Observe Lent by Taking Action: Pray, Fast, Give for Refugees

06 March 2019

During Lent we often feel compelled to reflect, look inward, and contemplate the mystery of Christ’s death and resurrection. But, Christ did not sit passively in the desert, he actively resisted the Devil’s temptations.

With the current debate in our country about asylum seekers and migrants, the great need of the more than 68 million displaced people, and the conflict, war, and persecution that continues to degrade the human dignity of millions of individuals, at JRS/USA we feel called to a more active approach to Lent. So, this year, we’re asking our supporters and friends to consider the Three Pillars of Lenten Observance – prayer, fasting, and almsgiving – as three calls to action for refugees. These three actions, like the mission of Jesuit Refugee Service – accompany, advocate, serve – are ways in which we can dedicate ourselves to our displaced brothers and sisters around the world.


Prayer allows us to deepen our relationship through mutual understanding. Check out our 40 Prayers for 40 Days, and use it as a guide to focus your lenten prayer on refugees. Accompany refugees and displaced people throughout Lent with these prayers. You can also actively pray and accompany refugees by knowing their stories, follow us on social media and sign up to receive our monthly newsletter.


Instead of giving up, why not give of your time, talent, and voice? You can write a letter to your member of congress, sign up for our advocacy alerts, or join JRS/USA in Washington, DC for our annual Advocacy Day on April 4, where we’ll be meeting with congressional offices to encourage the U.S. to welcome refugees within our own borders and support robust funding for refugee programs, including refugee education.


One action we can take for refugees this lent, no matter how small or big, is to give. A gift as little as $20 can cover the cost of school fees in a host community and open up a world of possibilities for a refugee child.

You can also give of your time and compassion. Try writing a postcard of hope or encouragement through our Any Refugee program.

Throughout Lent, we’ll be posting reflections that dive further into how you can use the season as an opporutnity to take action for refugees. Follow along on social with #PrayFastGive4Refugees.