Have you got the Project Compassion 2014 Lent calendar poster on your classroom wall? Each day has a specific action that you can take linked to the Project Compassion stories. In this PowerPoint, you can delve into these actions in greater detail. Join us as we use the calendarto Learn, Act and Pray for the people and communities featured this year. Tip-You could download and print the black and white Lent calendar poster to colour in each day once you have completed the relevant Learn, Act and Pray sections.
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Project Compassion Sunday 2nd March Welcome to Project Compassion 2014! Today is Project Compassion Sunday for the church in Australia. Today we remember that Jesus tells us not to worry about ourselves and our lives so much, so that we can have more energy to care for others. We know that God loves each one of us, and that in his eyes, we are all equally and extremely special. Project Compassion is a way of showing love to people around the world who do not have the basic things in life, like food, water and shelter. Project Compassion is run by Caritas Australia during the six weeks of Lent each year. Thousands of Australians come together with the poorest people around the world, to help end poverty. It is a wonderful time when people show their faith, love and generosity to help create a just and peaceful world.
Project Compassion Sunday 2ndMarch Watch this introductory video about Project Compassion 2014. Lord God, during this time of Lent may we come to know Jesus more deeply and to live in his truth. May we see all people through the eyes of God, recognizing that all people have the right to live freely and peacefully. Amen. Share Caritas Australia's Lent Calendar app today! Invite your family and friends to join you on your Lenten journey to learn, pray and act daily. Lent is an easy way to start each day of their Lenten journey to learn, pray and act!
3rdMarch This year, the message for Project Compassion is: "Have life and have it to the full" (John 10:10). Pope Francis said, “Men and women of all times and all places desire a full and beautiful life ... a life that is not threatened by death but that can mature and grow to its fullness.” We all wish for a beautiful life don’t we? With equal access to food, water, education, healthcare and shelter. With freedom and peace and the joy of living together in community. Over the next six weeks, we will hear stories from people in Brazil, South Sudan, The Philippines, Solomon Islands, Aboriginal Australia and Sri Lanka .
3rdMarch Pray for all those who do not have a safe and secure home; that men, women and children of all times and in all places would have a full and beautiful life: a life that can mature and grow to its fullness. Decide how you will support Caritas Australia’s Project Compassion during Lent. Why not give something up?
Shrove Tuesday 4th March Photo: Viyan Fernando Nirangini collecting eggs from her hen house. The name Shrove Tuesday comes from the custom of ringing the “shriving bell”. This bell reminded people to be “shriven”, which meant to confess their sins at the beginning of Lent. The tradition of eating pancakes on Shrove Tuesday started as a way to use up rich foods such as eggs, milk, and sugar before fasting for the 40 days of Lent. For communities like Nirangini’s in Sri Lanka, eggs – one of the core ingredients of a pancake – are not only a source of nutrition but also a way to earn money. We will learn more about Nirangini’s story in the sixth week of Lent.
Shrove Tuesday 4thMarch Photo: Viyan Fernando Nirangini collecting eggs from her hen house. On this Shrove Tuesday, Lord help us to enjoy and give thanks to you for everything you provide for us, and remind us to share your gifts with others – not as a matter of charity, but of justice. And as we enter into the Lenten period, we pray that this will be a time of deepening our relationship with you. Amen. Participate in the tradition of Shove Tuesday by selling freshly cooked pancakes for breakfast or lunch and giving the proceeds to Project Compassion. Make this even more fun by holding a pancake race, with the winner receiving a free double serving of delicious pancakes! Yum!
Ash Wednesday 5thMarch At the start of his public life, Jesus went into the desert and took time to reflect. Lent is a time for spiritual reflection for us. You could ask yourself: Am I open to being transformed by God’s love? Am I reflecting God’s love to others, especially to those in need? We are able to help many people around the world when we are part of the Catholic Church’s work to reduce poverty, through the work of Caritas. Our contributions to Project Compassion help give people access to hope and life – to the full. As we journey through Lent using this app, we will learn about six individuals and their communities, and how they are examples of great change!
Ash Wednesday 5thMarch This prayer is part of an Ash Wednesday Liturgy of the Word. Lord, We thank you for the gifts you have given us and the people who help us live our lives to the full. During this Lenten season we ask You to bless us in our support of Project Compassion. Through Jesus’ death and Resurrection we are one body in Christ. We stand together in solidarity with our brothers and sisters around the world to pray for justice for all people. Amen. Who can you choose to show God’s mercy and love to during this Lenten season?
6thMarch Photo: Erin Johnson Rooftops in São Paulo, Brazil. God can teach us about his love through the Sacraments and the actions of almsgiving, prayer and fasting. Almsgiving means giving to the poor. We do this when we show that we believe money should be used to care for family and others in need. Prayer is giving God time, inviting Jesus to ‘make his home in me’. Fasting helps create space where God can come more fully into my life. The theme this year for Project Compassion is ‘That you may have life’. It reminds us that we have the ‘fullness of life’ only through Jesus. This will include sharing our time and gifts to bring life to others.
6th March Photo: Erin Johnson Rooftops in São Paulo, Brazil. Teach me, Lord Jesus, to be generous: to give, not counting the cost; to toil, not asking for rest; to labour, not seeking any reward, We pray that, this Lent, we may discover the heart of Jesus and be drawn to ‘make our home in him’ more fully. Amen. Adapted from: Catholic Online How will your community put compassion into action this year? Download the fundraising bookletto plan how you can raise funds for Caritas Australia’s Project Compassion this Lent.
World Day of Prayer 7th March The theme for the World Day of Prayer 2014 is “Streams in the Desert”, chosen by the women of Egypt. The focus is on how the church and wider community can work towards justice, peace and security. At Caritas Australia, we believe that we all have the responsibility to work towards a world in balance, at peace, and free of poverty. We do this through our aid and development programs, including the programs supported through the funds raised for Project Compassion, but also through our education and advocacy programs, which help Australians to, like you, ‘be a voice’.
World Day of Prayer 7th March We pray that our hearts be changed, that we do not sit in silence while people suffer. Help us to use our talents for peace. Amen. Visit the Caritas Australia advocacy page and take action today!
International Women’s Day 8th March Photo: Erin Johnson Maristely at one of the Youth Empowerment Program workshops, on violence and conflict resolution. Jesus treated every woman he met with great respect. It was women who were first to see him after his resurrection! Today, 70% of people who are poor, are women. Women living in poverty are often more marginalised so it is especially important to look after women and help them out of poverty. This year’s Project Compassion tells the stories of four women: Martina from the Solomon Islands, Lorraine from Australia, Nirangini from Sri Lanka, and this year’s ‘feature person’, Maristely from Brazil.
International Women’s Day 8th March Photo: Erin Johnson Maristely at one of the Youth Empowerment Program workshops, on violence and conflict resolution. Maristely is 18 and lives in a favela (slum) in the city of São Paulo in Brazil, South America, with her grandmother, parents, younger brother and two younger sisters. Caritas Australia’s partner, the Movement for the Defence of Favela Residents, is working to reduce violence in neighbourhoods. Through the Youth Empowerment Program, Maristely and other young people from the favelas attend workshops on important topics. They learn different ways to deal with issues, rather than through violence.
International Women’s Day 8th March Photo: Erin Johnson Maristely at one of the Youth Empowerment Program workshops, on violence and conflict resolution. Loving God, we celebrate your faithfulness and love. We pray for all women everywhere. We know that you want women to be treated fairly and lovingly at all times. Amen. Adapted from: Education for Justice Watch the Feature Film to learn more about Maristely’s story.
First Sunday of Lent 9th March Photo: Erin Johnson Iguaçu favela (slum), São Paulo, Brazil. Like Maristely, one in every seven people in the city of São Paulo lives in a favela (slum). Favelas are dark and cramped, filled with irregular, self-constructed houses. When Maristely was growing up, her family’s house, like many others, was made of cardboard and had no electricity, water or connected sewerage. The Gospels teach us that we are all equal before God, and the Catholic Social Teaching principle of the ‘preferential option for the poor’ teaches us to work towards a more just and fair society, where all people have a fair share of the world's goods. Each of us has a responsibility to act to bring about a more just and fair world.
First Sunday of Lent 9th March Photo: Erin Johnson Iguaçu favela (slum), São Paulo, Brazil. God of Love, Justice and Hope, Lead us to remember what is really important. Not getting more and more stuff, but being a good friend and a caring person to all people. Amen. By Holy Family Primary School, Parkes (Mini Vinnies Little Book of Prayers) Donate 50c for every one of these you have: a secure home, electricity, water and connected sewerage.
10th March Photo: Erin Johnson Photo: Erin Johnson Houses built near a train line, Vila Prudente favela, São Paulo, Brazil. Until 2006, most people in the world lived in rural areas, out of the city. Now, there are more people living in areas closer to the city. These are called urban areas. Sadly, more and more people living in urban areas, are living in poor, unsafe conditions. Since the 1950s in Brazil, an estimated 20 million people moved from rural areas to the big cities looking for work. Many people found themselves living in favelas, including Maristely’s family. Most of the houses were built on land the people did not own, but that no one wanted to live on. Caritas Australia’s partner, the Movement for the Defence of Favela Residents (MDF), is working with families like Maristely’s to gain the legal rights to their land, so that they can have a safe and secure home and future.
10th March Photo: Erin Johnson Houses built near a train line, Vila Prudente favela, São Paulo, Brazil. Lord, We thank you for communities like Maristely’s, and praise you for the work of organisations like MDF, who are working to help bring justice to the favela residents. We pray for all the MDF educators. Give them the power to help all those in need, through Your love. In Jesus’ name, Amen Visit Caritas Australia’s interactive Global Community and learn three facts about Brazil to share with your friends and family.
11th March Photo: Erin Johnson Young people taking part in a dance workshop at the Youth Empowerment Program, São Paulo, Brazil. Many favela residents in the city of São Paulo, Brazil are not treated well by people outside the favelas, because they don’t like where they live. This is called discrimination. “Outside the favela, we are socially excluded. When people ask us where we live and we tell them, people look down on us,” said Maristely. Discrimination can lead to people feeling very sad and frustrated, and they may even get involved in violent activities. Caritas Australia’s partner, MDF, is working to decrease youth and gang violence through its Youth Empowerment Program.
11th March Photo: Erin Johnson Young people taking part in a dance workshop at the Youth Empowerment Program, São Paulo, Brazil. We pray that people learn to love each other no matter where they live. Help us to be kind to all people. Amen. Is there someone you haven’t been very kind to or are not getting along with very well? Take the time to make peace in your relationships. Only use words of hope, love, praise and forgiveness.
12th March Photo: Erin Johnson André, an MDF Educator, conducting a house survey in Vila Prudente favela, São Paulo, Brazil. Caritas Australia’s partner, the Movement for the Defence of Favela Residents (MDF), is changing lives across 40 favelas in São Paulo. “The role of MDF is to work with families so they are aware that they can advocate for improvements where they live,” said Maristely. Advocate means they talk to the government or people in charge who can make the decisions and changes, on behalf of the residents. Through MDF, Maristely’s family, along with thousands of others, now has access to clean water, electricity and connected sewerage, leading to a reduction in respiratory and skin diseases, and better overall health.
12th March Photo: Erin Johnson André, an MDF Educator, conducting a house survey in Vila Prudente favela, São Paulo, Brazil. We pray that we may find the strength to protect and work for those whose dignity and rights are not being upheld, to ensure just treatment for all. Amen. Adapted from a prayer written by Rabbi Brant Rosen. Learn more about Caritas Australia’s guiding principles, including the dignity of the human person.
13th March Photo: Erin Johnson Young boys playing soccer in Vila Prudente favela. Being evicted means being forced to leave your home- even if you have no where else to go! The issue of evictions is really important for Brazil as they prepare to host the World Cup and Olympics. Over 200,000 people have already been evicted. Watch this short clip, to hear Maristely explaining about this issue and how it is impacting on people in Brazil.
13th March Photo: Erin Johnson Young boys playing soccer in Vila Prudente favela. God of all peoples, we give thanks for the strength, courage and witness of Maristely, the members of MDF and the residents of the favelas in SãoPaulo, as they stand in solidarity with those who confront the forced removal from their homes, inadequate housing and an uncertain future. We ask this in the name of your Son, Jesus. Amen Take action with Caritas Australia and stand in solidarity with MDF by organising a ‘Sport for Justice’ event in your school or parish!
14th March Photo: Erin Johnson Maristely and members of her community in Nova Divinéia favela. “We see a lot of consumerism in society. People just want more and more things. We try to help these people understand that it is not a car or a new mobile that will give them a better future, but that other things, such as helping others, or using kind words, will.” Maristely We all have the right to a full life: but we do not have the right to have more and more stuff, when other members of our one human family are suffering and do not even have the basics in life.
14th March Photo: Erin Johnson Maristely and members of her community in Nova Divinéia favela. God of Justice, Give me the courage to raise my voice in solidarity with those facing injustice. May I be generous with what you have freely given so my sisters and brothers can have life, and have it to the full. Amen. Host a Global Reality Meal using some of our global recipes. Designed to be thought-provoking and to raise awareness about the global issue of poverty, injustice and hunger.
15th March Photo: Sandhurst Diocese Photo: Erin Johnson Maristely and other young leaders in Nova Divinéia favela. Getúlio is one of the educators from Caritas Australia’s partner the Movement for the Defence of Favela Residents in São Paulo, Brazil. He describes Maristely as “a flower who has bloomed in the middle of the favelas.” Maristely also talks about how the program empowers young leaders like herself to plant seeds of hope, knowing that even though they grow slowly, they can believe and trust that “the situation will change.”
15th March Photo: Sandhurst Diocese Photo: Erin Johnson Maristely and other young leaders in Nova Divinéia favela. Lord, thank you for the hope we find in Jesus. We pray for all those who work towards justice. Help us to remember that our contributions are part of a great work you have been doing throughout history, and that you will continue to do in the future. Amen. Plant a seed today and watch it bloom into a beautiful flower. Think of, and pray for, Maristely and her community every time your water it.
Second Sunday of Lent 16th March Photo: Isabella Gomes Deng with his wife Aketch and three of their children outside their tukul (hut) in Barmayen village, South Sudan. “Yahweh guards you from all harm, Yahweh guards your life, Yahweh guards your comings and goings, henceforth and for ever.” Psalm 121: 7-8 Jesus is fully human and fully divine. Up to the age of 30, he was an ordinary craftsman in Nazareth. The Gospels show what Jesus was like as a person. Jesus was easy to approach, enjoyed the company of children, got tired, happily shared meals with others, and wept with grief at the death of a friend. Jesus shows us that as human beings, God’s love can shine through us to others.
This week’s Project Compassion story is about a family in South Sudan. Deng and his wife, Aketch had to run and hide in the bush when civil war broke out in 1983. They survived on berries and bush meat, not knowing if they could ever return home. Sadly during this time, Deng went blind. In 2005 they were able to return home and since then, Deng and Aketch have been helped by Caritas Australia and its partner in Sudan, the Hope Agency for Relief and Development. Watch the Lenten Story Insight Film to hear more about Deng’s story. Through us, Jesus continues to bring hope and new life to people like Deng, who are facing difficulties beyond their control. Our generosity, shown through Project Compassion, enables Caritas Australia to run these projects. Lord, we pray that we would open our hearts and minds to the unity that exists between us and the people of Sudan. We pray too that we would encourage and challenge one another to be aware and caring of the wider community of God’s people. Amen. Visit Caritas Australia’s interactive Global Community and learn more about Deng’s story.
Feast of St. Patrick 17th March Photo: Isabella Gomes Sorghum is a cereal and is a staple food in South Sudan. It is pounded and ground down for meals. Nothing is wasted – even the husks are separated and roasted. “On this mountain, for all peoples, the Lord is preparing a banquet of rich food, a banquet of fine wines, of succulent food, of well-strained wines.” (Isaiah 25:6) In Deng’s community, growing fresh food was an important group activity before the civil war broke out. Having enough nutritious food to ensure we are healthy is a basic human right and is possible, but hunger is the biggest health problem we face in the world today.
Feast of St. Patrick 17th March Dear Lord, We thank you for the blessings of food, water, shelter, family and well-being. As we enjoy healthy food, we will think of those who struggle to feed their families every day. You taught us to pray. As we say “Give us today our daily bread” we make that prayer also for the millions who go hungry every day. Amen. Choose something to make and sell from our recipe book, and host a Caritas Café fundraiser for Project Compassion!
18th March Bus passengers disembark at a transit camp for people returning to South Sudan from Sudan. Here, Caritas works to help families who are about to start a new life in the newly-formed country. Many people have to flee their homes because of danger or war. Sometimes they look for safety in nearby countries, or even in another part of their own country. There are 28.8 million around the world, living in temporary shelters in their own countries! Deng and his family had to survive in other parts of Sudan. Deng describes his experience as surprising and frightening. They had to leave everything behind. “We separated from our friends and other members of the family. The bush became our home” said Deng.
18th March Photo: Isabella Gomes Bus passengers disembark at a transit camp for people returning to South Sudan from Sudan. Here, Caritas works to help families who are about to start a new life in the newly-formed country. Lord God, no one is a stranger to you and no one is ever far from your loving care. In your kindness, watch over all people who are victims of war, those separated from their loved ones, young people who are lost, and those who have left home or who have run away from home. Bring them back safely to the place where they long to be, and help us always to show your kindness to strangers and to all in need. Grant this through Christ our Lord, Amen. Adapted from Catholic Online . Start planning a Caritas Ks event, to stand in solidarity with the millions of refugees in the world, who are our brothers and sisters.
Feast of St. Joseph 19th March Photo: Isabella Gomes Deng with one of his goats Food security is a very important issue around the world. It means having enough nutritious food to eat. In our world today, 870 million people do not have enough healthy food to eat. In 2005, when the civil war ended and Deng and his family were able to move back to Barmayen village, Caritas Australia’s partner started a program to help them. Deng and Aketch (his wife) received two goats, five chickens, fishing nets and some seeds to plant on their small plot of land. Deng says: “I am very hopeful that we will have enough food for the next season. We sell the fish that we get from the river, and I am able to buy my children school uniforms.”
Feast of St. Joseph 19th March Pray for all the people who struggle to find and provide food to feed themselves and their families. Millions of people like Deng survive on a staple diet of fish and rice. The Feast of Saint Joseph is traditionally a day when people do not eat meat. This explains the custom of St. Joseph tables being covered with meatless dishes. Plan to host a ‘Fish Friday’ fundraiser for Project Compassion. Fish Friday is a popular event for Caritas Australia, with events held in schools, public spaces, parishes and workplaces across Australia. It’s not often that we go without the basics in Australia. But by holding a Fish Friday event – and serving a simple meal so others can simply live – you can help raise money for communities in need.
International Day of Happiness 20th March Photo: Isabella Gomes Deng was paralysed down one side when he was a young boy, and lost his eyesight during his time in the bush during the conflict. People living with disabilities are often excluded. In developing countries, living with a disability is even more difficult. Living in poverty increases the chances of having a disabilityand living with a disability increases the chances of living in poverty. Caritas reaches out to those people who need extra help, so Deng was overjoyed to hear that he would be able to participate. “Thank you very much and God bless you abundantly. I am looking forward to a good harvest.”
International Day of Happiness 20th March Photo: Isabella Gomes Deng was paralysed down one side when he was a young boy, and lost his eyesight during his time in the bush during the conflict. Caritas Australia supports the End the Cycle movement, which is about helping people who live with disabilities in the world's poorest countries. Watch some of the videos to learn more. Creator God, we are your people. We look to the future with optimism and with faith in You. We pray that every man, woman and child may develop their potential. Amen. May we enjoy a totally welcoming community, with You as our centre, joined hand in hand with our sisters and brothers around the world. We ask this in Jesus' name. Amen. Based on the Pastoral Statement of U.S. Catholic Bishops on People with Disabilities
Harmony Day Australia 21st March Photo: Isabella Gomes Deng with members of the village community. Harmony Day is a day of cultural respect for everyone who calls Australia home – from the traditional owners of this land to those who have come from many countries around the world. The motto is “Everyone Belongs”. Before being involved in the livelihood program with Caritas’ partner, Deng says he had lost his sense of humour and felt excluded. Now, he enjoys talking and laughing with others in the community!
Harmony Day Australia 21st March Sharing is caring, Fun is joy Holding hands with God’s gift Cuddling cultures, With helping hearts Comes laughing love, And loving life Respecting religions, Combining cultures Smiling faces, On faithful friends Share fair, Showing respect To peaceful people, Lending love Giving goods, Sharing songs Knowing that friendliness equals happiness Be helpful to each other Joy in justice, Getting along With wandering wonders Loving and learning Helping in happiness This is my kind of harmony By Joseph, St Josephine’s Primary School, Taree (Mini Vinnies Little Book of Prayers) Take action and include someone who is excluded today.
World Water Day 22nd March Photo: Isabella Gomes Before the new borehole was installed, villagers in Deng’s community, including his wife, Aketch, used to have to collect water from this open well. The water is contaminated by animals and detergents used to wash clothes. Today, 783 million people do not have access to clean water, while 2.5 billion people don’t have proper sanitation facilities like washing up taps or toilets. Caritas Australia’s partner Hope Agency for Relief and Development in South Sudan provides water to Deng’s community via a new borehole. Pray for those people living in dry lands, and struggling to survive without access to safe drinking water. Adapted from a prayer by Rev Canon Paul Robertson 2004 Conduct a water audit to find out how much water you use in 24hrs. Donate 10c for every litre!
Third Sundayof Lent 23rd March Photo: Raphael Meting Archie and his family and community used to live on the banks of the Plaridel River in the Philippines, similar to what is shown here. Read John 4:5-42 (The woman at the well). Imagine you drop in to your local shop to get some milk or bread – the sort of thing that you might do any day – and you meet Jesus there! Sounds incredible, doesn’t it? But that’s pretty much what happened to the Samaritan woman when she went to the well to collect her daily supply of water. And it changed her life! Something similar happened for 19 year old Archie from Bulcan Province in the Philippines. With his nine siblings and parents, he had been living in a one-room, make-shift house, close to a rubbish dump and the Plaridel river, where lots of flooding and typhoons happened. Then new life came for Archie when he joined a program to move house. This program is supported by Caritas Australia.
Third Sundayof Lent 23rd March Photo: Raphael Meting Archie and his family’s old community, on the banks of the Plaridel River in the Philippines. Lord, help us to accept everybody, from all different cultures. Help us to remember that we are a part of a universal family. Amen. Visit Caritas Australia’s Global Community and learn more about Archie’s story.
ActGive 50c for each of the following that you have in your home: electricity, taps, and toilets. . 24thMarch Photo: Raphael Meting Archie and some of his siblings proudly showing their new home. “Our previous house was only three by four metres. It was made of thin plywood, bamboo sticks and galvanized iron. We ate, slept and gathered together in only one area. Most of the time, our roof had holes in it. So when it rained, it was like we were having a shower” said Archie. In August 2012, thanks to an emergency resettlement program, Archie’s family moved to a new home. “Our new house is three to four times bigger than our old one, and is made of concrete and cement. We also have electricity, three taps with clean water and our own toilet” said Archie.
24th March Photo: Raphael Meting Archie and some of his siblings proudly showing their new home. Lord and giver of all life, we thank you that Archie and his family and community feel safe and secure, and pray that they will continue to feel confident in their new homes. Amen. Give 50c for each of the following that you have in your home: electricity, taps, and toilets.
The Annunciation of the Lord 25th March Photo: MajedChowdhury Photo: Raphael Meting Archie and his friends playing in the streets. There used to be no room to play outside where they used to live. “Your throne is from God, for ever and ever, the sceptre of your kingship a sceptre of justice, you love uprightness and detest evil. This is why God, your God, has anointed you with oil of gladness.” (Psalm 45: 6-7) Now that Archie and his family are secure and confident in their new home and community, Archie says that they are “so much happier.” “Caritas Australia has changed our lives. We are so thankful and happy that we are living in a safe community. Thank you” said Archie.