Friday, January 16, 2015

An App for the CRS Rice Bowl Lenten Program

The Rice Bowl program, sponsored by Catholic Relief Services during the Lenten season, turns 40 this year. The effort was launched to give Roman Catholics in the U.S. the opportunity to respond to famine in Africa. Could we feed the hungry through Lenten prayers, fasting and almsgiving? The answer was yes - and it came in the form of a small cardboard box.

Forty years later, the cardboard box remains a central feature of the campaign. "A cardboard CRS bowl is a tool for families to use to collect their Lenten alms. Each bowl comes with a Lenten calendar -with short reflections for each day of Lent. You'll also find recipes for meatless meals from around the world and Stories of Hope from families that benefit from your donation to CRS Rice Bowl."

A Spanish-language version of the materials is also provided to participants.

Going Digital
Quoting the adage, the "more things change, the more they stay the same," I would like to present to you the CRS Rice Bowl app. You no longer need the cardboard box to participate in Rice Bowl.  CRS now makes a digital application available for people to participate via their cell phone. The app offers the exact same resources, except that they appear on your Android or I-phone. (This includes the opportunity to donate money digitally instead of dropping a few coins and dollar bills into the cardboard box!)

Here is how CRS is advertising its App.

Catholic Relief Services has A NEW way to bring Lent to Life! (in English and Spanish)
  • Thoughtful daily reflections
  • Easy to use tool to set and measure your Lenten sacrifices
  • Delicious meatless recipes from around the world
  • Built-in feature to share your Lenten experience 
Pray: Read a thoughtful reflection each day of Lent.
Fast: Prepare meatless meals using recipes from around the world.
Learn: Hear Stories of Hope from Catholic Relief Services programs around the world
Give: Track your Lenten fast and see how what you give up this Lent can change the lives of the poor in your own community and around the world.

Download the App for free via the App Store or Google Play.

(On Wednesday, Jan. 21, the CRS Rice Bowl team will be hosting a webinar @ 2:00 PM EST, Noon MST) The online session will discussthis year's featured countries, new resources and ways for Diocesan Directors and CRS Rice Bowl Coordinators to animate communities this coming Lent. Register Here).

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