Catholic Relief Services (CRS) is the international arm of care which the Catholic Church in the United States wraps around those who suffer from war, pestilence, natural disasters and persecution.
A collection for CRS takes place on Laetare Sunday, the 4th Sunday of Lent, and those moneys go to the national office to directly help with the poor around the world. Thanks to the support of CRS, the Catholic Church can be a presence in some of the most desolate places on earth as a sign of hope, but more importantly, as a physical presence for aid.
Every Lent families, schools, parishes and individuals can participate in CRS Rice Bowl, a program with decades of experience helping U.S. Catholics serve the world. 85% of the funds raised by Rice Bowl are sent to CRS. 25% stays here in the Archdiocese of Omaha to help with local emergencies that affect the poor. The videos below are examples of the kind of amazing work CRS does all over the world.
Hungering for Learning in Honduras
Hungering for a Healthy Start in Rwanda
Catholic Identity and CRS
Some accusations against CRS claim that CRS violates Church teaching by supporting organizations that work against the Church’s teachings on life and sexuality. CRS has addressed these accusations here. The facts are that the U.S. Bishops – including our own Archbishop George J. Lucas – oversee the Catholic identity of CRS. They are confident that CRS works in ways that do not violate Church teaching. Also pro-life moral theologians and institutions have been brought in to assess present and past grants which come from CRS. They too are confident of the Catholic identity of CRS.
Nevertheless, if members of the Archdiocese of Omaha are concerned about CRS’ activities, they are welcome to contact Omar Gutiérrez, the Diocesan Director of CRS in the Archdiocese of Omaha, who has done his own research into these accusations and has found CRS to be a stellar organization worthy of a Catholic’s full support.