Press release submitted by Monica Saltarelli
Niagara University Campus Ministry
Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, Feb. 22! In this spirit, we continue our annual tradition of inviting the campus community to participate in "Operation Rice Bowl." Operation Rice Bowl is Catholic Relief Services' Lenten solidarity program that calls all participants to:
•Pray with their families and faith communities
•Fast in solidarity with those who are hungry
•Learn about the joys and challenges in the lives of our brothers and sisters around the world.
Operation Rice Bowl is featuring Madagascar, India, Vietnam, El Salvador, Zambia, and the Arlington Diocese.
•Give sacrificial contributions to those in need around the world.
Where does the money go? Seventy-five percent of your contributions to Operation Rice Bowl go to Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and support development projects that help families and communities improve their lives by increasing crop production, expand their businesses to increase their income, and improve sanitation and access to clean water. Twenty-five percent of Operation Rice Bowl contributions remain in the Buffalo Diocese to fund emergency food services.
How can I help? We invite you to display the Rice Bowl, calendar and accompanying poster in a prominent location on your floor (packet containing a Rice Bowl box, a poster, and a calendar with information on the work of CRS around the world, as well as suggestions for prayer and reflection, are available on campus and in the Campus Ministry office in Gally). Additional Rice Bowl resources and materials are available should you need them. Encourage your residents to live out the Vincentian mission by participating in this worthwhile cause. It may be helpful to set up a bit of a competition among the floors in your residence hall or with another residence hall
What other ways can I use Operation Rice Bowl? Be creative! For example, you could invite a member of the Campus Ministry team to assist you in the planning of a simple interfaith prayer service or floor program, which could incorporate these Lenten themes as well as educate your residents about cultural diversity especially with the featured countries.
What should I do with the donations? All donations should be delivered to the Office of Campus Ministry by Wednesday, April 12.
Last year we raised more than $722 through this program, and I invite you once again to take this great opportunity to deepen your commitment to our Vincentian mission.
Please feel free to contact me at 286-8409 or [email protected] should you have any questions.