Lent calendar prayer and reflection for 18 February – First Sunday of Lent

Mother and baby clinic - CAFOD in Lent

Sister Consilia Munkuli works at a mother and baby clinic in rural Zimbabwe

The kingdom of God is close at hand. Repent, and believe the Good News. 

Mark 1:12-15

Jesus dwells in the wilderness for 40 days. He must be lonely, afraid, hungry, and thirsty. Yet still he has faith. And when he leaves the desert, he calls his followers to believe in the Good News.

In Zimbabwe, southern Africa, some of the poorest women are struggling to survive in dry lands.  

Sister Consilia Munkuli works at a mother and baby clinic in rural Zimbabwe. The women who come to the clinic are often in great need.

“One year it was very tough,” she remembers. “There were no rains. So there was not enough food for the women. There was one woman who came to me, and said, ‘I have nothing. Totally nothing. But I have come to stay here.’ It’s difficult to see.”

Sister Consilia has great faith. Many of the women she works with have difficult lives. But she works hard to bring the Good News to the people she cares for.

“I feel happy to be with the women,” she says. “God gives me the energy to do all my work with love and joy for the patients. When we nurse them, the patients should feel that Christ is here, that Christ is present. And in turn, the women, when they receive their healthy baby, they become happy and excited.”

Thanks to Sister Consilia, signs of hope and goodness are bearing fruit in the wilderness. 

Lent prayer

God, creator of heaven and earth, we thank you for the faithfulness and love we see in our world today. Help us not to give up on hope, but believe in the Good News. Amen. 


Thanks to generous people like you, CAFOD has funded a vegetable garden and a water tank at the hospital, so mothers and babies can live healthily. But there still aren’t enough beds, and some mothers sleep on the floor.

Thank you to everyone who has donated to the Lent Appeal. Your gifts will help to fund a new ward and beds at Mtora Mission Hospital, so more mothers and babies can have a good start in life. And if you donated between 13 February and 12 May, the UK Government will double your donation! 

If you raised money in your parish or school over Lent and still need to pay in the proceeds, you can still have your collection matched.

Donate to our Lent appeal

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