Operation Rice Bowl
YOUNGSTOWN -- The Catholic Diocese of Youngstown will again participate in the annual Operation Rice Bowl, Catholic Relief Services' Lenten Program, beginning Ash Wednesday. The program helps Catholics incorporate the Lenten themes of prayer, fasting, learning and giving. Since the program was adopted nationally in 1976, it has grown to include more than 14,200 parishes and schools.
Catholics are asked to abstain from one meal a week throughout Lent while praying for peace and justice and learning more about poverty. Educational materials are available. People give the money they save from the meal not eaten to their local parish during Holy Week to fight hunger. In 2001, Catholics throughout the diocese collected $74,195.
Catholic Relief Services receives 75 percent, and 25 percent remains in the diocese.
The Catholic Charities Advisory Board distributed $17,400 to 37 groups last year. The counties and agencies include:
U Ashtabula: Catholic Charities of Ashtabula; St. Vincent de Paul Society and Neighbor to Neighbor Program of St. Joseph Parish, Ashtabula.
U Columbiana: Catholic Charities Regional Agency; Immaculate Conception Parish, Wellsville; St. Aloysius Parish and St. Ann Parish, both in East Liverpool; FISH of East Liverpool; Wellsville Area Resource Center.
U Mahoning: St. Vincent de Paul societies of St. Edward and St. Patrick parishes, Youngstown, St. John the Baptist Parish, Campbell, and St. Nicholas Parish, Struthers; A House of Blessing and Potter's Wheel of Beatitude House, Youngstown; Jubilee Gardens, Youngstown; Millcreek Children's Center, Youngstown.
U Portage: Catholic Charities of Portage County; Change Hunger.
U Trumbull: Mineral Ridge Community Parish Fund; St. Vincent de Paul Particular Council of Trumbull, Warren; St. Vincent de Paul Society of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish, McDonald; Newton Falls Ministerial Association.
U Stark: Catholic Charities of Stark County; Little Flower Parish Food Cupboard, North Canton; MECCA of Sts. Philip and James Parish, Canal Fulton; St. Vincent de Paul Society of St. Joseph Parish, Canton; Community Drop-In Center, Canton; Louisville Ministerial Association.
For more information, call (330) 744-8451, Ext. 320, or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ash Wednesday service
GIRARD -- An Ash Wednesday service will be at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Girard First United Methodist Church. The adult choir will perform.
HOWLAND -- Howland Community Church will celebrate Mardi Gras Sunday in their worship service at 10 a.m. Sunday. Music will include "Just a Closer Walk With Thee," "Amazing Grace" and "When the Saints Go Marching In." Mardi Gras literally means "Fat Tuesday" and is the final celebration before Lent, which begins Wednesday.
YOUNGSTOWN -- A Healing Mass will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday in St. Casimir Church followed by a light lunch. Call (330) 743-3951.
MAYSVILLE, Pa. -- Dr. Paul Costa of North Richland Hill, Texas, will speak at Living Word Christian Center at 10 a.m. Sunday. He played for the Buffalo Bills for eight years in the National Football League. He's been ministering since 1979 and is co-author of the book "End Time Warriors" with John Kelly.
CANFIELD -- The 34west Theatre Company will present an adaptation of the classic French children's story "The Little Prince," featuring Seattle-based actress Dawn Klapach. When a world-weary aviator crashes in the Sahara Desert, he is confronted by an inspirational little prince. Performances are 7:30 p.m. Friday and Feb. 16, 22 and 23, and at 2:30 p.m. Feb. 17 and 24 at Old North Church. Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for students. Call (330) 965-0934.
YOUNGSTOWN -- A community Ash Wednesday service will be at 7 p.m. Wednesday in Richard Brown United Methodist Church. The sacrament of Communion and imposition of ashes will be offered. A combined community choir will sing.
YOUNGSTOWN -- St. Patrick Church is presenting a Lenten soup lunch series in the church rectory from noon to 1 p.m. Feb. 19 and 26 and March 5 and 19. The dates and topics are: Feb. 19, "A Journey to the Desert"; Feb. 26, "Eucharist -- A Family Meal"; March 5, "Prayer As Receiving"; and March 19, "Turning Our Daily Crosses Into Saving Power." Mass will be celebrated before each session at 11:30 a.m. in the church.
YOUNGSTOWN -- Holy Trinity Baptist Church and Gospel Temple Women's Fellowship will hold a discussion on Esther at 6 p.m. Feb. 15. Call (330) 782-8929.
CANTON -- JLG Ministries will begin its 10th year of promoting gospel music with a concert at 7 p.m. March 16 at Canton's Palace Theatre featuring The Kingdom Heirs quartet from Dollywood; an instrumental group, The Pfeifers; and the Christian comedy of Tim and Mary Alice Lovelace. Tickets are $15.50 and $13.50. Call (330) 454-8172 or visit the Web site www.gospelmusic-live.com.
NILES -- A free marriage restoration conference will be from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Feb. 23 in Alberini's Restaurant. This month's theme is "Faith to Continue." The event is sponsored by Spencer Ministries. Call (330) 793-9174 or e-mail email@example.com.
WARREN -- Catholic Charities Regional Agency of Mahoning, Columbiana and Trumbull counties is offering a free program, "How to Help Yourself Through Grief," from noon to 1 p.m. or from 6 to 7 p.m. March 7, 14, 21 and 27. Make reservations by calling (330) 788-8726.
WARREN -- Mary F. Simmons, evangelist and founder of Women of Faith and Power Ministries Inc., has prepared a booklet, "Divine Healing + Divine Health = A Divine Life." The booklet discusses Scripture on healing and various health products. For more information, call (330) 399-2201 or visit www.womenoffaith.qpg.com.
Bus trip set
YOUNGSTOWN -- The North Side Prayer Band is sponsoring a bus trip to the Benny Hinn Crusade in Columbus. Call (330) 746-6212.