WASHINGTON, DC, February 3, 2018 – Kelly Davis, the Catholic Relief Services’ (CRS) Diocesan Director in the Diocese of Cleveland, received the 2018 CRS Rice Bowl Award today at the annual Catholic Social Ministry Gathering in Washington, DC. The award was presented to Davis by Joan Rosenhauer, executive vice president of Church Engagement for CRS. Kelly is the Director of Catholic Commission of Lake/Geauga County in the Social Action office here at Catholic Charities, Diocese of Cleveland.
CRS presents the annual award to a diocesan partner who has shown leadership and creativity in using the CRS Rice Bowl program to strengthen the connection between Catholic families in the United States with families in need around the world. Known for its easy-to-use collection of prayer and reflections, a daily Lenten calendar, recipes and videos, CRS Rice Bowl has become a tradition among Catholic families during Lent.
“For more than 40 years CRS Rice Bowl has encouraged Catholics in the United States to deepen their Lenten experience through prayer, fasting and almsgiving in solidarity with our brothers and sisters around the world,” Rosenhauer said. “And this year, in a special way, our CRS Rice Bowl challenges us to use our Lenten sacrifices as an opportunity to share in the journey that so many migrants and refugees are forced to make.”
As a result of Davis’s efforts to promote CRS Rice Bowl during Lent, last year the Diocese of Cleveland showed a 10% growth from 2016 – and a 69% growth from 2011 to 2016 – in the amount of revenue generated through the sacrificial donations made by families and faith communities.
In addition, Davis has consistently extended CRS Rice Bowl outreach to diverse congregations with a focus on Hispanic Ministry and Black Catholic Ministry. As part of that outreach, Davis included CRS Rice Bowl in CRS Parish Ambassador trainings with bilingual faculty presentations and resources. She also helped build a network among the Catholic high schools in the diocese and established 10 CRS Global High Schools.
“CRS Rice Bowl has empowered us in the Diocese of Cleveland to engage parishes and families of all ages in the global work of our church,” Davis said. “It gives us the opportunity to encounter our neighbors all over the world from our own dining room tables. I am blessed to work with amazing volunteers, who truly make Rice Bowl come alive in our Diocese.”
CRS Rice Bowl supports efforts to fight hunger and poverty in communities around the world and in dioceses around the United States. Seventy-five percent of alms given during Lent through CRS Rice Bowl are directed to CRS programs that serve the poorest of the poor around the world. Twenty-five percent remains in each diocese to reduce hunger and poverty locally.
Each year, more than 14,000 parishes and schools across the United States deepen their Lenten journey with CRS Rice Bowl.
“One of the great things about a program like this is that it has touched the lives of multiple generations of Catholics in the United States,” Rosenhauer said. “We strive to be contemporary and help people keep Lent close at hand during their busy days. That’s why we developed an easy to use CRS Rice Bowl app where all our material can be found. Today a family could have three generations in one home practicing Lent with CRS Rice Bowl. That’s special.”
To see what’s new with CRS Rice Bowl visit crsricebowl.org.
Catholic Relief Services is the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States. The agency alleviates suffering and provides assistance to people in need in more than 100 countries, without regard to race, religion or nationality. CRS’ relief and development work is accomplished through programs of emergency response, HIV, health, agriculture, education, microfinance and peacebuilding. For more information, visit www.crs.org or www.crsespanol.org and follow Catholic Relief Services on social media: Facebook, Twitter at @CatholicRelief, @CRSnews and @CRSnoticias, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube.