Dear Friends in Christ,
Jesus called us to love our neighbor. But, like the scholar in the Scripture passage, we may also find ourselves asking, “Who is my neighbor?” This Lent, the U.S. Bishops’ Catholic Relief Services (CRS) Rice Bowl program will help us answer that question.
CRS Rice Bowl is not just about collecting money in a cardboard box. It is literally and symbolically a box full of stories of hope, prayers and opportunities to help put our faith into action and to share our Lenten journey with our neighbor in need, transforming all our lives.
CRS Rice Bowl provides resources to bring a Lenten spirituality of prayer, fasting and almsgiving to life for families, parish, and school communities, while continuing to connect Catholics in our diocese with our brothers and sisters in need around the world.
This year’s CRS Rice Bowl provides a unique opportunity to connect with the global migration campaign, Share the Journey, launched by Pope Francis last fall. Through stories, videos and family activities, we can include migrants and refugees in our Lenten prayers, and remember families who have been through so much as we fast from food, give alms and do works of mercy.
By sharing the journey, we not only become companions with persons in need around the world, but also in Hawaii. 25 percent of the funds collected here by Rice Bowl is shared through the diocese’s initiative One Ohana: Food and Housing for All in our communities where persons struggle to overcome hunger.
Participating in CRS Lenten Rice Bowl is also an excellent way to implement our efforts to focus on the priorities of Family, Faith Formation, Youth and Young Adults, and Leadership in our Stewards of the Gospel Diocesan Plan. I strongly encourage you all to participate in the CRS Lenten Rice Bowl program, to share the journey, and to witness to Jesus by helping the vulnerable survive and thrive. God bless you always!
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Reverend Larry Silva
Bishop of Honolulu