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Catholic Relief Services


Catholic Relief Services is the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States. CRS was founded in 1943 by the Catholic Bishops of the United States to serve World War II survivors in Europe. Since then, the organization has expanded in size to reach almost 100 million people in 93 countries on five continents.

The mission of CRS is to assist impoverished and disadvantaged people overseas, working in the spirit of Catholic social teaching to promote the sacredness of human life and the dignity of the human person. Although the mission of CRS is rooted in the Catholic faith, CRS serves people based solely on need, regardless of their race, religion, or ethnicity. Within the United States, CRS engages Catholics to live their faith in solidarity with the poor and suffering people of the world.

CRS is motivated by the example of Jesus Christ to ease suffering, provide development assistance, and foster charity and justice. CRS lives out this mission by responding to major emergencies, fighting disease and poverty, and nurturing peaceful and just societies.

For more information, watch this brief video summarizing the work of CRS and visit crs.org.


CRS Rice Bowl

CRS Rice Bowl is an annual Lenten faith formation program that can help get parishioners and students excited about their Catholic faith and helping people in need around the world. Adopted in 1975, CRS Rice Bowl invites Catholics:

  • To pray for a more just world
  • To fast in solidarity with those who are hungry
  • To learn about the joys and challenges in the lives of our brothers and sisters overseas who are challenged by poverty and
  • To give to support programs which serve them.

Order CRS Rice Bowl Materials

CRS Rice Bowl is a Lenten faith formation program that invites Catholics to “live in solidarity with our poorest and most vulnerable brothers and sisters through the three Lenten pillars of praying, fasting, and almsgiving.” To order free CRS Rice Bowl materials for your parish, school, or family, and to find ideas to bring CRS Rice Bowl to life in your community, visit www.crsricebowl.org, call 1-800-222-0025, or contact Meredith Cook at either 603-663-0148 or mcook@rcbm.org.

Thank You!

CRS Rice Bowl is the Lenten faith-in-action program of Catholic Relief Services. This year, you fasted and prayed, living in solidarity with the poorest and most vulnerable. And thanks to your generosity, the Diocese of Manchester raised nearly $75,000 for CRS Rice Bowl. 75% of these gifts support CRS programs around the world, and 25% remains here in NH for direct support for local hunger and poverty alleviation efforts, as well as for efforts to advocate for solutions to injustice.

Food Fast

CRS Food Fast is a hunger awareness experience for Catholic youth (ages 13-18) with a focus on global poverty and justice. By spending time in the shoes of people who go hungry, Catholic youth deepen their faith and strengthen their yearning to change our world. For more information visit www.foodfast.org

Fair Trade Program

CRS Fair Trade Program gives Catholics a chance to support marginalized producers and workers, especially in the Global South. With Fair Trade, small-scale producers, artisans, and farmers overseas get treated with dignity and earn a fair price for the goods. In turn, they produce and consumers purchase extraordinary coffee,  chocolate, and crafts. To learn more visit: www.crsfairtrade.org

Diocesan Rice Bowl Grants 

Each year during Lent, the Diocese of Manchester participates in the CRS Rice Bowl program as a way to encounter Jesus through others, especially through the most vulnerable in our world. 25% of the funds raised through the CRS Rice Bowl program remain here in New Hampshire for hunger and poverty alleviation efforts, including a grant program to support parish and school ministry organizations.

Grants will be awarded on a rolling basis ranging from $250 to $1,000. Parish and school ministry organizations and educational programs may apply by completing this application. While grants are awarded on a rolling basis, applications typically will be reviewed and grants generally available at the end of the calendar year once all funds from the annual CRS Rice Bowl program have been received.

Parishes and schools may apply for Diocesan Rice Bowl grants to support such programs as a food pantry, Saint Vincent de Paul Society, or other ministry, program, or project intended to alleviate hunger and/or poverty in New Hampshire. Grants cannot support certain types of requests such as donations to fund a particular individual or family, research projects, capital gifts, endowment funds, deficit spending, debt liquidation, or multi-year grants.

For more information, please contact:
Meredith P. Cook, Esq.
Director of the Office of Public Policy
(603) 663-0148

Diocese of Manchester
The Catholic Church in New Hampshire

153 Ash Street, Box 310
Manchester, NH 03105-0310
(603) 669-3100
Fax: (603) 669-0377

© Diocese of Manchester