Melissa Wheeler
Catholic Relief Services: Rice Bowl
April 5, 2017 // National

CRS: Caring for the poor and needy in Hawaii

Melissa Wheeler
Catholic Relief Services: Rice Bowl

Nation focus: United States of America

Catholic social teaching principle: Global solidarity

Question: What special intentions will you keep in prayer during Holy Week?

Scripture quote: “Indeed, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are all the more necessary, and those parts of the body that we consider less honorable we surround with greater honor, and our less presentable parts are treated with greater propriety, whereas our more presentable parts do not need this. But God has so constructed the body as to give greater honor to a part that is without it, so that there may be no division in the body, but that the parts may have the same concern for one another. If [one] part suffers, all the parts suffer with it; if one part is honored, all the parts share its joy.” — 1 Corinthians 12:22-26

Prayer intention: For our community of faith, that we may welcome the homeless, the lost and the wandering, recognizing that Jesus himself lived without a permanent place to call home.

Almsgiving challenge: Give $.25 to your CRS Rice Bowl for each time God surprised you this week.

In the final installment of this series, we highlight one of the United States programs that is partly funded by Catholic Relief Services. Seventy-five percent of the revenue from CRS Rice Bowls goes to overseas programming, while 25 percent stays in the United States for anti-poverty initiatives. Here we present a program in the Diocese of Honolulu, Hawaii.

One Ohana: Food and Housing for All is a statewide initiative in Hawaii. Through it and CRS Rice Bowl, we encounter Micaela. Micaela was forced to migrate to Hawaii due to the changing climate and rising seas in her native Micronesia. Upon arriving in Hawaii, Micaela was struck by a community struggling with hunger. Through the One ‘Ohana’ initiative, she organizes groups of women to learn farming techniques for breadfruit trees.

Catholic social teaching holds that Jesus tells us to love our neighbors, both near and far. We are all members of one human family. St. Marianne Cope of Molokai gives witness to this global solidarity. St. Marianne is known as the Beloved Mother of Outcasts, much due to her sacrificial life given to people suffering with Hansen’s disease, formerly called leprosy. Following in the footsteps of St. Damien, St. Marianne devoted her life to caring for the most needy and vulnerable members of the Hawaiian society.

This week, take time to pray this prayer in memory of St. Marianne and for all of those who suffer.

O God, who called us to serve your Son in the least of our brothers and sisters,

Grant, we pray, that by the example and intercession of the Virgin St. Marianne Cope, we may burn with love for you and for those who suffer.

Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Melissa Wheeler is the diocesan director for Catholic Relief Services.


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