During Lent, as Catholics,
we prepare for Easter with prayer, sacrifice and by
doing good works. In the Joliet Diocese children may
choose to participate in Operation Rice Bowl, a program
of Prayer, Sacrifice, and Almsgiving from Catholic
Relief Services or the traditional HCA program of
offering boxes or coin folders to sacrifice for the
needs of children in crisis.
Catholic Relief Services'
Operation Rice Bowl seeks to instill within
the student a sense of solidarity with the poor of
this world. Solidarity is one of the seven
core values of Catholic social teaching. The
program's four components have a rich history in our
Catholic faith. Prayer: When we pray for
others, we grow closer to them. Fasting: Fasting has
been a symbolic act of prayer since early Christianity.
By fasting, we share the suffering
and hunger of the poor, gaining a clearer understanding
of them and growing in solidarity. Education:
To understand and empathize with the poor, it is necessary
to learn about their condition. Through Operation
Rice Bowl, the student learns about the reality
of the poor through stories, facts, and sharing. The
teacher is provided with lesson plans and resources.
Almsgiving: Alms are a special way of building
solidarity. Operation Rice Bowl alms help the poor
grow their own food, increase their income, and escape
abject poverty. Operation Rice Bowl is a simple yet
effective program that enables teachers to educate
and inspire students to solidarity with the poor.
Operation Rice Bowl projects are designed to alleviate
suffering in the short term while laying a foundation
for permanent change. Twenty-five percent of the alms
given to Operation Rice Bowl during Lent remains in
the diocese for local poverty efforts.
Contact the Peace and Social Justice Ministry for more
information on how you can participate in Operation
Traditional Holy Childhood Association's Lenten
Holy Childhood Association's
Lenten Appeal offers our children the opportunity
to pray for the children of the missions and encourages
them to make sacrifices which contribute to this good
You may download the HCA Lenten packet.