A New Way Forward – He Ara Whakamua, He Ara Hou

Published on 8th Feb, 2021

Published in WelCom February 2021

The Lent Appeal on behalf of the New Zealand’s Catholic Bishops Conference enables Caritas to continue working to heal and support those overcome by poverty and injustice around the world. The theme for the 2021 Lent Appeal is “A New Way Forward,” taken from Pope Francis’ 2015 encyclical, Laudato Si’ – Praise Be to You.

“In the heart of this world, the Lord of life, who loves us so much, is always present. He does not abandon us, he does not leave us alone, for he has united himself definitively to our earth, and his love constantly impels us to find new ways forward.”

– Pope Francis Laudato Si’ – Praise Be to You (paragraph 245), 2015

A New Way Forward

Two Rohingya girls stand outside a camp in Bangladesh.  Credit: Ismail Ferdous for Catholic Relief Services/Caritas Internationalis

Throughout our lives, we face obstacles and challenges that change our world and lead us to adapt in often unexpected ways. Most notably over the past year, we have all been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic which has swept the globe, touching the lives of every person and compelling us to shift our ways of living and interacting with each other. Through all the challenges that we face, God calls us to find a new way forward. He coaches and encourages us to overcome the hurdles in our path. He walks with us on the way, always by our side. He does not abandon us or leave us alone. Where we find the strength to shoulder the burdens we are asked to carry, where we find the courage to push through the walls of fear and uncertainty, there we find God’s grace, feeding our spirits with all that we need. Now is the time for us to focus on what is truly important: to care for each other and all creation and to grow our trust in God.

About the Lent Appeal

During Lent, New Zealand’s Catholic Bishops invite us to provide for the needs of the poor through the work of Caritas. Money raised through the Bishops’ Lent Appeal helps to fund both development and emergency relief work around the world.

The Lent Appeal serves as the largest source of untagged funding for Caritas for the year. This means that the donations received through the Lent Appeal can be used where they are most needed. Funding from the Lent Appeal allows Caritas to respond quickly to emergency situations by having resources immediately available to those in urgent need.

We appreciate that not all those who wish to donate to the Lent Appeal will be able to do so. We invite everyone to join us in prayer for the work of Caritas and for the poor and vulnerable around the world.

Syrian refugee children in Damascus.  Credit: Caritas Internationalis/Caritas Syria

Lent in Schools 2021

The theme of “A New Way Forward” is very timely for Lent 2021 as we reflect on the events of 2020 and the impact of the pandemic. The focus of the school resources for Lent is similar to the Caritas Lenten Reflection Programme used in parishes, arranged to focus on the Gospel readings for each Sunday during Lent and connect to the work of Caritas and the call of justice in our world.

Lessons have been made using PowerPoint and Google Slides and are designed for a range of levels for each week of Lent. The teacher guide provides a good summary of all the resources available and how they can be used. Other key resources like the action plan and the Stations of the Cross liturgy are also available.

All education resources are freely available online and some elements are available in printed form. Every New Zealand Catholic school received a pack of materials at the start of December to help them utilise the Caritas resources for Lent 2021.

Get Involved through Lent Speaking

Joanne Mary, a South Sudanese single mother living in Bidibidi refugee camp, Uganda, takes part in a Caritas-supported tailoring class. Credit: Caritas Internationalis

Are you interested in supporting the work of Caritas in an active way in your community?

We invite you to consider volunteering as a Lent speaker within your parish. As a Lent speaker, you will help to share information about Caritas with your parish and encourage others in your community to get involved.

Caritas will provide support and training for all interested speakers. We would love to hear from you!

If you would like to join our team of Lent speakers for 2021 or if you just want to find our more about Lent speaking, please contact Mareta Tana at [email protected].

Caritas Challenge

Registration is now open for Caritas Challenge 2021, a fun and engaging annual event for schools and youth groups around New Zealand. Students and young people are challenged to Move It, Live It, Sweat It or Stop It for 24 hours to to show solidarity with those living with poverty and injustice and to raise vital funds that will support Caritas programmes.

Participating groups can get involved in the Caritas Challenge at any time within from February to June 2021.

For more information about the Caritas Challenge or to register your own group for 2021, please visit our website: www.caritas.org.nz/caritas-challenge

Lenten Reflection Programme

Each year, Caritas creates a Lenten Reflection Programme (LRP) to support parishes, communities, families and individuals as they pray and spend time with the Gospels during Lent.

The LRP includes prayers, Gospel readings and reflections, discussion materials and information about Caritas projects with a focus on helping us live out our faith during the Lenten season. It is available in English, Te Reo Maori, Samoan and Tongan language versions.

This year, the LRP also ties in with the Lent in Schools resources through the 2021 Lent Action Plan, a list of activities which can be completed on your own or with a group to live out the Gospel values in your daily life. Originally developed for schools, the Lent Action Plan can be useful and relevant for all ages.

LRP booklets can be ordered from the Caritas office for a small fee by calling 0800 22 10 22 or emailing [email protected]. They can also be downloaded for free from the Caritas website:


Your Lent donations will save lives.

Thank you to all those who have already generously supported our life-changing work by donating to the Lent Appeal in previous years.

The ongoing support from generous donors enables us to continue our development, emergency relief, advocacy and education work around the world, including in Aotearoa New Zealand. All funding received through the Lent Appeal is used where it is most needed.

Donate throughout the weeks of Lent, or make a one-off donation using the Lent Appeal weekly or single donation envelopes distributed by your parish.

Leave donation envelopes in your parish collection basket or post to Caritas: PO Box 12193, Wellington 6144.

You can also donate online at our website or call us at the phone number below.


0800 22 10 22 

[email protected]


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