Lenten tradition combats poverty at home, abroad

| Deacon Mickey Friesen for The Catholic Spirit | February 10, 2015 | 0 Comments
Deacon MIckey Friesen

Deacon MIckey Friesen

Forty years ago, CRS Rice Bowl was born as a way for Catholics in the United States to respond to the famine in Africa. Eventually, this evolved into a Lenten tradition that brought us together as one Church and one human family.

Today, CRS Rice Bowl helps us to reach around the world and around the corner to share Christ’s light with our brothers and sisters living in poverty. It is a way for us to practice our faith for Lent and for life.

Lent is a time for us to focus (or refocus) on Jesus. Our Christian tradition encourages three ways to deepen our faith in Jesus and his way: prayer, fasting and almsgiving.

Prayer anchors us in God’s loving presence. Fasting detaches us from our passing hungers for the feast that will truly satisfy our hungry hearts. And almsgiving shares our gifts so that others may flourish. CRS Rice Bowl provides a way to live out these Lenten practices for loving God, letting go and growing closer together as one human family.

This year, parishes, schools and families once again have the opportunity to live their Lenten journey by participating in CRS Rice Bowl. What is new is the variety of resources, stories and activities to help deepen the Lenten journey.

Here in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, the Center for Mission oversees the CRS Rice Bowl program. The Center for Mission coordinates missionary activities in the archdiocese and serves as the local contact for Catholic Relief Services. One of our primary goals is to help Catholics live out their missionary call that comes through baptism. CRS Rice Bowl animates how that mission reaches around the world and around the corner.

Seventy-five percent of the alms given to CRS Rice Bowl will go to Catholic Relief Services to support overseas humanitarian aid projects to lift up those in poverty in more than 100 countries. Twenty-five percent will stay here in the archdiocese to support three programs of Catholic Charities that serve the hungry and most vulnerable: Dorothy Day Center in St. Paul, the Opportunity Center in Minneapolis and the Northside Child Development Center in North Minneapolis.

Lent is a season to open ourselves to Jesus and his way. CRS Rice Bowl can be a way to practice the faith as we reach around the world and around the corner to love and serve Jesus and one another.

More information about CRS Rice Bowl

Deacon Friesen is director of the archdiocesan Center for Mission.

Tags: , , ,

Category: Lent