Participation, Community and the Common Good – Operation Rice Bowl and Good Friday

06 Apr

The 2012 Operation Rice Bowl campaign came to an end last night at Holy Thursday Mass when the rice bowls were returned to each parish.  While 75 percent of Operation Rice Bowl contributions support CRS’ programs around the world, 25 percent remains in the United States to fund local diocesan hunger and poverty alleviation efforts. We end this Lenten season by learning more about the Catholic Social Teaching Principles of Participation as well as Community and the Common Good.

Today’s post will provide you with a CRS video about confronting global poverty, one spotlight on how Operation Rice Bowl has helped a family in the United States and a family prayer activity for today called the Seven Last Words of Christ by Loyola Press.

Participation: All people have a right to participate in the economic, political, and cultural life of society. It is a fundamental demand of justice and a requirement for human dignity that all people be assured a minimum level of participation in the community. Conversely, it is wrong for a person or a group to be excluded unfairly or to be unable to participate in society. In the words of the U.S. bishops, “The ultimate injustice is for a person or group to be treated actively or abandoned passively as if they were non-members of the human race. To treat people this way is effectively to say they simply do not count as human beings.”

Community and the Common Good: In a global culture driven by excessive individualism, our tradition proclaims that the person is not only sacred but also social. How we organize our society — in economics and politics, in law and policy — directly affects human dignity and the capacity of individuals to grow in community. Our Church teaches that the role of the government and other institutions is to protect human life and human dignity and promote the common good.

In the Diocese of Arlington, VA, a portion of local Operation Rice Bowl funds supports Feed My Sheep. Feed My Sheep provides emergency food assistance to families in rural Virginia. This program is grounded in the Catholic social teaching principle Participation as well as Community and the Common Good.

Meet Patricia from the Diocese of Arlington

Patricia moved to Virginia six years ago to be closer to her family and to attend college.  Soon after moving, she found herself struggling to put food on the table.  That’s when she met volunteers from Feed My Sheep, a local emergency food assistance program in Gordonsville, VA.  Volunteers from several area churches manage Feed My Sheep.  The program gives food to families in need.

Volunteers help people who are unemployed write resumes and find jobs.  They also help families obtain household supplies, such as kitchen appliances.  In addition, Feed My Sheep volunteers often connect people with other local service agencies.

Today, Patricia is actively searching for a job, and with guidance from Feed My Sheep volunteers, she plans to buy a car so she can drive to work.  She also hopes to fulfill her dream of returning to college and finishing her degree.

“The Seven Last Words of Christ” Good Friday prayer activity by Loyola Press


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