WASHINGTON, D.C. – With Lent starting tomorrow, His Excellency, the Most Reverend Timothy P. Broglio, J.C.D., Archbishop for the United States Military Services, is calling on Catholic military communities to participate in CRS (Catholic Relief Services) Rice Bowl throughout this Holy Season. Entering its 41st year, CRS Rice Bowl is Catholic Relief Services’ Lenten program for families and faith communities in the United States who want to put their faith into action by listening to stories about their brothers and sisters in need around the world, and devoting their Lenten prayers, fasting, and alms to change the lives of those who suffer in poverty.
In a January 20th letter to AMS clergy and faithful, Archbishop Broglio wrote:
“Ash Wednesday is almost here. We will be marked with the sign of our mortality and invited to draw closer to Christ who is merciful. The means have served for centuries: prayer, fasting, and almsgiving.
“You and I are part of an amazing tradition whereby Catholics of the United States participate in giving families around the world the tools they need to rise above poverty and provide for themselves—and their communities thanks to the ‘CRS Rice Bowl effect.’
“CRS Rice Bowl provides resources to bring Lenten spirituality to life for families and Catholic faith communities, while continuing to connect Catholics in this archdiocese with our brothers and sisters in need around the world.
“I encourage all military Catholic faith communities in this archdiocese to use CRS Rice Bowl for Lent 2016.”
Participating Catholics use a cardboard or homemade CRS Rice Bowl as a tool for collecting their Lenten alms. CRS Rice Bowls can be ordered in quantities of 25 from crsricebowl.org or 1-800-222-0025 for free. The CRS Rice Bowl app also allows participants to create a virtual CRS Rice Bowl on a mobile device. The app is available for both Android and Apple devices.
In his letter to the AMS clergy and faithful, Archbishop Broglio wrote:
“Please be sure to order a CRS Rice Bowl and Lenten Calendar for each family in your community. These materials are available in both English and Spanish and are free of charge. You may also visit crsricebowl.org to find additional resources, including:
- Lenten devotions and prayers
- Reflections for faith-sharing communities and youth ministry groups
- Lesson plans, videos and activity sheets for Catholic religious educators
- Ideas for community gatherings and simple Lenten meal events
- A new app that delivers prayers and resources directly to your mobile device”
Since its origins in Allentown, Pa., in 1975, CRS Rice Bowl has distributed $250 million around the world to support programs that prevent hunger and poverty. Of that, $62.5 million went to programs in the U.S. through local dioceses and $187.5 million went to CRS programs overseas. Each year CRS Rice Bowl funds are directed to between 40 and 45 countries where CRS runs humanitarian relief and development programs.
In 2015, 13,635 Catholic parishes and schools across the U.S. participated in CRS Rice Bowl. In his letter, Archbishop Broglio challenged military Catholics to help CRS Rice Bowl do even better. “Together,” he wrote, “we can make this year’s CRS Rice Bowl effect greater than ever.”