Pope Francis will launch a global wave of prayer on December 10 to end world hunger. Starting at Noon on the Pacific Island of Samoa and cascading around the world through all times zones, the wave will pass through our diocese at Noon and then return to Samoa 24 hours later. The wave of prayer is the first step in a wider campaign against world hunger which affects over 842 million people around the world. This campaign is sponsored by Caritas Internationalis, and supported by CRS and Catholic Charities USA.

Many of you know that I serve on bishops’ committees put in place for service to the world-wide Church. Two of the committees more pertinent to my message today are Catholic Rural Life (CRL) http://www.ncrlc.com and Catholic Relief Services (CRS) http://www.crs.org.

Catholic Relief Services (CRS) is the world-wide charitable organization of the Church specifically formed to assist in emergency and disaster relief efforts. You know of CRS’s charitable outreach in areas such as Haiti and, most recently, in the Philippines.

Catholic Rural Life (CRL), of course, is significant for life in our diocese because so many of our communities are dependent on farming and related agricultural activities. Some of the many activities CRL is involved with include supporting a new Farm Bill and expressing concerns about some mining and sand fracking matters. I hope you’ll take some time and follow the links to learn more about these two Catholic organizations and their incredibly good works.

Pope Francis will join Catholics and members of other faiths around the world using the power of prayer to raise awareness that hunger is unacceptable and can be defeated. For seventy years, CRS has been answering the call to combat hunger globally helping 26 million people around the world to feed themselves.

If you are thinking of Christmas gifts or planning Christmas parties or dinners, might I suggest that you consider checking out the website for the Pope’s Global Wave and perhaps offer assistance as you are able http://crs.org/food-for-all. Please remember that here in the Diocese of La Crosse, I am inviting you to pray to end hunger on December 10, at 12 Noon—maybe before lunch.

Blessed Second Sunday of Advent!