Then to all Christ said, "Whoever wishes to be my follower must deny his very self, take up his cross each day and follow in my steps" (Luke 9:23).
The Church has always helped us fulfill these words of Jesus by prescribing very definite penance for all Catholics. Accordingly, the pope and the American bishops have outlined obligatory fast and abstinence as follows:
Since 1975, Operation Rice Bowl has provided Catholics a Lenten opportunity to reach out in solidarity with poor people around the world.
The official Lenten program of Catholic Relief Services, Operation Rice Bowl has raised more than $191 million since its inception to support CRS's development projects and fight global poverty and hunger in more than 100 countries.