CRS Lenten program builds solidarity, assists those in need

Categories: lent,Nation/World

Catholic Relief Services

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the CRS Rice Bowl Lenten program. Since its inception, millions of Catholics have contributed alms totaling $250 million to support efforts that fight poverty and hunger in dioceses across the U.S. and overseas.

crsForty years ago, Catholics in the United States wanted to respond to famine in Africa. Could we feed the hungry through Lenten prayers, fasting and almsgiving? The answer was yes — and it came in the form of a small cardboard box: the program’s iconic “rice bowl.”

Forty years later, it still does.

“CRS Rice Bowl is a Lenten tradition for Catholics around the United States who use the activities and features to bring relevance to their spiritual journey,” said Joan Rosenhauer, executive vice president of U.S. operations for CRS. “Pope Francis has renewed the call to put those in need before
our own needs. CRS Rice Bowl is a great way to respond.”

“CRS Rice Bowl offers families, schools and faith communities an opportunity to put their faith into action while learning about the lives and struggles of our brothers and sisters around the world,” said Beth Martin, CRS Rice Bowl director. “We’re encouraging people to reflect on what 40
years of CRS Rice Bowl has accomplished and challenging them to put one dollar for every day of Lent in their rice bowl.”

What’s new this year?

This year’s Rice Bowl program includes several new features:

• CRS Rice Bowl App 2.0
Put Lent at your fingertips with new reflections, an integrated Twitter feed and a new way to track your Lenten sacrifices. Available in both English and Spanish. Visit: app.

• “What is Lent?” video series
Join popular Catholic personalities like Jesuit Father James Martin, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Christopher West, Archbishop Jose Gomez, Carolyn Woo and others reflecting on some of the key themes of Lent. Visit:

• “CRS Rice Bowl Global Kitchen” video series
The series features Father Leo Patalinghug cooking five meatless recipes from the five countries featured this year. Visit: Father Patalinghug is host of “Grace Before Meals,” a family apostolate focused around meals.

View the story of Gertruda from Tanzania and see recipes…