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CRS Rice Bowl

CRS Rice Bowl is Catholic Relief Services‘ Lenten faith-in-action program for families and faith communities. We give alms with a spirit of generosity to our brothers and sisters in need, honoring Jesus’ call to serve our neighbors.

CRS Rice Bowl is Catholic Relief Services' Lenten solidarity program that brings Lent to life! The program is used by millions of Catholics throughout the United States, in more than 15,000 parishes, schools, and faith communities. Through CRS Rice Bowl, we reach out to assist our brothers and sisters around the world through traditional Lenten practices, while we learn about the global issues affecting our neighbors overseas, as well as here in the United States.

The program offers new and engaging resources for families, parishes, and classrooms annually to help bring Lenten spirituality to life while providing hope and opportunity for people in need around the world. CRS Rice Bowl also challenges us to put our faith in action and walk in solidarity with our neighbors in need.

CRS Rice Bowl 25% Local Designation Form

Participating parishes and schools are asked to submit a completed Participation & 25% Designation Form along with their donation to CRS Rice Bowl by July 30. Individuals are encouraged to make checks payable to their parish or school, then the parish or school will send one check payable to the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. Contact our office with any questions regarding the 25% local distribution.

2023 Participation and 25% Designation Report Form 

Features for Teachers and Religious Educators:

CRS Rice Bowl's Lenten, faith-in-action program offers:

  • Curriculum Truths for high school students
  • Principles of Catholic Social Teaching
  • Catholic Identity through lives of the Saints
  • Educational resources that make it easy to integrate CRS Rice Bowl into classroom activities
  • Guest speakers - available year round - to talk about CRS programming.

Pillars of Lent

Using the Rice Bowl materials (provided at no charge), participants pray and reflect upon the realities, challenges, and gifts of our neighbors around the world who are poor and vulnerable.

CRS Rice Bowl’s recipes for simple meals and fasting suggestions help participants use this traditional Lenten practice to express solidarity with their brothers and sisters who do not have enough food.

Through educational resources, on-line virtual tours, and activities incorporating Catholic Relief Services’ work overseas,  Rice Bowl participants learn about the lives of people they may never meet.

Participants put faith into action by giving of their time and resources in a thoughtful manner. Since the program began in 1975,  Rice Bowl has raised millions of dollars to assist our brothers and sisters in need all around the world.

How Does Your Participation Make a Difference?

CRS Rice Bowl provides a tangible opportunity to put our faith into action and help people in communities around the world and here in the United States. Your prayers, sacrifices, and generous donations support Catholic Relief Services’ food security projects overseas, as well as local hunger and poverty alleviation efforts in your diocese. Catholic Relief Services’ food security projects include:

  • Agriculture projects to help farmers improve crop yields and increase food security in communities.
  • Water projects to bring clean water to communities.
  • Microfinance projects to encourage the growth of small businesses.
  • Mother and Child Health projects to provide basic health and nutrition services.
  • Education projects to provide resources and training.
  • HIV/AIDS projects to support the local Catholic church in communities around the world in addressing the many needs of people affected by this disease.

Time Tables for Participation

  1. If your parish or school has participated in the past, please phone the fullfillment house to modify any standing material orders.Call 1-800-222-0025.
  2. New participants should order their supplies on line by the end of September or early October for next Lent. Call 1-800-222-0025 or order online.
  3. Supplies are usually shipped 6 to 8 weeks prior to Lent (assuming an order has been placed). 
  4. Distribution of supplies to participants is ordinarily conducted one to two weeks prior to Lent. A blessing for Rice Bowls is included in the Coordinator's Guide.
  5. The CRS Rice Bowl program offiically begins on Ash Wednesday.
  6. CRS Rice Bowl concludes on Easter Sunday.
  7. Donations from participants should be collected by parishes/schools no later than June 30. Ask participants to make checks payable to your parish or school.
  8. A completed Participation and Designation Report Form should be submitted along with a check from the parish/school payable and mailed to the Archdiocese of Milwaukee by July 30.

For more information about CRS Rice Bowl or to schedule a speaker for your parish or school, contact Susan L. McNeil, 414-758-2214,

Contact Us

Susan L. McNeil
Director of Catholic Social Responsibility


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The Archdiocese of Milwaukee

3501 South Lake Drive
St. Francis, WI 53235

Phone:  (414) 769-3300
Toll-Free: (800) 769-9373
Fax:  (414)  769-3408