Operation Rice Bowl: Making a difference for our brothers and sisters in need
In his message for the 2012 World Day of Peace, Pope Benedict XVI calls for encouraging and educating young people in the work for "justice and peace." Through Catholic Relief Services' Operation Rice Bowl (ORB) Lenten program, Catholic parishes and schools across our nation provide an opportunity for families and young people to pray, learn and give in support of the humanitarian work of CRS. The CRS ORB program is an excellent way for families, parishes and schools to develop a greater awareness of global poverty and our Catholic call to promote justice and peace.
Catholic Relief Services is the official international humanitarian agency of the U.S. Catholic community. Founded in 1943 by the U.S. Catholic bishops, CRS alleviates suffering, provides disaster relief and rebuilding, and promotes economic development in more than 100 countries without regard to race, religion or nationality. As a Catholic and as an American, I am proud of the charitable response of CRS to many millions of people who struggle against poverty, disease and hunger. Working closely with our nation's Catholic bishops and the bishops of hundreds of dioceses around the world, CRS promotes a vision of justice and peace that rests upon the Church's vision of human dignity and human development.
In my long association with the work of CRS, it has been my pleasure to share the great work of CRS with my fellow Catholics here in the Diocese of Charlotte. I am now serving in my 15th year as a volunteer member of the Diocesan CRS Advisory Committee, coordinated by Catholic Social Services' Office of Justice and Peace. Our committee promotes the work of CRS in the diocese, encourages participation in CRS ORB, and helps distribute CRS ORB Mini-Grants to many hunger and poverty relief efforts throughout our diocese.
With Lent beginning on Ash Wednesday, Feb. 22, parishes and Catholic schools in our diocese and across our nation are preparing for the 2012 Operation Rice Bowl campaign. I support and participate in Operation Rice Bowl at my parish, St. Charles Borromeo in Morganton, where I serve as deacon. Since the fundamental motivating force behind all CRS activities is the Gospel of Jesus Christ, it is fitting that this year's theme is drawn from Matthew 25:35, "For I Was Hungry and You Gave Me Food." This Lenten campaign is an opportunity to fulfill our call to feed our brothers and sisters in Christ who are hungry.
Last year, 57 parishes and Catholic schools in our diocese participated in Operation Rice Bowl. Any parish or school that was expecting a 2012 shipment of ORB supplies and has not received it, or any parish that still would like to order free ORB supplies, should call CRS at 1-800-222-0025 or visit www.orb.crs.org. There's still time to order ORB materials for Lent.
Thank you for your support of CRS. Please join me in prayer for all people who suffer from poverty, hunger and disease, and please remember in prayer the work of CRS employees worldwide.
Deacon Edward A. Konarski is a permanent deacon at St. Charles Borromeo Church in Morganton, member of Catholic Social Services Board of Directors, and chair of the Diocesan CRS Advisory Committee.
Did you know?
Of each dollar sent by the Diocese of Charlotte to Catholic Relief Services, 95 percent goes directly to programs. CRS has received national recognition for its charitable efforts. The CRS website, www.crs.org, reports that the American Institute of Philanthropy, a charity watchdog group which evaluates the U.S.'s largest non-profits, has given CRS an A+ rating.
When church is too serious, it loses its loving, tender side, pope saysVATICAN CITY — The Catholic Church needs to revive its loving and tender side, which gets lost when the church becomes too serious, Pope Francis said. The church has ended up with "deviations, sects and heresies when it got too serious, that...
Recognize your sin, ask forgiveness, pope says at MassVATICAN CITY — The key problem in everyone's relationship with God is not that they sin, but that they are not ashamed of their sin and don't ask forgiveness, Pope Francis said. In a homily about St. Peter's relationship with Jesus, Pope...
Pope says head of mission office teaches him about reality of churchVATICAN CITY — Pope Francis said the prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, which cares for the church in mission territories, has been teaching him about the nuts and bolts reality of the universal Catholic Church. "He...
Pope calls for global, ethical finance reform, end to cult of moneyVATICAN CITY — Pope Francis called for global financial reform that respects human dignity, helps the poor, promotes the common good and allows states to regulate markets. "Money has to serve, not to rule," he said in his strongest remarks...
Pope asks prayers for pastors that they not become 'wolves'VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis asked Catholics to pray for their bishops and priests, asking God to help them be real shepherds who are poor, humble and meek. "Pray for us bishops and priests," he said May 15 during an early morning Mass with...
Pope: Satan tricks people into being selfish, leaving them lovelessVATICAN CITY — Payback with Satan is rotten as he pushes people to be loveless and selfish, finally leaving them with nothing and alone, Pope Francis said. "Satan always rips us off, always!" he said during a morning Mass homily. The pope...
Portuguese cardinal entrusts Pope Francis to Our Lady of FatimaFATIMA, Portugal — Entrusting Pope Francis' pontificate to Our Lady of Fatima, Cardinal Jose da Cruz Policarpo of Lisbon, Portugal, asked Mary to give the pope courage and strength, particularly as he moves to renew and reform the Catholic...
Sourpusses hurt the church's witness, mission, pope says at MassVATICAN CITY — Using a phrase that translates literally as "the face of a pickled pepper," Pope Francis said that when Christians have more of a sourpuss than a face that communicates the joy of being loved by God, they harm the witness of...
Pope says evangelists build bridges, not wallsVATICAN CITY — Like Jesus who dined with Pharisees and sinners and St. Paul who preached to idol worshippers, true evangelizers build bridges that lead unbelievers into the church, not walls to protect it, Pope Francis said. The pope's words...
Pope tells sisters the church needs them, they need the churchVATICAN CITY — Pope Francis told 800 superiors of women's orders from around the world that the Catholic Church needs religious women and that religious women need to be in harmony with the faith and teachings of the church. "What would the...