“Over and over again we see that family bonds are essential for the stability of relationships in society, for the work of education and for integral human development…”– Pope Francis, 6/20/2013, Address to the Food and Agricultural Organization

The Church teaches us that the family is the primary teacher of the faith, and that within families, we are nourished for our faith journey. Catholic Relief Services, the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the U.S., invites us to look ahead in our own faith journeys, to the season of Lent. How, in our own families, can our faith journeys be nourished for these forty days of prayer, fasting and almsgiving?

bowlenCRS Rice Bowl is a faith-in-action Lenten program that invites families in the U.S. to live in solidarity with some of the poorest and most vulnerable families around the world through the Lenten pillars of prayer, fasting and almsgiving. Families can take advantage of any number of faith formation resources to enhance their own faith journeys.



  •  The Rice Bowl and Lenten Calendar serve as physical reminders of your families’ commitment to pray, fast and give, as well as offers daily reflections and meatless meal recipes.
  • The Stations of the Cross offer an opportunity to reflect on the final hours of Jesus’ life.
  •  The Seven Sorrows of Mary present an invitation to unite our suffering to that of Mary.
  • The Lives of the Saints demonstrate concrete ways for each of us to live out our Gospel calls.
  • Videos that describe the journeys other families and communities take through CRS Rice Bowl

p706173403-2In addition to walking with Jesus, Mary and the saints, in 2014, CRS Rice Bowl encourages U.S. families to walk alongside communities from Kenya, Guatemala, the Philippines, Malawi, Haiti, and Santa Fe, New Mexico. Share a simple, meatless meal from one of the country recipes as a family each Friday and learn more about how our brothers and sisters live around the world.

And, through CRS Rice Bowl, your family is able to walk through Lent with Pope Francis. A different quote from the Holy Father is featured each week on the Lenten Calendar, and one of the first saints he canonized—Saint María Guadalupe García Zavala—is featured in the resource Our Catholic Identity: Examples from the Saints.

All materials are FREE of charge and can be ordered or downloaded from our website, crsricebowl.org.

CRS_Ricebowl-Banner-300x250-Opt1-R1-animated-1If you are interested in hosting a local presentation, contact one of our CRS Regional Offices, or visit our website to find two ready-made PowerPoint presentations that provide an overview of the 2014 program and ways to use CRS Rice Bowl with your family.

Finally, if you would be interested in a Spanish language webinar hosted by the CRS Rice Bowl team, please contact crsricebowl@crs.org. Depending on the response we receive, we will develop a program for early in 2014.

2014 © Jesús J. Huerta. CRS. All Rights Reserved.