Students at Bishop T.K. Gorman Regional Catholic School joined other Catholics around the world Tuesday with a universal prayer for those who are hungry, initiated by Pope Francis.
“It’s very important to pray as a church together, especially across the world,” said Melissa Carney, a senior. “It shows the unity of the church as a family.”
Catholics around the world participated in “A Wave of Prayer” Tuesday on behalf of the 842 million people in the world who do not have enough to eat. The goal of the campaign, which is sponsored by Caritas Internationalis and supported by Caritas members like Catholic Relief Services and Catholic Charities USA, is to end world hunger.
“In a world with supposedly plenty, there are still people starving,” said Bill Necessary, deacon of the Tyler Diocese, chaplain and teacher at the school.
The reaction among the students was mixed: some were surprised at the request from the pope, but some weren’t.
“A way has to be found to enable everyone to benefit from the fruits of the Earth, and not simply to close the gap between the affluent and those who must be satisfied with the crumbs falling from the table, but above all to satisfy the demands of justice, fairness and respect for every human being,” Francis said at his address to the Food and Agricultural Organization in June.
The partnership with the nonprofits adds a practical element to the campaign.
“With this universal prayer, we want to recognize and come together around a common concern; the scandal of hunger is lifted before us,” said Joan Rosenhauer with Catholic Relief Services.
Ms. Rosenhauer added that the campaign will continue in a practical way by communicating to Congress to ensure an upcoming farm bill will ensure there are the resources to feed the hungry in the United States.
“We produce enough food to feed everyone,” she said.
The universal prayer was projected onto a screen in the cafeteria and in classrooms.
“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,” it read.
All the students agreed: it is an important cause.
“(Hunger) is a big issue,” said Gorman senior Luis Vasquez. “It’s good to shed light on it, especially when we’re all so privileged, sitting in this cafeteria eating our lunch.”