Fordham Campus Ministry is always planning various programs and events, especially now that Lent is upon us. From hosting a Mardi Gras party for Fat Tuesday, to Ignatian Candlelight Yoga in Our Lady’s Chapel, there are diverse opportunities for students to come together and reflect on the Lenten season. There were a variety of Ash Wednesday services available at the Rose Hill, Lincoln Center, and Westchester campuses, making it convenient for all students to participate. Since this drew a lot of attendance, they used it as an opportunity to distribute Catholic Relief Services (CRS) Rice Bowls. These cardboard bowls are used to collect monetary donations for this non-profit organization.
In addition to raising money for charity, there are plenty of other opportunities to lend a helping hand throughout the season of Lent. The Pedro Arrupe Faith and Justice Community organizes different service initiatives that are open to participation from all students. They have been hosting “Soup Kitchen Saturday” on weekends, where they visit a local soup kitchen and assist with the food as well as fill any other needs. Another way to get involved is through a Midnight Run. These are programs where the volunteers bring food and clothing to homeless men, women, and children of New York City. Students can also help prepare the meals that will be distributed on Midnight Runs.
Sometimes multiple offices within Fordham work to co-sponsor a program. For Lent, Campus Ministry, Global Outreach, and the Dorothy Day Center for Service and Justice hosted the Hunger Banquet. This event is designed to give participants the opportunity to further explore the causes of inequality throughout the world. The theme this year was the effect of climate change on poverty and hunger. Located in McGinley Ballroom, posters lined the walls with facts like “over 2.5 billion people live in poverty” and “more than 925 million people suffer from chronic hunger,” just to name a few. Admission was free, but canned goods were suggested to benefit Part of the Solution (POTS), a local food pantry.
Through an interactive dinner, including prayer and reflection, students gain a deeper understanding of global hunger and the countless people affected by this pressing issue. Everyone was separated into three economic groups: high income, middle income, and low income. These assignments indicated your dinner, ranging from those served a three-course meal to others eating rice on the floor. This powerful, eye-opening program allows students to experience firsthand the vast differences that exist between the top 1% and the billions who are destitute. The overall goal of the Hunger Banquet is to educate and inspire participants to take part in the building of a more just world.
Below is a video by Jeff Coltin, FCRH ’15