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Lent is just around the corner, and there are so many vivid symbols of this liturgical season. You’ve got ashes and palms and purple stuff everywhere. No Alleluias, no Glorias, no meat at the Friday fish fry. One of the best Lenten symbols is the CRS Rice Bowl, those little cardboard boxes we fill with cash to support the work of Catholic Relief Services (CRS) overseas.

It’s easy to grab a Rice Bowl, fill it up, turn it in without thinking twice about where our money is going. Today’s guest can help us fill in the gaps and learn about the incredible work going on in about 100 countries around in the world on behalf of Catholics in the United States.

Bill O’Keefe is CRS’ Executive Vice President for Mission and Mobilization. He oversees the agency’s efforts to build a movement of Catholics and others of good will to support CRS’ global mission and build action-oriented global solidarity with poor, vulnerable, and marginalized people around the world. These efforts include lobbying Congress and the Administration on a range of foreign policy issues and engaging U.S. Catholics in public campaigns to change U.S. foreign policy in ways that promote justice and reduce poverty overseas.

Host Mike Jordan Laskey asked Bill to share some of the most inspiring things he’s seen CRS working on around the world, and how our faith inspires us to care for all who are suffering, no matter what country they live in. In the days since they recorded their conversation, we have all seen the unimaginable destruction from the earthquake in Turkey and Syria. You can visit to see how CRS and their partners are responding to the incredible amount of need in those countries.

AMDG is a production of the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States.

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