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Coming Closer to God through Lent, Rice Bowl, and Meatless Recipes

February 21, 2023

From the Office for Social Ministry

I strongly encourage all to participate in the CRS Lenten Rice Bowl journey to come closer to God and witness to Jesus by responding to Christ’s call to help our sisters and brothers in need.” - Bishop Larry Silva’s February 11, 2023 CRS Lenten Rice Bowl Letter

The Lenten journey, beginning with Ash Wednesday and ending with Holy Week, is a time for sacrifice and spiritual reflection preparing us for the joyful celebration of Christ’s resurrection on Easter Sunday. During Lent, Catholic families across the United States use a Rice Bowl—a small cardboard box—to collect alms. Each Rice Bowl also comes with a calendar that guides families through the 40 days of Lent with activities, reflections, recipes and stories. The Catechism invites Catholics ages 18 to 59 to abstain from meat and to fast during Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, as well as abstain from meat on the Fridays during Lent. Preparing meatless meals—like the ones we collect from countries around the world—is a great Lenten activity for families, offering an experience of global solidarity. In addition to meatless Fridays, Catholics are also invited to offer daily sacrifices. By giving up little things—like coffee or candy—we make room for God to act in our lives in new ways, and we have the opportunity to give the money we save to those most in need.

Each Friday of Lent, we abstain from eating meat as a way to experience a little of the hunger that many experience daily. Journey with us around the world and incorporate these Lenten recipes into your meatless Fridays. Give the money saved each week by not eating meat—about $3 per person per meal—to CRS Rice Bowl to feed those in need around the world. Here is one of the Rice Bowl recipes.

Bean Soup with Chayote Squash and Rice: Recipe from Honduras
1 onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons of olive oil
3 15-oz cans of red beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups of water
1 vegetable bouillon cube
1 yellow chili, seeded and minced
1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
1 15-oz can diced tomatoes with liquid juice of 1 lime
2 chayote squashes, peeled, seeded and cut into cubes, or summer squashes
Fresh cilantro
4 cups of cooked white rice

Sauté onion, bell pepper and garlic in oil until translucent. Add beans, water and bouillon, and heat thoroughly. Add yellow chili, jalapeño, tomatoes, lime juice and chayote, and simmer on low for about an hour. Add cilantro .Serves 4-6 persons.

For CRS Rice Bowl Resources please visit www.crsricebowl.org. For Bishop Larry Silva’s 2023 Rice Bowl Letter, please visit the OSM website, www.officeforsocialministry.org

Mahalo! - Your Friends at Office for Social Ministry