Honor Recognizes Dedication, Service and Creativity
WASHINGTON, D.C., February 1, 2014 — Catholic Relief Services (CRS) has awarded its annual CRS Rice Bowl Award to Mark Bouchard, Coordinator for Advocacy, Education, and National Programs for Catholic Charities in the Archdiocese of Louisville, Kentucky. The award was presented today at the Catholic Social Ministry Gathering in Washington, D.C.
CRS presents this award each year to a diocesan partner who shows leadership and creativity in using CRS’ Rice Bowl Lenten program within a diocese. Bouchard’s commitment has enabled hundreds of people to deepen their Lenten experience while serving those in need worldwide. Last year, 100 parishes and schools in the Archdiocese of Louisville participated in CRS Rice Bowl.
“Mark brings his commitment to social justice and charity to bear in his partnership with CRS,” said Joan Rosenhauer, Executive Vice President of U.S. Operations for CRS. “He is a strong voice for those who are voiceless in the world. CRS Rice Bowl is about bringing Lent to life and supporting people in need, and Mark does a tremendous job at this.”
As well as being a committed advocate for improving federal funding for humanitarian aid to those who suffer, Mark Bouchard is the architect of an annual Rice Bowl kick-off event that brings together students and teachers from approximately 30 Catholic schools, as well as archdiocesan staff and local refugees. This event has evolved into a high point leading up to the season of Lent and serves as a model for engaging youth in faith-forming activities that are both interesting and relevant to the community.
CRS Rice Bowl supports efforts to fight hunger and poverty in communities around the world and in dioceses around the United States. Seventy-five percent of alms given during Lent through Rice Bowl are directed to CRS programs in 91 countries. Twenty-five percent remains in each diocese to reduce hunger and poverty locally.
For the last 39 years, CRS Rice Bowl has helped more than 13,000 parishes and schools across the U.S. deepen their Lenten journey with a wide variety of resources for all ages, including a popular daily calendar of reflections and activities as well as a collection of simple, meatless recipes from the program’s featured countries. To see what’s new with CRS Rice Bowl visit crsricebowl.org.
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Catholic Relief Services is the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States. The agency alleviates suffering and provides assistance to people in need in 91 countries, without regard to race, religion or nationality. For more information, please visit www.crs.org or www.crsespanol.org and follow CRS on Twitter @CatholicRelief and @CRS_expertise; and youtube.com/user/CatholicRelief.