Archbishop Coakley, Catholics of Archdiocese of Oklahoma City to join global prayer campaign to end world hunger

OKLAHOMA CITY (Dec. 10, 2013) – At noon today, Dec. 10, Archbishop Paul Coakley will lead the Catholics of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City and other men and women of good will in a prayer to end world hunger as a part of a global campaign launched by Pope Francis and sponsored by Caritas Internationalis.

The worldwide wave of prayer will begin at noon local time on the Island of Samoa and will progress around the world in each time zone until it reaches the island again some 24 hours and more than 164 countries later.

Pope Francis has said that “a way has to be found to enable everyone to benefit from the fruits of the earth.”

 Archbishop Coakley, too, said we must reevaluate the attitudes that allow some persons to go hungry.

“Many of us have never known true hunger,” Archbishop Coakley said. “Sometimes, when we peer into our pantries, we complain that we have ‘nothing to eat’ simply because we do not see our preferred snacks on the shelves – but, rarely, if ever, do we stare at an utterly empty cabinet.

“It is hard, then, for us to imagine what it would be like to awake each morning and face a day devoid of any proper meal. Yet, that is the reality of many of our brothers and sisters. Men and women around the world routinely work and wonder whether they will be able to provide enough food to feed themselves and their families for any sustained period of time. Children, unable to advocate for themselves, are especially vulnerable to hunger.

 “The hardship of hunger often and understandably preoccupies the person who faces it, filling him with desperation and loneliness. It thereby interferes with his abilities to concentrate, to labor physically and to relate well and easily to others. It interferes, in other words, with his ability to live with dignity.

“As Catholics, we believe in the inherent dignity of the human person; we believe also that we must uphold that dignity through our culture, which is shaped by laws, customs and, ultimately, the conscience of each individual who contributes to it. The scandal of hunger invites all of us to consider what we personally might be able to do differently to ensure that as many people as possible are warm and well-fed, as well as to reevaluate laws and customs that, perhaps, do not serve everyone as well as they ought.

“Today's prayer aims to begin that process of consideration and reevaluation. Ultimately, we hope and trust it will bear fruit in action.”

Caritas Internationalis has already slated future events as a part of the global campaign to end world hunger.

In October 2014, a global week of action will unite Caritas member organizations and parishes with different events and actions to urge national governments to adopt a right to food.

In May 2015, Caritas Internationalis will host its quadrennial ‘General Assembly’ in Rome; the meeting will have a special focus on eliminating hunger. Immediately after this, Caritas will participate in the Milan Expo 2015: Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life.

Caritas Internationalis is an international movement to end poverty; it is comprised of 164 national organizations, including Catholic Charities USA and Catholic Relief Services, of which Archbishop Coakley is the chair of the board of directors.

The specific prayer that will be used around the world today is available at