of prayer and action

What can we do to help those who are hungry? This week Pope Francis helped launch a global campaign of prayer and action against world hunger, according to a Catholic News Service (CNS) article.

Organized by Caritas Internationalis, the Vatican-based federation of Catholic charities, the global “wave of prayer” began at noon on Tuesday, Dec. 10, on the South Pacific island of Samoa and headed west across the world’s time zones.

Pope Francis offered his blessing and support for the “One Human Family, Food For All” campaign in a five-minute video message released on the eve of the global launch (go to food.caritas.org for his message and more information and resources on this campaign to end world hunger).

Caritas Internationalis invited its 164-member organizations and local churches to pray for an end to hunger and malnutrition as well as to act on a local, national, or global level against food waste and promote food access and security worldwide, said the CNS article.

In the United States, Caritas works with Catholic  Charities USA (Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Madison is an affiliate) and Catholic Relief Services.

Join in prayer and action

Caritas is urging Catholics to join the world in praying against hunger as well as engaging in long-term action through raising awareness, advocacy, charitable work, or other efforts supporting food security.

The campaign will continue with a “global week of action” in October of 2014 with events aimed at pressuring national governments to support laws for the right to food. In Rome in May 2015, Caritas Internationalis will also host a general assembly of its members’ leaders to focus specifically on eradicating hunger.

People can get more information about what Catholic Charities in the Diocese of Madison is doing to help the poor and hungry at www.ccmadison.org

Pope Francis has said, “We cannot look the other way” when it comes to helping the poor and hungry. Especially in this season of Advent, let us pray (see the suggested prayer from the Caritas campaign) and do what we can to help alleviate world hunger, beginning today!

 
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