Catholic Relief Services

Catholic Relief Services is the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States. We alleviate suffering and provide assistance to people in need in more than 100 countries, without regard to race, religion or nationality.

Catholic Relief Services carries out the commitment of the Bishops of the United States to assist the poor and vulnerable overseas. We are motivated by the Gospel of Jesus Christ to cherish, preserve and uphold the sacredness and dignity of all human life, foster charity and justice, and embody Catholic social and moral teaching as we act to

  • Promote human development by responding to major emergencies, fighting disease and poverty, and nurturing peaceful and just societies; and,
  • Serve Catholics in the United States as they live their faith in solidarity with their brothers and sisters around the world.

As part of the universal mission of the Catholic Church, Catholic Relief Services work with local, national and international Catholic organizations, to assist people on the basis of need, not creed, race or nationality. To learn more about Catholic Relief Services, please visit

Operation Rice Bowl

Operation Rice Bowl LogoOperation Rice Bowl, CRS’ Lenten program, began in 1975, as a response to the drought in the African Sahel. For more than 35 years, Operation Rice Bowl has offered Catholics in the United States a way to connect with our brothers and sisters in need around the world.

Each Lent, nearly 13,000 faith communities across the United States participate to demonstrate solidarity with the poor around the world. Seventy-five percent of Operation Rice Bowl donations come to CRS to help fund development programs designed to increase food security around the world. Twenty-five percent of the donations support hunger and poverty alleviation efforts in dioceses within the United States.

This Lenten season, Catholic Relief Services invites Catholics to pray with their families and faith communities; fast in solidarity with those who hunger; learn about our global community and the challenges of poverty overseas; and give sacrificial contributions to those in need.

Join CRS’ Operation Rice Bowl this Lent!

CRS’ Operation Rice Bowl will enhance our community’s Lenten celebration through the traditional Lenten practices of prayer, fasting and giving of alms.

Please pick up a Rice Bowl and the accompanying Home Calendar. The Home Calendar features daily reflections and activities designed to enrich your spiritual journey during Lent. Please take a few moments and read the personal stories of people who benefit from the work of Catholic Relief Services. You can use the daily calendar reflections to help guide your Lenten activities. You may also visit to find activities and resources for use in your home and to sign up for the Operation Rice Bowl weekly email reflections.