CRS Rice Bowl helping women in Dominican Republic

| March 15, 2013 | 0 Comments

BBrecipeOne 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 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 the Dominican Republic.

When you try these simple meatless meals, you are urged to put 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 to find more ideas and resources to help integrate CRS Rice Bowl into your own Lenten observances.

Ilsa’s Story

Photo by Robyn Fieser / CRS

Photo by Robyn Fieser / CRS

My name is Ilsa Dolores Gomez and I live in Las Lomas, a small town in the Dominican Republic.

Catholic Relief Services came to help the women in our town form a community savings group. We got a lock box to keep our money safe, learned to keep good records of deposits and withdrawals, and chose a president, secretary and other officers to lead the group.

I don’t have a lot of money, and I knew that being part of the community savings group would help me to start saving and have money available for emergencies. What I didn’t expect was that my role as an officer in the group would change my life.

I never thought of myself as a leader before, but my responsibilities within the savings group showed me that I have something to offer. A few months after we started our group, I decided to go back to school to finish my high school degree. I have the best grades in my class!

I also bought a hair dryer and some brushes, and on a few nights each week, I turn my front patio into a beauty salon. The extra money I earn helps to pay the household bills, but it’s much more than that. I know that I can depend on myself, and I have the strength to make a life that is better for my family and myself.


Father Patalinghug

Father Patalinghug

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 every week for Lent.

Looking for ideas and recipes for Lenten meals? Visit our Pinterest board, “Lenten Meals“.

Lenten regulations for fasting and abstinence

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Category: Lent