Lent calendar prayer and reflection for 20 March

World Water Day 2019 was marked by the official opening of a new block of toilets in Kwaedza Primary School, Zimbabwe.

World Water Day 2019 was marked by the official opening of a new block of toilets in Kwaedza Primary School, Zimbabwe.

I freed your shoulder from the burden; your hands were freed from the load. You called in distress and I saved you.

Psalm 80:6-7

The psalmist recalls that God heard his people’s cries and rescued them from distress when he freed them from oppression in Egypt. On the banks of the Red Sea, the prophet Miriam led the Israelites in dancing and singing in happiness at their freedom.

Today is International Day for Happiness. Even in the unsettling times that we face today, can you think of something that makes you happy?

Water brings joy

On World Water Day last year, a new block of toilets was officially opened at Kwaedza Primary School in Zimbabwe. This was a cause for so much happiness that the event was attended by the Vicar General, Father Damien Gumbo, as well as 700 local people and pupils.

These were the first flushable toilets at any school in the district and were built with help from donations by CAFOD supporters during Lent 2016, doubled by the UK Government.

Our local experts installed a six-mile water pipe delivering fresh water to nearly 3,000 people in seven different villages across the region. The communities then offered their labour to build the facilities.

Reaching out

Because we are part of a global Church that is present with people at a grassroots level, we have the potential to reach even the most out of the way communities. Our local experts work with them to make sure that they get the help they most need.

Your support has meant that many people who call in distress do not feel abandoned.

As Pope Francis says, human beings “feel compassion for others in such a way that all distance vanishes,” (Gaudete et Exsultate #76).

Let us continue to try to make the distance between us vanish, so that more people around the world can say: “I called in distress and you saved me.”

Lent prayer

God my refuge, you save me when I call in distress. Lift the burdens of your people and work through us, so that all people may live a dignified life. Amen.


On this International Happiness Day, watch this joyful video from Zimbabwe, “Something to smile about”. 

By donating to our Lent appeal you can give communities in need a reason to celebrate.

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