PORTLAND---Parishes and schools in the Diocese of Portland combined to raise over $62,000 for the Catholic Relief Services’ (CRS) Rice Bowl program during the forty days of Lent in 2019. CRS Rice Bowl is a faith-in-action program that encourages Catholics to fill cardboard bowls with monetary donations, giving alms to those in need and honoring Jesus’ call to serve our neighbors.
Over 50 Catholic parishes, schools, and groups in Maine participated in the 2019 program, contributing a total of $62,718.93. It marks the seventh straight year that total contributions have risen in the diocese, including an over $17,000 increase from just three years ago ($45,070 in 2016).
According to Catholic Relief Services, 75% of the donations support CRS’ humanitarian relief programs in nearly 100 countries worldwide, while 25% of the proceeds are given to hunger and poverty alleviation efforts in the donors’ communities.
Three Maine parishes eclipsed $3,000 in donations this year:
- Holy Spirit Parish (St. Martha Church, Kennebunk; St. Mary Church, Wells) with $6,750.12
- Good Shepherd Parish (Most Holy Trinity Church, Saco; St. Joseph Church, Biddeford; St. Margaret Church, Old Orchard Beach; and St. Philip Church, Lyman) with $5,637.43
- All Saints Parish (St. Charles Borromeo Church, Brunswick; St. John the Baptist Church, Brunswick; St. Mary Church, Bath; Our Lady Queen of Peace Church, Boothbay Harbor; St. Katharine Drexel Church, Harpswell; St. Ambrose Church, Richmond; and St. Patrick Church, Newcastle) with $3,181.97
An additional ten parishes eclipsed $1,000 in donations: Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Auburn, St. Paul the Apostle Parish in Bangor, St. Kateri Tekakwitha Parish in Calais, St. Brendan the Navigator Parish in Camden, Parish of the Precious Blood in Caribou, Parish of the Holy Eucharist in Falmouth, St. John Vianney Parish in Fort Kent, Parish of the Ascension of the Lord in Kittery, Notre Dame du Mont Carmel Parish in Madawaska, and St. Thérèse of Lisieux Parish in Sanford.
Students at Maine Catholic schools also contributed $2,729.74.
Since 2011, the Diocese of Portland has collected over $420,000 for the program.