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Ash Wednesday kicks off CRS Rice Bowl collections

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Each Lent, people receive little boxes that make a big difference for those in need. Students at Bishop Ireton High School in Alexandria kicked off their participation in the CRS Rice Bowl program after Mass March 6.

Father Edward J. Bresnahan, school chaplain, blessed the Rice Bowls after Mass Ash Wednesday for students, faculty and staff, following a short program.

“Bishop Michael F. Burbidge has shown great insight and leadership in bringing the Global High Schools program to our diocesan high school,” said Carla Walsh, diocesan program coordinator for CRS and the Catholic Campaign for Human Development. “Global High Schools forms the church of tomorrow, helping students understand the lives of people in poverty around the world and creating hearts to serve them.”

All of the diocesan high schools are participating in Global High Schools again this year. At Ireton, efforts include raising $7,000 through student activities such as the Winter Ball to benefit their sister school in Port-au-Prince, Haiti; adding a class to the curriculum that addresses ways to promote peace on local, national and global levels through media and the arts; developing plans to host a Global High Schools roundtable with students from the diocesan high schools; and supporting the CRS Rice Bowl program. Ireton’s goal this year is to raise $6,000 through the Rice Bowls.

“The Global High Schools program gives our school and its students opportunities through prayer, service, advocacy, and education to learn from and work with CRS to help bring hope and a better life to our brothers and sisters in impoverished and conflict-torn places throughout the world,” said Assistant Principal Lonnell Battle. “This work clearly is an expression of our Catholic values and faith.”

Ireton students see the bigger picture of their service.

“My favorite part about working with CRS is it gives you a way to participate in something bigger than yourself and high school,” said senior Claudia Klinck. “It’s an international effort and a way for our school to participate in a program that helps people all around the world.”

“It’s not too difficult to motivate people at this school because we have such a loving community that loves to reach out,” said senior Teresa Esquivel. “We take service very seriously here. Students take it to heart. It’s really beautiful.” 

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2019