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Rice Bowls to Be Blessed and Distributed at Ash Wednesday Masses

Diocese of Portland Raised Over $62,000 as Part of Program During Lent 2018

PORTLAND---To mark the beginning of the Lenten season, Bishop Robert P. Deeley will celebrate Ash Wednesday Mass at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Portland on March 6 at 12:15 p.m. Listings of Ash Wednesday Masses scheduled for Catholic churches in Maine are available on the Diocese of Portland’s website at

During the Masses, Bishop Deeley and other priests around Maine will bless rice bowls for distribution to all those interested in participating in the Catholic Relief Services (CRS) Rice Bowl program, 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. As part of the program, Catholics are also invited to pray together, fast in solidarity with those who hunger, make sacrifices, and learn about the joys and challenges of others.

Individuals and families in the Diocese of Portland combined to raise over $62,000 for the program during Lent in 2018. According to CRS, 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.

The Diocese of Portland’s CRS Rice Bowl section has a variety of resources and information to help you with your participation. A special Lent section has also been created on the Diocese of Portland’s website featuring resources to assist you during your Lenten journey, including Mass times, special event listings, presentations of the Stations of the Cross, a “Saints of Lent” section, a Lenten calendar, faith formation and Scripture reflections, retreat information, ways to share your gifts, and Lenten messages from Pope Francis.