Lent calendar prayer and reflection for 14 February – Ash Wednesday

Catholic women for CAFOD Lent Family Fast Day

Catholic women founded the first CAFOD Family Fast Day in 1960

We are ambassadors for Christ... and the appeal that we make in Christ’s name is: be reconciled to God.

St Paul to the Corinthians 5:20-6:2

Today as we begin our Lenten journey, we are invited to fast, pray, and give.  

These actions are not simply about depriving ourselves of enjoyment. Nor are they about trying to show we are good Christians. No; we do these things so that we may be reconciled with God and the poorest of our sisters and brothers.

The ashes which are traced on our heads today remind us of our closeness to Christ. They also remind us of what we are made of – dust from God’s earth. We remember our loved ones who have gone before us and who have now returned to God.

Let us make the most of these next 40 days. Through our Lenten promises, let us try to grow in the goodness of God.

"We are all children of God"

This same sense of humility inspired a small group of Catholic women in 1960. They saw mothers and babies in Dominica who were in desperate need, and felt moved to respond. They asked parishes in England and Wales to fast and pray, and to give money to help mothers and babies across the world.

“We weren’t doing anything special,” said Elspeth Orchard, who helped set up CAFOD’s first ever Family Fast Day. “We were just doing what we thought we ought to do, remembering that we are all God’s children.”

Lent prayer

God of compassion, you call us to come back to you in love. Cleanse our hearts, so that through our Lenten prayer, fasting, and giving, we might grow in love for you and our neighbours. Through Christ our Lord, Amen. 


Get ready for Family Fast Day on Friday 23 February. Ask your parish priest if you can put up a CAFOD poster or give the Lent short talk during Mass. Thank you – we are always grateful for your support, and for the love you show to the poorest of your sisters and brothers across the world. 

Download the short talk

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