Lent 2017: Project Compassion, Slavery-Free Chocolate and The Grace of Earth

“Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent, a time during which we are invited to prepare for Easter and the coming of the risen Jesus into our life and our world. It is a time for personal conversion. Traditionally, there are three ways we can participate in this season of preparation and conversion: through prayer, fasting and giving alms. One way we can do this is by going without some activity or thing (fasting), and giving the money we save (alms giving) to Project Compassion.” – Ash Wednesday, Social Justice Diary 2017, Australian Catholic Social Justice Council


Wednesday 1st March 2017 is Ash Wednesday, or the first day of Lent. As we enter the Lenten season, here are three important social justice and ecological campaigns and resources to get involved with during the next few weeks. Click on the links below to jump to the section that interests you, or scroll down to read about all three.



All of the resources described in this post are available to access on our Parish Resources section.


Caritas Australia: Project Compassion

Project Compassion is Caritas Australia’s annual Lenten fundraising appeal, which helps to achieve their ongoing aims of ending poverty, promoting justice, and upholding dignity. This year’s theme is “Love your neighbour”.


There are three ways you can get involved with Project Compassion this Lenten season:

  1. Learn: For each week of Lent this year, Caritas will be promoting stories from people around the world whose lives have been transformed with the help of Caritas. Have a look at the video below about Dinia, who is the focus for this week, or learn more here.

  2. Fundraise: Help raise money in your local school, parish or community for Project Compassion. Have a look at Caritas’ ideas about ways you could fundraise here.

  3. Donate: You can make a donation to any of the Project Compassion donation boxes located at your parish or school, make a donation online.


ACRATH: Slavery-Free Easter Chocolate

Every year during Lent and the lead up to Easter, Australian Catholic Religious Against Trafficking in Humans (ACRATH) encourage all Australians to make sure their Easter chocolate is slavery-free.


Children as young as 12 are picking cocoa in West Africa to make the chocolate we eat in Australia, often working in dangerous conditions, with low to no wages and long working hours. ACRATH encourages us to buy only chocolate that is certified FAIRTRADE, Rainforest Alliance or UTZ. For more information about this important issue, read the report A Matter of Taste.


Resources for this season of Lent:

For more action you can take on this issue, head to https://acrath.org.au/take-action/slavery-free-easter-chocolate.


Columban Mission Institute: The Grace of Earth

The Grace of Earth is a Lenten Resource produced by the Columban Mission Institute, which can aid you in implementing Pope Francis’ “Laudato Si” in your school or parish. The Grace of Earth consists of six weekly Lenten Reflections related to the Gospel readings, which focus on six aspects of Earth’s life support systems: Atmosphere, Oceans, Fresh Water, Land, Plant Life, Animal Life.


You can access individual sections, or download the complete resource at this link. The resource is free to download online, but donations of any kind are welcome and appreciated. If you would like to make a donation to the Columban Missionaries, download the donation form here.



Sources: http://www.caritas.org.au/projectcompassion, https://acrath.org.au/take-action/slavery-free-easter-chocolate, https://www.columban.org.au/resources/the-grace-of-earth-lenten-resource-year-a

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