| Bishop Gregory Parkes

Responding in Love to End Hunger and Poverty

God calls each of us to a loving relationship with Him. During Lent, we focus in an intentional way on turning away from sin and toward God to grow in this love. The Lenten pillars of prayer, fasting and almsgiving help us do this. CRS Rice Bowl—Catholic Relief Services’ Lenten faith-in-action program—invites us to practice these pillars while reflecting on the needs of our sisters and brothers and how we can respond in love to support them.

This year, I invite you to journey with CRS to Guatemala, Bangladesh and Rwanda to learn about the root causes of hunger and how families—with the support of people like you—are making sure they have nutritious food to thrive. Through stories, videos and lesson plans, you will learn about the global issue of hunger and malnutrition and our Gospel call to help those experiencing these affronts to human dignity.

CRS Rice Bowl provides resources to bring Lenten spirituality to life, while continuing to connect Catholics in our diocese with our global human family. I encourage you review the free materials in English and Spanish that are available here: https://www.crsricebowl.org/families.

Remember that 25% of our Rice Bowl collection remains in the diocese and is made available to diocesan entities for programs that alleviate poverty and hunger. Twelve thousand dollars was distributed through small grants this year. The more we raise, the more we will be able to reduce poverty, internationally and locally.

Thank you for joining us on an enriched Lenten journey through CRS Rice Bowl. Together, we can respond to Christ’s call to help those in need and ensure everyone reaches his or her God-given potential.