On Friday, 21 October, the Lay Centre welcomed the Honorable Tony Hall who stopped by to share with us his past and continued efforts to address the problem of world hunger. Hall has been nominated three times for the Nobel Peace Prize. He was founder of the Congressional Friends of Human Rights Monitors and the Congressional Hunger Center. From 2002 to 2006 he served as US Ambassador to the United Nations Agencies for Food and Agriculture, which constituted being chief of the United States Mission to the UN Agencies in Rome, and includes the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the World Food Programme, and the International Fund for Agricultural Development.
He shared with the students about how the dynamics of famine and world hunger are due to human limitations relating to education, food growth, and political instability. For example, he pointed out, the place of greatest famine currently is in North Korea where the political situation has led to dire conditions for that countries’ civilian population. Hall also discussed efforts to encourage food growth in Africa and to educate women and mothers around the world.
On Wednesday, 26 October, Paulist Father Tom Ryan said Mass at the Lay Centre and shared about his work with the Paulist Office for Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations in Washington DC over dinner with the Lay Centre Student Community. Fr. Ryan explained how interreligious understanding can be a great aid in addressing practical problems facing communities who may not share the same religious beliefs but who can nonetheless be united in overcoming obstacles to the common good. More information about Fr. Ryan’s work can be found here: http://www.tomryancsp.org/