Message from Mr. Conroy
Today, Ash Wednesday, we begin our Lenten journey. This Lent our school community will participate in CRS Rice Bowl, a faith-in-action program that invites us to encounter anew ourselves, our neighbors and our God.
Each of the students has received a cardboard rice bowl into which they can place their donations during Lent. All of the funds will benefit CRS Rice Bowl which is sponsored by Catholic Relief Services, the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States. Catholic Relief Services is motivated by the example of Jesus Christ to assist poor and suffering people in more than 100 countries on the basis of need, without regard to race, religion or nationality.
While the act of sacrificial giving is an important part of our Lenten tradition, the experience takes on even greater meaning when our students understand the plight of those less fortunate and recognize the difference that they can make to alleviate suffering. So that the children may develop this appreciation of the needs of those around the world, each week of Lent the teachers will lead discussions and lessons using the materials made available by Catholic Relief Services.
I encourage you to take time as a family as well each week to discuss this initiative. Each Monday I will forward to you a weekly message that provides a copy of our Lenten prayer, a practical challenge in support of sacrificial giving, and a perspective from CRS highlighting the life experiences of a family living in one of five nations (India, Zambia, El Salvador, Mexico & Ethiopia) selected for this year’s program.
Here are some strategies that you may wish to consider in shaping your own family’s Lenten plan:
- Use your CRS Rice Bowl and Lenten Calendar daily to guide your Lenten prayer, fasting and almsgiving.
- As a family, read the Stories of Hope and daily reflections to inspire your Lenten journey—and guide your Lenten almsgiving.
- Prepare simple meatless meals on Fridays throughout Lent, in solidarity with our brothers and sisters around the world. Recipes for simple meals from the five nations can be found on the CRS website. Additionally, each grade level will be invited to bring a specific food item to school during Lent to benefit local families through our parish food pantry. The students of the NJHS will coordinate this effort and assemble all of the items prior to the holiday.
Be sure to visit crsricebowl.org to watch videos of the people and communities your Lenten gifts will change through CRS Rice Bowl.
At the end of Lent, families will be asked to convert the contributions from their children into a check to be submitted to All Saints after which our school will forward all of the funds to CRS.
Thank you for participating in CRS Rice Bowl with your family this Lent. I pray that it is a blessed season for you and your children and a time during which we will all encounter Christ more deeply as we respond to His call to serve one another.