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Catholic Relief Services Rice Bowl 2024

February 20, 2024

From the Office for Social Ministry

Every Lent since 1975, millions of Catholics across the United States have come together through CRS Rice Bowl to support people struggling with hunger and poverty—both at home and around the world. CRS Rice Bowl is the Lenten program of Catholic Relief Services, the official relief and development agency of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Rooted in the history of the Eucharistic Congress, for almost 50 years the CRS Rice Bowl invites Catholics and faith communities in the United States to encounter God and our global family throughout Lent by practicing the pillars of prayer, fasting and almsgiving. Jesus tells us, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst.” When we receive Jesus through the Eucharist, our hearts are filled with his love and the call to share that love with our sisters and brothers in need around the world.

During Lent, we’re invited to act on this call through our Catholic tradition of prayer, fasting and almsgiving. When we practice these Lenten pillars, we enter a living relationship and unite our hearts with God and with one another. Lenten alms donated through CRS Rice Bowl support the work of CRS in more than 120 different countries each year. Twenty-five percent of donations to CRS Rice Bowl stay in the local diocese, supporting efforts to feed and house all in our One Ohana here in Hawaii.

CRS Rice Bowl is a staple on the table of Catholic families across the country during Lent. This simple cardboard box is a tool for collecting Lenten alms—and comes with a Lenten calendar that guides families through the 40 days of Lent with activities, reflections and stories. CRS Rice Bowl shares stories of hope from CRS’ work around the world. These stories are examples of the communities where Lenten alms are changing lives. The first story this year is about farmers Adolfo and Florence and their family in Uganda Africa. With CRS Rice Bowl, the Lenten pillars will guide us to encounter Christ through our global family in Uganda, El Salvador, and Indonesia—through our sisters and brothers who are finding ways to overcome hunger and adapt to the impacts of climate change. Stories are accompanied by a simple, meatless recipe that families are encouraged to prepare on Fridays during Lent. For more CRS Rice Bowl please go to www.crsricebowl.org.

As we go through these next 40 days, let us remember the words of Jesus, our bread of life, and be nourished by him in the Eucharist to walk with our global family. Let us begin this holy season by praying, Dear Jesus, You call us, as members of the body of Christ, to serve one another. This Lent, may we be your eyes, to see with compassion. May we be your hands and feet, to serve with love. By encountering you in the Bread of Life, may we joyfully share bread for life with all members of our global families. Amen. Mahalo.