About

Encounter Lent.

We are called to build a culture of encounter.

Jesus made that clear from the way he lived, the message he preached. Pope Francis makes that clear by his own daily example. And we have a host of holy men and women who have come before us, who have gone to the margins of society so that every member of our human family might know the love of God.

Now, it’s our turn. With the spiritual pillars of Lent at our disposal, we set out on a 40-day journey, a journey of encounter with ourselves, our neighbors and our God.

  • Through prayer, we encounter Christ, present in the faces of every member of our human family, so often still walking that long road to Calvary.
  • Through fasting, we encounter our own obstacles, those things about ourselves that prevent us from loving God and neighbor.
  • Through almsgiving, we encounter our brothers and sisters around the world, asking what we can give up so that others might have life to the fullest.

Lent is our time to encounter, to cultivate a spirit of global solidarity. CRS Rice Bowl is our tool, Catholic Relief Services‘ Lenten faith-in-action program for families and faith communities, a vehicle through which the stories of communities around the world can be shared, an invitation through which our prayers and Lenten sacrifices can change lives.

Through CRS Rice Bowl, we hear stories from our brothers and sisters in need worldwide, and devote our Lenten prayers, fasting and gifts to change the lives of the poor. Each day of Lent, individuals are invited to use the Lenten Calendar—included with every CRS Rice Bowl—to guide their Lenten almsgiving. These daily almsgiving activities—for example, give 25 cents for every faucet found in your home—help families reflect on the realities of our brothers and sisters around the world and how they can be in solidarity during the Lenten season.

How will you contribute to the culture of encounter this Lent?

Learn more about Lent and CRS Rice Bowl.

Interested in bringing CRS Rice Bowl to your community?

More than 13,000 faith communities participated in CRS Rice Bowl last Lent.

Check with your parish or school and tell them that you want CRS Rice Bowl to be a part of your community’s Lenten observances.

Parishes and schools may order CRS Rice Bowl materials or call 1-800-222-0025 to place an order. Be sure to watch the video on How to Kickoff CRS Rice Bowl.

How are donations used?

Driven by our faith, we are committed to help those in need no matter where they may live. In that spirit:

75 percent of your gift supports CRS’ programs around the world. Some examples include:

  • Agriculture projects help farmers improve harvests
  • Water and sanitation projects bring clean water to communities
  • Microfinance projects support small businesses
  • Mother and child health projects offer health and nutrition services
  • Education projects provide resources and training

25 percent of your donations go to hunger and poverty alleviation efforts in your own community. Contact your CRS diocesan director to find out how your diocese uses the 25 percent.

Contact CRS Rice Bowl