One way that you can make a difference in the lives of our poorest brothers and sisters throughout the world is to become involved with CRS Rice Bowl.
This Lenten program, which has been in place for more than 37 years, invites Catholics to act on their faith by helping people in need through prayer, sacrifice, solidarity and charity.
CRS Rice Bowl asks that you eat a meal each week prepared with a recipe from a developing country to get a taste of the subsistence diet so many survive on. This week’s featured country is East Timor.
When you try these simple meatless meals, you are urged to put the money into a symbolic “rice bowl” to be donated to CRS through your parish at the end of Lent.
Or you might watch a video or read a story to gain a better awareness of the hopes and dreams of those overseas.
The Rice Bowl campaign collects about $8 million annually, with 25 percent of funds staying in local diocesan communities to fight hunger.
The remaining 75 percent of the collection funds CRS anti-hunger efforts around the globe.
Visit crsricebowl.org to find more ideas and resources to help integrate CRS Rice Bowl into your own Lenten observances.
My name is Ana Correia and I live in East Timor, an island nation near Australia. I’m a volunteer at Klibur Domin, a tuberculosis clinic supported by Catholic Relief Services.
I volunteer for many reasons. It’s important to help people and to stop the spread of TB. But I am happiest with the opportunity to learn new things. I couldn’t stay in school as long as I wanted to, so volunteering gives me the chance to keep learning and to help others with my knowledge.
TB is a very serious problem in East Timor. The disease is easily spread among people living in houses with poor ventilation, which are common in our rural villages. As a volunteer, I walk long distances to different communities so I can share information about preventing and treating TB.
Throughout my years of volunteering, I have identified many positive cases of TB and helped patients get the medical care they need. Last year CRS had an award ceremony for volunteers.
At the ceremony, CRS gave me and my fellow volunteers cell phones. My phone will make it easier for me to contact the clinic when I find potential TB cases in remote villages.
I love volunteering and never want to stop learning. I’m 25 years old now, and I want to continue learning and helping my community when I am a grandmother and even a great-grandmother.
Father Leo Patalinghug from “Grace Before Meals” hosts a cooking show with CRS to show Catholics how to make fun, meatless meals from around the world for Lent. Visit http://www.crsricebowl.org every week for Lent.