Don’t wait to fill Rice Bowl to help Japan

Bishop Marcellino Daiji Tani of Saitama, one of the dioceses hit hardest by Japan’s earthquake and tsunami disaster, said the catastrophe is a reminder that “life is in the hands of God and that life is a gift from God.” He further described the tragedy as a challenge for Christians during Lent “to practice and witness to the commandment of love and brotherly love.”

During Lent in the United States, many Catholic families take part in Operation Rice Bowl, which supports Catholic Relief Services. Families are encouraged to put savings from their Lenten fasting into a cardboard bowl.
Catholic Relief Services is among the organizations responding to the continuing disaster in Japan.

After seeing the scope of the need in Japan, how could we not accept Bishop Tani’s challenge? Let’s remember the victims and their continuing struggles in our Lenten practices of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving.

There is no need to wait to fill the cardboard Rice Bowl to witness to the commandment of love. Donations are being accepted by phone at 1-877-HELP-CRS, online at, or by mail to Catholic Relief Services, PO Box 17090, Baltimore, MD, 21203-7090. In the memo of the check mark “SE Asia and Pacific Rim Emergency Fund.”

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