Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Reflections on Haiti and Catholic Relief Services' Operation Rice Bowl

As I sat down for dinner tonight, I looked down upon my bowl of home-made soup of chicken broth, spaghetti noodles, chicken, and celery, and  I contemplated about Haiti and how many hungry bodies, such a simple soup would nourish. I wish there would be a way I could go overseas to Haiti and serve nutritious meals such as these to the hungry there, however temporarily unemployed and without a church affiliation (I consider myself an agnostic theist), I have no means to connect with mission groups or to travel overseas. Then I remembered the Catholic Relief Services' Operation Rice Bowl collection container on the kitchen counter (from a family member's church). This program of Catholic Relief Services invites Catholics in the United States to respect human dignity and foster solidarity with the poor through the traditional practices of prayer, fasting and almsgiving (Seventy-five percent of gifts will go to Catholic Relief Services international hunger and poverty alleviation efforts and twenty-five percent will remain in the donor's local diocese to support local hunger and poverty alleviation efforts). In turn, participants will enter the stories of people throughout the world who are rising from poverty with the help of these relationships of solidarity. Although having no intention of participating in the prayer or fasting, I gathered what little money I have out of my purse and dropped it into the Operation Rice Bowl collection container, while dreaming of more, hoping it will make a difference.

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