photo of Larry Snyder, President of Catholic Charities USA

Happy Thanksgiving from CCUSA

Did you know the first thanksgiving was a three-day feast?

While our thanksgiving dinners may not be quite as sumptuous or extended as that original sharing of harvests, many look forward to this time of year as a time to come together with family and friends to share stories, reflect on our blessings, and of course, enjoy a delicious holiday meal.

Sadly, for millions in this country, the 4th Thursday in November is not a time of feasting, but just another day spent trying to make ends meet and struggling to put food on the table for themselves and their families.

Our Holy Father, Pope Francis, has made recognizing and responding to the needs of the poor a centerpiece of his papacy to date. That is why, on Tuesday, December 10, we will join with other service organizations around the globe to launch a worldwide movement to end hunger through prayer and action.

In a letter announcing the campaign, Cardinal Óscar Andrés Rodríguez Maradiaga of Honduras reminded us that prayer is the most powerful weapon we have to end the tragedy of so many facing hunger and want. In the Our Father, he reminds us, we are encouraged “to pray for our daily bread. This prayer, if it is true, should encourage us to share our daily bread, and no longer accept that people around us are deprived of food.

“Authentic Christian prayer is not just some form of escape. Prayer does not mean repeating words, and does not necessarily mean becoming ecstatic, or having visions or extraordinary revelations. Prayer means being in tune with God, training ourselves to do God’s will by asking him to ‘give success to the work of our hands.’”

Through prayer and action, we will join with the universal Church in a global wave of prayer at noon in every time zone across the globe. Won’t you join us?

With that in mind, I offer you this Thanksgiving prayer, included by Edward Hays in his compilation of Prayers for the Domestic Church: