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Offer to pray for people in distress during Lent, says cardinal Vincent

Ruth Gledhill - The Tablet - Wed, Mar 1st 2023

Cafod is among the charities that have launched Lent appeals and are offering Lent reflections.

Offer to pray for people in distress during Lent, says cardinal

Christian climate change campaigners launching a 40-day multifaith Lenten vigil three years ago.

In a pastoral letter to parishes last weekend, the Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Vincent Nichols, has urged parishioners to use the weeks of Lent to refresh and deepen their faith.

“A faith that is refreshed and deepened helps us to be gracious, steadfast and even robust in every circumstance,” he said, outlining three ways to renew faith. 

“They are these: a renewed focus on Jesus; a fresh readiness to bear witness to him; and, thirdly, a conscious effort to build community and compassion wherever you may be.”

He added: “I am certainly not asking you to find a soapbox or in any way to force your faith onto others. No. But there are many moments when speaking of the goodness of the Lord is quite appropriate. For example, when someone is sharing with you their sorrow or distress, please don't hesitate to tell them you will pray for them. Or when you come across a person who is feeling alone or neglected, please do speak to them of the love of the Lord and the consolation you find in his presence.”

After the success of last year’s Lenten “Walk against Hunger”, Cafod is inviting supporters to join its “Big Lent Walk” to fight global poverty, which will involve walking 200km in 40 days – just five kilometres a day.

Fundraisers can walk when and where they choose and invite sponsorship from friends and family or donate themselves. They can take part as individuals or form or join a team. 

Cafod is also running an online Lent calendar offering daily Lent reflections.


The Archdiocese of Southwark is among dioceses around the country offering meditations and reflections during Lent. Southwark’s spirituality commission will be providing the Lent retreat, beginning tomorrow, which can be done at home or as part of a group. Called “Renewed in Hope”, there will also be a series of Lent daily reflections.

“The retreat is designed to help participants find new ways of living and working in hope, in the company of Jesus, who continues to make all things new despite the considerable challenges of our contemporary world,” the diocese said.

Jesuits in Britain are also offering a guide to Lent with 40 days of reflections based on Ignatian spirituality.


In addition, The Tablet is itself offering a series of Lenten reflection webinars beginning on 8 March with a Lenten reflection on fasting and simple living hosted by Fr Laurence Freeman OSB and further reflections hosted by Mgr Roderick Strange, Prof Peter Tyler and Sr Gemma Simmonds. More details at

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