CRS Rice Bowl donations help the poor overseas and in your own community.
“As people of faith, we are trying to live out the golden rule of loving our neighbors as ourselves and the call of Matthew 25 to ‘feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and welcome the stranger.”
– Father Rafael Garcia, Pastor, Immaculate Conception ChurchSee where your local 25 percent goes
Catholic social teaching focus:
On Sunday afternoons in downtown Albuquerque, New Mexico, over a hundred people gather in the basement of Immaculate Conception Church to be served a Sunday dinner. Some are homeless. Others are newly unemployed, forced to decide whether to pay a utility bill or buy enough groceries to feed their families. No matter the circumstance, the parish community welcomes “anyone and everyone who is hungry to come and share a meal with us,” says Roberta Montoya, the coordinator of the parish’s Sunday Bread and Blessings meals, one of the projects in the Archdiocese of Santa Fe that receives a portion of CRS Rice Bowl funds.
Guests sit down at dressed tables and are served drinks, a main course, and a dessert, restaurant-style. For many of the guests, the opportunity to be served by others stands in stark contrast to the jobs that they work during the week. For single parents who are raising a large family on little income, the meals are a chance for them to spend time with their children instead cooking the meal themselves. And for the volunteers who serve the guests, it is a chance to connect with members of their own community.
In the five years since Bread and Blessings began, its ministry has expanded. Now guests can receive clothing, hygiene items and books, as well as referrals to social service agencies that can help with unemployment, mental illness, addiction and housing. Whatever their needs may be, the weekly Bread and Blessings meals gives guests and volunteers the opportunity to sit down together around a common table. The meals are one example of how the local 25 percent of CRS Rice Bowl donations is used by dioceses help the poor in our own communities.