By Ruby Thomas, Record Staff Writer
The suspension of public Masses due to the threat of COVID-19, has not only affected the offertory collections of local churches, it has further-reaching consequences for some of the neediest people in the Archdiocese of Louisville and around the globe.
Among the collections that will be affected this year are the annual CRS Rice Bowl collection, which would have been collected, today, April 9 — when the church observes Holy Thursday. The Catholic Relief Services collection would have been taken up in parishes the weekend of March 21-22.
To make the Rice Bowl collection possible this year, the archdiocese is asking that funds be sent directly to CRS online crs.org. Under ways to give, select Rice Bowl.
For parishioners and school families who want to mail their donations in, the archdiocese asks that those be sent to its finance office by June 15.
Donations for Rice Bowl and the Catholic Relief Services collection primarily funds the work of the U.S. church overseas. A quarter of the funds, however, remain in the Archdiocese of Louisville to benefit local charities, said Deacon Lucio Caruso, director of mission for Catholic Charities of Louisville. Last year $27,300 was split between six local non-profits.
According to a report from Catholic News Services, the CRS collection also funds the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Offices of International Justice and Peace, Migration and Refugee Services, and Pastoral Care for Migrants and Refugees, the Vatican’s relief work and the Catholic Legal Immigration Network.
Catholic News Services reported in a March 30 news story that CRS is working with local partners in more than 15 countries in response to COVID-19. Among the efforts was the evacuation of 250 people from a tent city in the Philippines.