Posts Tagged ‘Lent’

CRS Rice Bowl Enters a New Era

Monday, January 28th, 2013

Dear Friend,

Sek jo fan mei is a common greeting in my home city of Hong Kong, a way of saying, “How are you?” But its literal meaning is, “Have you eaten today?” Luckily, most of us can reply Sek jo la, which means, “Yes, I’ve eaten, I’m well.”

But that is not the case for more than 800 million people across the globe. Far too many people wake up each morning not knowing if they will have enough to eat.

Lent will begin in 2 weeks, ushering in a new era for CRS Rice Bowl, a program that links Catholics in the United States with our poorest brothers and sisters thousands of miles away.

We have revamped this venerable campaign, making it more relevant for the millions it reaches each year with its message of sacrifice and hope. We hope you will join us this Lent.

Operation Rice Bowl Opens Us to Love of God and Neighbor

Friday, February 25th, 2011

Dear Friends,

The Lenten season is full of discussion about sacrifice, what it means and how it connects you and me to the selflessness that is at the center of our commitment to Christ.

Consider what Pope Benedict XVI said in his Lenten message this year about fasting and the other sacrifices we make for Lent:

By rendering our table poorer, we learn to overcome selfishness in order to live in the logic of gift and love; by bearing some form of deprivation—and not just what is in excess—we learn to look away from our “ego”… and to recognize God in the face of so many brothers and sisters.

“For Christians,” the Holy Father said, “fasting, far from being depressing, opens us ever more to God and to the needs of others, thus allowing love of God to become also love of our neighbor.”

Excerpts From Pope Benedict XVI’s Message for Lent 2011

Thursday, February 24th, 2011

Photo by Josh Estey for CRS

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The Lenten period, which leads us to the celebration of Holy Easter, is for the Church a most valuable and important liturgical time, in view of which I am pleased to offer a specific word in order that it may be lived with due diligence. As she awaits the definitive encounter with her Spouse in the eternal Easter, the Church community, assiduous in prayer and charitable works, intensifies her journey in purifying the spirit, so as to draw more abundantly from the Mystery of Redemption the new life in Christ the Lord.

Students Have a Taste for Operation Rice Bowl

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

Students at a Tampa Bay school get a taste of another culture while participating in Operation Rice Bowl and learning lessons of the Lenten season.

The 35-Year Operation Rice Bowl Tradition

Thursday, March 18th, 2010
ORB tradition

Msgr. Joe Ciampaglio holds an Operation Rice Bowl bank while talking about Catholic Relief Services at St. Ambrose parish in Cheverly, MD. Photo by Jim Stipe for CRS

St. Ambrose Parish in Cheverly, MD kicked off Operation Rice Bowl this Lenten season by hosting Msgr. Joe Ciampaglio, a CRS Global Fellow. Msgr. Ciampaglio shared how participation in Operation Rice Bowl helps support Catholic Relief Services development projects around the world. St. Ambrose Parish joins Catholic Relief Services and more than 13,000 other faith communities in the United States in a 35-year tradition of praying with our families and faith communities; fasting in solidarity with those who hunger; learning about our global community and the challenges of poverty around the world, and giving sacrificial contributions to those in need.

How Does ORB Differ from a Typical Second Collection?

Monday, March 15th, 2010
ORB collection

CRS staff members reading an opening prayer before a Lenten meal of soup, bread and water at the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Photo by David Snyder for CRS

Operation Rice Bowl is not just about putting money in a Rice Bowl during Lent. It combines four equally important components: praying, fasting, learning and giving. The alms are collected in the home or in the parish during Lent as one part of the program. Alms are a part of our Lenten sacrifice that includes praying and fasting. With the help of materials such as the Lenten Calendar, Operation Rice Bowl participants have a daily guide for prayer and fasting in solidarity with the poor. In addition to giving alms, participants also have the opportunity to learn more about the developing world and to deepen their Lenten experience with spiritual reflection.

Operation Rice Bowl’s ‘World Awareness Quiz’

Thursday, March 11th, 2010

Find out how well you know the world. Take the ORB World Awareness Quiz.

Catholics Help Farmers in Ethiopia Via Operation Rice Bowl

Monday, March 8th, 2010

Lane Bunkers, CRS’ country representative in Ethiopia, talks about how programs like Operation Rice Bowl enable Catholics in the U.S. to contribute to much needed development programs in poor countries.

Rainfall patterns in Ethiopia are changing, much as they are all around the world. Previously, farmers could rely on two distinct rainy seasons each year but that’s not the case anymore. We’re also entering our third year of drought conditions which further complicates the growing cycles for these farmers.

Creative Ways to Serve Meatless Dishes This Lent

Thursday, March 4th, 2010
ORB meal

This Operation Rice Bowl recipe is papa with chakalaka (corn porridge with spicy vegetables) from Lesotho. Photo by Jim Stipe/CRS

Operation Rice Bowl offers easy recipes from around the world using food staples like rice, beans and vegetables from developing countries. Preparing these dishes together allows Catholic families to observe Lent and experience a simple meal while learning about places where people live on less than $2 a day – and where meat is often considered a luxury. Donate the money you would have spent on a big meal, and you can support development projects that improve people’s ability to access food in communities in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the United States. All of the recipes are basic, simple and meatless, and take very little time to prepare. For dozens of recipes, including dishes from Bolivia, Afghanistan and Lesotho, visit

Operation Rice Bowl in the Classroom

Friday, February 26th, 2010
ORB meal

At the Shrine of the Sacred Heart school in Baltimore, MD, fourth-grade teacher Rosita Jackson talks to her students about Operation Rice Bowl. Photo by Jim Stipe/CRS

Rosita Jackson, a fourth grade teacher in Baltimore, has participated in Operation Rice Bowl for several years, using the opportunity to teach her students about far-flung places like Ethiopia and Bolivia, turning the program into an important geography lesson all at the same time. The enthusiasm of her students to learn about CRS beneficiaries and their way of lives is a great reminder of how important it is to learn about our global neighbors. And ORB offers learning and prayer resources for all ages and situations. Whether cooking the meals together as a family and praying that our brothers and sisters will have enough to eat, to participating in ORB as a parish, Operation Rice Bowl is a multi-faceted program enabling everyone to get involved in their own way.