February 14, 2018, marks Ash Wednesday and the start of Lent. Lent is a penitential season, during which time we, as followers of Christ, commit to 40 days of prayer, fasting and almsgiving so as to better love God and neighbor.
This year, we have a unique opportunity during Lent to show love to our immigrant and refugee neighbors through Share the Journey, a global campaign sponsored by Pope Francis and the Church. This Lent, can we include immigrants and refugees in our Lenten prayers? Can we remember these families, who’ve been through so much, as we fast from food and other activities? Can we give to causes that support them worldwide?
The answer is “yes”—and it comes in the form of a small, cardboard box: CRS Rice Bowl, a Lenten faith formation program that Catholics in the United States have participated in for more than 40 years. Nearly 14,000 faith communities in 180 dioceses around the United States take part. This year, CRS Rice Bowl materials—like prayers, lesson plans, activities and reflections—incorporate ways to help communities learn about and pray for our immigrant and refugee brothers and sisters. These include:
Stories of hope about people from around the world, including an internally displaced Iraqi family receiving education support for their children, and a a young woman in Nicaragua learning the skills to work within her local economy rather than migrate — En Español
Rice Bowl boxes, calendar, guides and activities, which can be ordered for free