Prayer, fasting and almsgiving are time-tested Christian disciplines especially helpful to practice during the Lenten season.
During Lent, two broad almsgiving opportunities are available to us, with global and local impacts: Catholic Relief Services’ (CRS) Rice Bowl program and the Diocese of Metuchen’s Bishop’s Annual Appeal.
CRS is the official international development and humanitarian agency of the U. S. Catholic community. Next year will mark the 50th year of the CRS Rice Bowl program for Lent. In these first 48 years, approximately $300 million has been raised.
CRS Rice Bowl features a simple cardboard box that approximates a real rice bowl. An accompanying calendar helps participants to pray and learn during Lent. The box can either be a symbol or an actual receptacle for contributions during the season.
Here at St. Joseph, we will collect the CRS Rice Bowls during the offertory at the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday, March 28 and thereafter throughout the Easter season. Or, you can donate online.
Locally, the Bishop’s Annual Appeal is an excellent destination for Lenten almsgiving. This year’s theme is: “Stay with Us, Lord: Renew Our Hearts and Send Us on Mission.” Contributions to the appeal help a wide range of activities and ministries, including seminarian formation, Catholic Charities, and various offices and ministries at the diocesan level.
This year, our parish goal is $36,000. In recent years we have met our goal. Thank you in advance for your contributions.