Tag Archives: Pope Francis

Train for Next Season and Answer Pope’s Call to Action

Championships can be won, in part, during the off-season. When my cross country team at Elder High School in Cincinnati went unbeaten and won the state title, one of the reasons was the summer.

Either we would run on our own, or meet with teammates for an evening run. Everyone on the team definitely kept in shape during the summer. I would say most of my teammates ran at least hundreds of miles. That way when the season started we were already in really good condition and ready for the races!

Read the full article at the Huffington Post:

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Pope Francis to make first visit to World Food Programme

The UN World Food Programme (WFP) announced today that Pope Francis will be visiting the agency’s headquarters on June 13. This will be the first time a Pope has ever visited the WFP, which is based in Rome.

 WFP is the largest hunger relief organization in the world. The UN food agency fights hunger in over seventy countries. They are the lead player in achieving the UN Sustainable Development goal of zero hunger.

Pope Francis will speak to the WFP Executive Board on the morning of the 13th. In the afternoon, the Pope will address WFP staff worldwide through a webcast.

The Pope has said, “it is a well-known fact that current levels of production are sufficient, yet millions of people are still suffering and dying of starvation. This is truly scandalous.” He will seek to rally worldwide support for ending hunger.

WFP is leading hunger relief in war-torn Syria, Iraq and other nations facing conflict, natural disasters and poverty. The agency depends entirely on voluntary donations from the public and governments. The WFP food assistance includes emergency rations, school meals, nutritional foods for infants, and food for work projects to help grow communities.

Read the full article at Examiner.

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My Cincinnati Enquirer column on Charity Miles to fight hunger

During his visit to the United States, Pope Francis was advocating for the new United Nations development goals. The plan is to knock out hunger and poverty worldwide by 2030. It’s what the pope calls the “pillars of integral human development.”

What’s also inspiring is students in the Cincinnati area finding unique ways to help makes these goals a reality. At Mount St. Joseph University, students are using a free app called Charity Miles that supports the U.N. World Food Program (WFP), the lead agency in fighting world hunger.

Read the full article at the Cincinnati Enquirer:

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UN food agency praises Pope’s encyclical on climate change

The UN World Food Programme (WFP) witnesses first-hand the impact of climate change on the world’s hungry. WFP, the largest food aid organization, responds to hunger emergencies caused by natural disasters.

Read the full article at Examiner.

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Pope Francis says nukes rob from the hungry and poor

This week Pope Francis was among those speaking out against the catastrophic effects of nuclear weapons on mankind. The third Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons was just held in Vienna, Austria.

Read the full article at Examiner.

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Pope Francis says we must care about each hungry person

Pope Francis today highlighted the key to ending world hunger. We have to care. We must pay attention to the crisis of hunger and its effects on each individual.

Read the full article at Examiner.

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Pope’s first photo tweet highlights Iraq emergency

Last week Pope Francis posted his first ever photo on Twitter. His purpose was to bring attention to the humanitarian crisis in Iraq.

Read the full article at Examiner.

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Support Pope’s Plan With Food for Peace

Pope Francis has been outspoken about ending world hunger, and getting the church more involved. This has to be done. What, though, are some ways citizens can help in terms of advocacy?

Read the full article at the Huffington Post.

 

 

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Pope to Launch Plan to End World Hunger

Pope Francis can unite the world in ending hunger

Pope Francis can unite the world in ending hunger

Catholic Relief Services announced that Pope Francis would be leading a major initiative to end world hunger.

A global wave of prayer will start at noon on Tuesday, December 10th on the Pacific island of Samoa. The prayer will move through each time zone for the next 24 hours.

The public is asked to become a voice for the hungry. There are 842 million people worldwide who suffer from hunger. Children perish each day because they cannot get food, even though there is enough on the planet.

Catholic Relief Services (CRS), in its 70th year, will play a leading role along with Caritas International in the campaign.

CRS emerged during the darkest hours of World War II, when civilization had seen the greatest level of devastation. They lit a candle with caring and generosity to light others and change the world.

The mission was clear. From the Philippines to Austria, there was widespread suffering from the war. Relief had to come quickly. There was also the need to rebuild as millions were left hungry and homeless long after the guns of World War II fell silent. The catholic community came up with a plan called, “Give Thanks by Giving.”

When the holidays came, churches were not just for services, but also collection points for canned goods and monetary donations. Supplies were then shipped overseas to the starving.

CRS, then known as War Relief Services or Catholic Welfare Conference, got its start. During the Korean war CRS aided refugees. Ever since that time, CRS has been coming to rescue those in need.

At this very moment, CRS is providing aid in the Philippines following Typhoon Haiyan. They are putting up emergency shelters for those who lost their homes to the high winds and flooding.

In Mali, CRS is feeding children with meals at school, thanks to a grant from the US McGovern-Dole Food for Education program. Mali has been through drought and conflict just within the last year.

In Burkina Faso, CRS is also using grants from the McGovern-Dole and Food for Peace programs to provide school meals. CRS looks at the long-term. Local production of food is an element of the Mali and Burkina Faso programs. In the long run communities must be able to stand on their own. That is the right approach to ending hunger.

Both Food for Peace and McGovern-Dole need funding on the coming Farm Bill legislation. It is absolutely critical to support these U.S. government programs to end world hunger. The public can make this loud and clear to their elected officials.

Food for Peace is the largest support of the UN World Food Programme (WFP), which is the largest hunger relief organization. WFP is providing food to Syrian war victims and millions of others around the world. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, they are feeding the hungry. This may soon tragically stop because of lack of funding.

To end hunger you must build peace. And to preserve peace you must end hunger. This is an area CRS specializes in. In South Sudan, CRS has a food security program in the state of Jonglei, a region that has been through immense conflict and hunger.

Gabriel Kuereng, a CRS field coordinator, explains, “The war left us in bad shape. We still think that this community did this or this community did that. We need the government to intervene and help us forgive each other. We need to build an identity of nationhood where we all say we are South Sudanese — not ‘I am a Dinka or I am Nuer.’ When we reconcile, cattle raiding will stop, because we will not blame others.”

There is far more that binds religions and faiths than divides them. All share the goal of feeding the hungry. The famous European Relief Council following World War One was made up of many different religious groups.

It’s all about coming together. If that happens, hunger can be defeated. If that happens, then weapons of war can be put down and people can be fed. But only if people remain united behind this cause.

Sara Fajardo of CRS talked to a farmer in South Sudan, Zakariah, who said, “Working together, we’ve realized we produce more as a group. We can produce something that can be taught to many people. We have a saying… ‘If you have one stick, it is easy to break. But if you have a bundle of sticks, it is hard to break.’ That means when you bring a group of people together, you become very strong. It is hard to break a group.”

True for South Sudan and true for the world, as we embark on the quest to defeat man’s ancient enemy of hunger.

originally published at The Huffington Post

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Pope Can Unite World in Ending Hunger

Pope Francis can unite the world in ending hunger (Vatican photo)

Pope Francis can unite the world in ending hunger (Vatican photo)

Pope Francis can be a powerful leader in uniting all people and faiths in ending world hunger.

For any perceived differences that might exist among world religions and their followers certainly disappear when it comes down to the basic staple of food. Everyone on the planet needs access to food. The saving of human lives, the improvement of standards of living, and peacebuilding all rest first and foremost on food.

In 1920 when people were suffering from hunger in the aftermath of World War I, Pope Benedict XV praised a newly formed “European Relief Council” calling it “truly wonderful and providential” as it fed the hungry. The Pope said praised it “seeing that your work is not confined to any one people, but that it embraces all that are in need without distinction.”

This relief council had brought together organizations including the National Catholic Welfare Council and the Jewish Joint Distribution Committee. When a famine struck Russia in 1921 these groups continued their relief work saving countless lives. Pope Benedict sent trainloads of food and rallied support to help the starving people.

After World War II churches served as collection points where people dropped off donations of food to be shipped overseas to starving people in Europe and Asia. There were many countries still suffering from the destruction of the war. The hungry were not forgotten.

Pope Pius XII said, “We must not allow death to engrave on millions of tombs of innocent children the tragic words of accusation: The little ones have asked for bread and there was no one to break it to them.” Around this time a new organization called Catholic Relief Services got its start.

The Pope embraced ingenuity in fighting hunger, whether it was the CARE package of food which people sent overseas or the Friendship Train. This was the train that crossed America during 1947 collecting food for the hungry in Europe, which helped fuel the reconstruction of a continent.

Pope Pius said when the food arrived in Italy, “Such a cheering contrast in the news of recent days has been the conception of the idea of a Friendship Train and its immediate and generous reception over the entire area of the United States, resulting in the donation of an impressively large quantity of foodstuffs destined and dispatched without delay for the relief of the hungry.”

Now today, the resources exist more than ever to help the 870 million people worldwide who are suffering. These are people starving in the war-affected areas of South Sudan and Sudan, in Syria, and other countries impacted by conflict, drought and poverty. They are small children, who because they cannot get nutrition early in life either perish or suffer lasting physical and mental damage. Many of these children can be saved if more resources and effort are dedicated to fighting hunger.

Last year, the director of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, José Graziano da Silva, met with religious leaders trying to build unity in the fight against global hunger. There should be a shared commitment on the part of world religions to eradicate world hunger. The new Pope has the great opportunity to make this happen.

“For I was hungry and you gave me food.” Jesus called for the starving and poor to be fed and we each have the opportunity to carry out this mission every day. Hunger must not be a condition considered inevitable, not when we have the ability to end it. What is needed is the spirit and faith to win the struggle against man’s ancient enemy, hunger.

Article first published as Pope Can Unite World in Ending Hunger on Blogcritics.

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