The Catholic University of America

Dec. 10, 2013 

Cardinal Wuerl Leads University Prayer Service to End World Hunger

  From left, Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, and Cardinal Sean O'Malley. 

Calling on God to inspire government and business leaders to help end global hunger, Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington, Chancellor of The Catholic University of America, and CUA trustee, led University students in prayer today, joining Pope Francis and Catholics worldwide in support of a campaign to alleviate a problem that affects nearly a billion people.

Reading from a prayer titled “One human family, food for all” at a brief service in Caldwell Chapel, Cardinal Wuerl said, “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.”

Fellow University trustees Cardinal Sean O’Malley, Archbishop of Boston; Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops; more than a half-dozen other CUA trustees; and University President John Garvey joined Cardinal Wuerl at the prayer service. On a snowy day during finals week, students filled the chapel.

  Students fill Caldwell Chapel.

Earlier today, a global wave of prayer began at noon local time on the island of Samoa, which is 19 hours ahead of Washington, and cascaded around the world through each time zone as people paused from their daily routines to pray to end world hunger. The prayer will continue until it reaches the island again, roughly 24 hours and 164 countries later.

After the service, Archbishop Kurtz noted that calling for an end to world hunger “is not a new effort” for the Church, but the prayer wave brings renewed attention to the problem.

“We’re used to the wave in sports,” he said. “This wave of prayer is about participation and solidarity and advocacy” in making sure that food is distributed to people who need it.

As Catholic University students left the chapel, Cardinal Wuerl said, “They are here to bear witness. They share in our concern. They are a wonderful example for all of us.”

Noting that Dec. 10 is Human Rights Day worldwide, Cardinal O’Malley said that “the right to eat is a basic one. The wave is an indication of how large the problem is. With the government poised to cut back on food stamps, this is not the time to retreat. Solving the problem of world hunger is within our reach.”

Pope Francis endorsed the campaign in a five-minute video released on Dec. 9. The campaign is sponsored by Caritas Internationalis, which is the worldwide network of Catholic relief and development organizations, and responds to the more than 840 million people around the world who suffer from hunger. Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA) are the U.S. sponsors of the campaign as members of Caritas.

To read the complete prayer, click here.



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