During Lent we are called to be transformed and transform the world around us. Three important pillars of Lent help us open our hearts to God and others: a call for deeper prayer, fasting and alms giving. We are called to give up—by fasting and abstaining practices—but also called to give ourselves to others entering in solidarity with those suffering in the world. We have an opportunity to do that this year by participating in the Rice Bowl program here at St. Thomas.
With this year's slogan "For Lent and For Life," the Rice Bowl is a program of Catholic Relief Services, by which faith communities throughout the United States put their faith into action during Lent. Lenten alms donated through CRS Rice Bowl support the work of CRS in roughly 45 different countries where CRS works with refugees and poor communities.
What is a CRS Rice Bowl?
The iconic CRS Rice Bowl you will see at different distribution spaces on campus is part of nationwide initiative. This simple cardboard box is a tool for collecting money during Lent that will go to families experiencing hunger around the world. With the rice bowl comes a Lenten calendar that guides us through the 40 days of Lent with activities, reflections and stories of hope from CRS’ work around the world. These stories are examples of the kinds of communities where the Lenten contributions of those participating in the Rice Bowl initiative are changing lives.
We invite you to participate with others around campus and throughout the US by considering these suggestions as part of your Lenten plan:
- Pick up a CRS Rice Bowl at one of the Masses on Feb. 23, in Dorsey Way on Ash Wednesday or anytime at the Center for Campus Ministry.
- Use your CRS Rice Bowl and Lenten Calendar daily to guide your prayer, fasting and almsgiving.
- Read the Stories of Hope and daily reflections to inspire your Lenten journey—and guide your Lenten almsgiving.
Visit crsricebowl.org to learn more about the Rice Bowl and the communities supported through this initiative.