Lent is starting today. This is a special time of the year when we are invited to pray, reflect and feel closer to one another. In this Lent, Pope Francis particularly invites us to think and act upon the inequalities in the world, to give charitably, but also to go even further, and consider the structural aspects of our economic life towards a more just and inclusive economy.
As a Catholic network, CIDSE attributes a great deal of importance to this moment. Several of our members run Lent campaigns inviting reflections among citizens and encouraging them to act in solidarity. In the year of the fifth anniversary of the Encyclical Laudato Si’ by Pope Francis, several organisations focus their Lent reflections and actions on the care for our common home and the ecological conversion that each of us needs to undertake.
Entraide et Fraternité, Belgium, invites people to change their ways of life, production and consumption in order to protect our common home and overcome the ecological and human challenges before us. It also launches an appeal to Christians to support the people of Haiti, who are highly affected by climate change.
Development & Peace, Canada, focuses its Lent campaign on the Amazon and highlights the essential role of those who are protecting our common home. Lent is also highlighted as a chance to reflect on integral ecology.
Similarly, CCFD- Terre Solidaire, France, invites people to live Lent around integral ecology to promote a social and ecological transition.
Other organisations focusing on similar themes are Manos Unidas, Spain and Partage Lu, Luxembourg. The Spanish organisation invites people to engage for our common home towards a sustainable planet, against poverty and for environmental care.
Partage Lu proposes the theme “Because Justice is not by chance!” and collects funds related to justice and ecology, two fundamental and interlinked rights.
In addition, Maryknoll, USA, prepared a Lenten Reflection Guide on the concept of “ecological conversion”. It offers reflections, prayers, and questions based on the scripture passages for each week of Lent and featuring the experiences of Maryknoll Missioners.
Other themes, also crucial towards a more just world, were chosen by other CIDSE organisations.
Broederlijk Delen, Belgium, invites people to reflect on the fundamental concept of “sharing” and encourages people to find their own way to do so during Lent.
CAFOD, England & Wales, put together a guide with five simple ideas to make a difference this Lent. It also encourages support for people in Zimbabwe, Bangladesh and Peru while presenting local experts from those countries.
Misereor, Germany, invites people to reflect on how people of different origins and identities can live peacefully together. It also asks to support people in Syria, Lebanon and Germany towards a free, open and just society.
Trócaire, Ireland, invites Christians to support mothers on the frontlines protecting their families from violence, intimidation, hunger and drought.
Vastenactie, Netherlands, focuses its Lent campaign on vocational education and entrepreneurship in developing countries. They will support projects offering vocational education, including in Bangladesh, Zambia and Sierra Leone.
SCIAF, Scotland, launched a campaign on sexual violence in Congo and shares the touching stories of nine survivors.
Fastenopfer, Switzerland, runs an ecumenical campaign on agriculture and seeds with the motto: “Together for an agriculture that will secure our future“.