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CRS Rice Bowl Brings Faith to Life During Lent


Each year beginning on Ash Wednesday, Catholics in the Diocese of Gaylord join than those across the country in CRS Rice Bowl, Catholic Relief Services’ 39-year-old Lenten program known for colorful cardboard rice bowls used in homes for generations. T he program highlights the Lenten trio of prayer, fasting and almsgiving connecting people more closely with the global mission of the Catholic Church under the theme “For Lent, For Life: What you give up for Lent changes lives.”

Twenty-five percent of the monies collected through CRS Rice Bowl remain in the dioceses where it is collected to address the needs of the local community. Last year parishioners in the Diocese of Gaylord contributed over $60,209 to CRS Rice Bowl. Over $15,041 of that total was given back to 44 parishes across the diocese in the form of grants to help fund local organizations and ministries in their efforts to relieve hunger and suffering including such as food pantries, St. Vincent de Paul Societies and other ecumenical help centers. (To see a list of specific grants, download the file below.) 

This year CRS has introduced new resources and has made the leap to mobile devices with the introduction of its first app. The Rice Bowl App allows people to tap into a rich spiritual experience and make the 40 days of Lent a time that can change their lives while helping to get closer to a world free of hunger.

Pope Francis has captured the world’s attention to the plight of hunger and poverty around the world. He said, “the scandal that millions of people suffer from hunger must not paralyze us, but push each and every one of us to act: singles, families, communities, institutions, governments, to eliminate this injustice.” For people looking for a way to respond to this call, CRS Rice Bowl’s mobile app can help.

All the resources needed to make Lent a more personal experience in a relevant and convenient way are available on the CRS Rice Bowl App. Users can schedule delivery of daily reflections to their mobile device, set and track progress towards a personal Lenten goal, view simple meatless recipes to prepare on Fridays and read or watch stories about the people whose lives have been changed through the program. The app is free and can be downloaded from the iTunes and Google Play Store or at .

Features include:

  • Prayerful reflection for each day of Lent
  • Customizable tool to set Lenten sacrifice goal and track progress towards its achievement
  • Meatless recipes for Fridays during Lent
  • Stories and videos of people who benefit from prayers and almsgiving to CRS Rice Bowl

“I think the season of Lent sometimes gets away from us. We start out with good intentions, and suddenly it’s Holy Week. I’ve got the app on my phone so I can make sure no matter where I am I can take a few minutes to pray and reflect and track my progress on my sacrificial goal. For someone like me, it’s ideal,” said Joan Rosenhauer, CRS’ executive vice president for U.S. Operations.

Last year more than 13,000 parishes and schools across the U.S. participated in Operation Rice Bowl, raising over $7 million to support CRS programs overseas, bringing sustainable solutions to fight poverty and hunger. Twenty-five percent of Rice Bowl donations remain in the diocese where they are raised to address local needs. 

Rice Bowls for collecting funds at home are available at your parish. Additional information and materials for schools, parishes and individuals for CRS Rice Bowl 2014 be found on the program’s website


File: Local Grants from 2013 Operation Rice Bowl Gifts

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