Lent calendar prayer and reflection for 19 March

Sister Bernadette stands outside a toilet in Sierra Leone.

Sister Bernadette, who builds toilets in Sierra Leone.

“When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took his wife into his home.” 

Matthew 1:24

Today we celebrate the Feast of Saint Joseph, in what Pope Francis has declared to be a ‘Year of Saint Joseph’, marking the 150th anniversary of the declaration of the saint as Patron of the Universal Church.  He is a somewhat enigmatic biblical character. Other than the infancy narratives, very little is written about him and interestingly we never hear anything Joseph says. He does not speak at all in the gospels.  

He is, however, a man of action. He obeys the angel’s command and takes Mary as his wife; he travels to Bethlehem for the census and finds shelter; he takes his family to safety in Egypt. Though we do not hear him utter any words, his generous, courageous, and loving actions speak loudly of his faith and hope. 

Faith in action 

Like Saint Joseph, Sister Bernadette in Sierra Leone puts her faith into action in a very practical way. She builds toilets for some of the poorest families in her community.  

She says, “People find it a bit embarrassing to talk about toilets, especially with a nun. But access to a toilet is a basic human right.  

This Lent let’s all look for ways that our actions can speak louder than our words. 

Lent prayer

God with us, may we follow the example of Saint Joseph  and always be ready to put our faith into action.  Amen.  


Read our blog and be inspired by some of the different ways CAFOD volunteers are taking part in the Walk for Water challenge this Lent.

Back to top