Peace & Justice

This is the blog of the Commission on Peace and Justice for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany, New York.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Free family concert on March 20

Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Albany is helping Catholic Relief Services mark the 40th anniversary of the Lenten Rice Bowl Program with a free family event at Carondelet Hospitality Center, 385 Watervliet-Shaker Road in Latham.

The event, scheduled for Friday, March 20 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., will include a simple supper and concert event to showcase the work of CRS Rice Bowl and bring Lenten giving to life. The event will feature family-friendly music from ValLimar Jansen and Ken Canedo and a stirring talk by CRS’ Thomas Awiapo.

ValLimar Jansen has sung sacred music since she was five-years-old. She has sung and toured professionally throughout the United States, Switzerland, France, Germany, Belgium and Japan. She played the role of Beneatha, with the Broadway touring cast, in the European Premier of Raisin. ValLimar went on to co-author a one-woman musical about the life of Ethel Waters that received a special commendation from the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

            Ken Canedo is a liturgical composer whose songs are sung in Catholic churches around the world. Long involved with, a contemporary Catholic music website, he is the voice behind the popular weekly Liturgy Podcast and also a Spirit Spot blogger. His most recent CD is Doxology, a collection of contemporary and traditional music to honor the Most Holy Trinity. He currently serves as a youth minister and pastoral musician for parishes in Portland, Oregon.

Ken writes frequently for Today’s Liturgy magazine. His first book, Keep the Fire Burning, was just released by Pastoral Press.

            Thomas Awiapo tells a truly inspiring story of survival and success. Orphaned before the age of 10, Awiapo survived bleak poverty and hunger in his small African village in Ghana. At age 12, his search for food led him to a school where Catholic Relief Services (CRS) – with funds contributed through the CRS Rice Bowl program – was providing lunch.

            Because of this food, Thomas survived and continued school, earning a master’s degree. Today, Thomas works for CRS and trains community leaders throughout Ghana. Thomas shows us how our participation in CRS Rice Bowl brings compassion, food and hope around the world.

Please RSVP to 518-453-6650 with the number in your group attending for the simple supper (soup, bread) so we can estimate food. Or you can e-mail Erica Kirkland at

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