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CRS Rice Bowl Lenten Story of Hope: Week One

February 27, 2023

Pope Francis’s Message for Lent 2023 reminds us that” the Lord speaks to us through our brothers and sisters, especially in the faces and the stories of those who are in need.” In a similar way, Bishop Larry Silva’s 2023 Rice Bowl letter calls us to encounter Christ with others this Lent. “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.” CRS Rice Bowl provides faces and stories of others in need and how their journey transforms vulnerability into hope.

The first CRS Rice Bowl Lenten Story of Hope this year is from the mountainous valleys in Honduras. The changing climate has had an impact on lands in Honduras, but farmers are learning new techniques to water their crops, protect the natural resources and keep their families healthy. Rony lives with his wife Reina and their two sons, Emilson, age 14, and Maynor, age 9, about two hours from Tegucigalpa, the capital of Honduras. Rony is a farmer who grows corn, beans and bananas. But it’s hard to get good harvests working in the Dry Corridor—an area impacted by high temperatures and lack of rain. Droughts have become more frequent and floods more damaging from the few stronger storms. Rony participated in a Catholic Relief Services project, which helped him repair an old reservoir and install a low-cost irrigation system with pipes and hoses that uses very little water to grow his crops. He also learned to let the harvest residue rot—instead of burning the land—because the residue becomes the soil’s fertilizer. Thanks to the watering system and his new skills, Rony can harvest his crops even if it doesn’t rain. His produce and income are now enough to feed his family and help people in his community. Today, Rony has even become an advocate for caring for the environment. And he feels it is his responsibility that others do too. “I have learned a lot about how to take care of, value and protect the natural resources that the Lord has given us, such as water,” he says. “That’s the best way to guarantee the lives of our families and the animals.”

For more on how you can join Rony, Reina, Emilson, Maynor and other brothers and sisters in Honduras, the Philippines and Kenya during your Lenten Journey, please visit www.crsricebowl.org. For Bishop Larry Silva’s 2023 Rice Bowl Letter, please the OSM visit www.officeforsocialministry.org. Mahalo.