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“Lent is a new beginning, a path leading to the certain goal of Easter, Christ’s victory over death. This season urgently calls us to conversion. Christians are asked to return to God “with all their hearts” (Joel 2:12), to refuse to settle for mediocrity and to grow in friendship with the Lord. Jesus is the faithful friend who never abandons us. Even when we sin, he patiently awaits our return; by that patient expectation, he shows us his readiness to forgive.”

Pope Francis - From his Message for Lent 2017, “The Word is a gift.  Other persons are a gift.”

CRS Rice Bowl  Catholic Relief Services’ Rice Bowl is a Lenten faith formation program for use in parishes, schools, religious education programs and by families and individuals in the home.  Using CRS Rice Bowl materials, participants prepare to celebrate Christ’s resurrection by reflecting and acting on His mission of love for those in need.  Pray together; give things up, or fast in solidarity with those who hunger; learn about our global community and the challenges of hunger and poverty around the world; and give sacrificial donations to those in need.  CRS Rice Bowl ensures that the Catholic community of the United States is present in nearly 100 countries worldwide, serving the poorest among us through CRS.  For more information, contact the diocesan Office for Social Concerns at (614) 241-2540 or or visit the CRS website at

For Families:  Looking for a great family life activity?  Do the CRS RICE BOWL CHALLENGE!  Participate in the CRS Rice Bowl Family Lenten challenge.  Each day your family does a daily suggested activity in the CRS Rice Bowl Lenten calendar, check that day’s completion box in the upper left hand corner.  At the end of Lent, add up the number of daily CRS Rice Bowl activities your family accomplished and write the total.  Complete the form at and mail in by April 28.  Your family will be in a drawing for a fair trade basket!  This project is in partnership with the diocesan Office of Marriage & Family Life and the Office for Social Concerns.

March is Developmental Disabilities Month  The National Catholic Partnership on Disability (NCPD) facilitates the implementation of the Pastoral Statement of U.S. Catholic Bishops on People with Disabilities by calling for inclusion of people with disabilities in the life of the Church and society.  Many of NCPD’s helpful resources can be found online at   Interested in learning more about the S.P.I.C.E. program (Special People in Catholic Education)?  The S.P.IC.E. program is in several of our diocesan Catholic schools, visit

40 Days for Life is March 1 to April 9.  Faithful believers are praying that this effort will mark the beginning of the end of abortion in America.  This peaceful prayer vigil will take place at an abortion facility in Columbus.  Participants are asked to volunteer for one-hour shifts and sign a statement of peace.  For details, visit Greater Columbus Right to Life at

ONE ID COLUMBUS  The BREAD Organization will host a meeting on a municipal ID program for all Columbus residents.  Presentations will be made by representatives from other cities which have a municipal ID program.  For more information, visit, email:, or 614-220-9363.

Spirit of Hope GALA of Catholic Social Services will be held on Saturday, March 11, 2017, 6:30 p.m. at the Hilton Columbus Downtown, 401 N. High Street, Columbus.  The annual event benefits Catholic Social Services’ fourteen programs designed to strengthen individuals and families, provide crisis relief, and help seniors age with grace and independence in the 23 counties of Central and Southern Ohio.  To purchase tickets, call (614) 221-5891 or visit

Bishop Campbell’s Presentations – God’s Creation, Our Common Home

All are invited to Bishop Campbell’s presentation, “God’s Creation, Our Common Home,” where he will reflect on the encyclical Laudato Si, which speaks of our relationship with God through creation.  He will discuss the social, environmental, and moral issues facing all creatures of God, and will speak about the great suffering caused by the opiate addiction crisis.  Join with Bishop in exploring, embracing, and acting on the true beauty and grandeur of God's gift to us!  Presentations will be held:

•             Monday, March 13, 7-9 p.m., St. Francis de Sales Parish, Newark

•             Tuesday, March 14, 7-9 p.m., St. Peter Parish, Columbus

•             Thursday, March 16, 7-9 p.m., Bishop Ready High School, Columbus

•             Saturday, March 18, 9:30-11:30 a.m., Notre Dame High School, Portsmouth

All are invited to attend!  For additional information, contact Ellen at the Office of Development and Planning at 614-241-2550 or

The Vocation of Agriculture:  To Till & Keep God’s Creation.  Saturday, March 25, 2017, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at St. Joseph Church Parish Hall, 670 W. Main St., Plain City, Ohio.  Please join with Catholic rural leaders throughout Ohio as we dialogue and reflect upon the important vocation – call – of being a farmer.  We will examine the many blessings and challenges that face life on the land.  Panelists from the fields of faith formation, agribusiness, environment, and public policy.  If interested in attending, contact the diocesan Office for Social Concerns at 614-241-2540 or

Good Friday Walking Stations of the Cross  Many facets of faith and justice will be the focus of the annual Walking Stations of the Cross.  The walk begins with opening prayer at St. Joseph Cathedral, 212 E. Broad St., Columbus, at 8 a.m., Friday, April 14, 2017.  Hundreds of participants from across the diocese will process to locations throughout downtown Columbus to recognize Jesus Christ’s suffering and crucifixion as well as to reflect on current areas of social concern.  Open to all ages.  For more information, contact the diocesan Office for Social Concerns at (614) 241-2540 or the Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry at (614) 241-2565.

CLEANING GREENER  Wednesday, April 19, 7-9:30 p.m.  Shepherd’s Corner, 978 N. Waggoner, Road, Blacklick.  Learn how to avoid toxic commercial cleaners harmful to you and the environment.  Make your own cleaners with ingredients you may have in your house.  Facilitated by Sr. Marguerite Chandler, OP, and Miranda Land.  Donation:  $5.  Register:  614-866-4302 or

Corcoran Awards  - St. Vincent Family Center, Monday,  May 15  at noon.  The annual luncheon celebrates community leaders who are making outstanding contributions in the areas of service and supports the efforts of St. Vincent Family Center to make good kids better. The event will be held at the Easton Hilton. Individual tickets and tables can be purchased in advance by calling (614) 252-0731 ext. 1132, email:  Learn more at

Diocesan Senior Citizens Day Celebration Tuesday, June 6.  The diocesan Senior Citizens Day Celebration will be held at St. Joan of Arc Church, 10700 Liberty Road, Powell.  Bishop Campbell will celebrate Mass at 10:30 a.m.  Mass is followed by a luncheon.  This annual event is a great opportunity for seniors to meet with other seniors from around the diocese.  Registration for the celebration is $10.  To register, send a check payable to the Office for Social Concerns, Catholic Diocese of Columbus, 197 E. Gay Street, Columbus, Ohio  43215.  For questions, call 614-241-2540 or email at  Registrations are requested by June 1.

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The Roman Catholic Diocese of Columbus 197 E. Gay Street Columbus, OH 43215

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