by: SUBMITTED - Students and staff at Sacred Heart Catholic School in Gervais gathered on the blacktop at noon Dec. 10 to join in Pope Francis' proclamation to pray for the end of world hunger.On Dec. 10, Pope Francis led “a global wave of prayer” that started at noon in Australia and traveled across the globe, ending in American Samoa 24 hours and 164 countries later.

At Sacred Heart Catholic School’s morning prayer, when students were gathered together in the hallway, student council president Jessica Gonzales shared from Archbishop Sample’s letter and explained Pope Francis’ desire for everyone throughout the world to gather together at noon to pray to end world hunger.

Pope Francis wrote:?“Hunger and malnutrition can never be considered a normal occurrence that we should become used to, as if it were part of the system. Something must change in ourselves, in our minds, in our societies.”

Jessica reminded students that the school was already focusing on helping to feed the poor locally with the school’s Christmas Coin Drive, sponsored by the student council. Its goal is to raise $450 to donate to the Sacred Heart Food Bank.

Jessica gave instructions about how the school could respond to the request for prayer from Pope Francis and Archbishop Sample. At noon, all the children would be at lunch recess, so it was arranged that principal Lucy Shawn would blow the whistle three times just before noon so all the children and teachers could come together.

When the signal was given, balls dropped to the ground and the children immediately ran from the play field and from the play structure toward the blacktop to gather together in a circle. As the prayer wave swept through Gervais, with the sound of the Angelus bells ringing in the background, the students of Sacred Heart Catholic School joined hands and Jessica led them in praying an Our Father, a Hail Mary and a Glory Be.

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