Operation Rice Bowl
Throughout Lent people across the United States will participate in Operation Rice Bowl. This Lenten program invites people to place a cardboard container (given out in parishes) in their homes, and put in it the money that is saved because of their fasting and the things they give up for Lent.
At the end of Lent, the Rice Bowl is brought to Mass and the money is used for development projects in poor nations and hunger relief in the local diocese.
In 1975, Operation Rice Bowl began in the Diocese of Allentown, Pa., as a local ecumenical effort to aid drought victims in the African Sahel. It was introduced during the 41st International Eucharistic Congress in Philadelphia in 1976 when it was adopted nationally by Catholic Relief Services.
Orthodox Lent began yesterday
Fast and Abstinence
The regulations on Lenten fast and abstinence are:
FASTING: On Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, those who are 18 but not yet 59 are allowed only one full meal. Two smaller meals are allowed as needed, but eating solid foods between meals is not permitted.
ABSTINENCE FROM MEAT: Those who are 14 years of age or older are to abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday and all the Fridays of Lent.
The Church no longer attempts to prescribe Lenten practice in detail. The above regulations simply highlight Ash Wednesday, Good Friday, and the other Fridays of Lent.
The more fundamental obligation is to make Lent a penitential season, choosing practices that are adapted to ones own needs.
By the solemn 40 days of Lent the Church unites herself each year to the mystery of Jesus in the desert. ~ Catechism of the Catholic Church