Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
“I invite all of the institutions of the world, the Church, each of us, as one single human family, to give a voice to all of those who suffer silently from hunger, so that this voice becomes a roar which can shake the world,” – Pope Francis at the launch of “One Human Family, Food for All” December 2013
The Season of Lent is a 40-day retreat. During this retreat-- through prayer, fasting and giving aid, money and service to the poor—we face our own sinfulness, are called to conversion, and are made ready to celebrate the great feast of Easter with joy. The new life of Easter can be the hope offered to a starving person with the offer of a meal. New life can look like a pair of socks offered on a cold March day. New life can look like a candle lit to remember a teen who has run away. New life can look like support offered to the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace.
As you may be aware, Development and Peace is the Canadian member of Caritas Internationalis. This is the official international solidarity and aid organization for the Catholic Church around the world.
Through Caritas Internationalis, we are involved in a campaign to end hunger by 2015. The name of this campaign is “ONE HUMAN FAMILY, FOOD FOR ALL.” We think of Canada as a wealthy country, and Newfoundland and Labrador as a “have” province. And yet, thousands of children, and their parents, go to bed hungry each night. Thousands of parents lie awake, troubled by their inability to provide the necessities of life for the children they brought into the world. Across the world, this problem is magnified.
This year, during our SHARE LENT campaign, we will reflect and act on the theme, “SOW MUCH LOVE TO GIVE.” We will reflect on how, when we sow solidarity, justice, generosity and giving to our sisters and brothers who cannot afford to feed their families or their communities, “One Human Family, Food for All” becomes possible. Share Lent benefits over 100 partner agencies in over 30 countries in the world.
On Solidarity Sunday, March 22, we will be taking up a collection in aid of the work of Caritas Internationalis, through Development and Peace, to assist small family farmers to put food on the tables of people in more than 30 less developed nations. We will pray for those who struggle to feed their loved ones and grow healthy bodies, minds, spirits, people and communities.
On Solidarity Sunday, I encourage you to give from the heart. Newfoundlanders and Labradorians know what it is to have little, and we also know what it means to have more. I wish you a Lent filled with the spirit of generosity, of love and of conversion. May you experience the glory of Easter and continue the work of making the Reign of God ever more present in our world today.