The Catholic Diocese of Mindelo in Cape Verde has announced that the 2024 Lenten collection will be channeled to Caritas Jerusalem to support victims of violence in the Holy Land.

In his message for Lent 2024, Bishop Ildo Augusto dos Santos Lopes Fortes invited the people of God in his Episcopal See to intensify prayers for peace in the Holy Land.

“This year’s Lenten collection, after having heard the Presbyteral Council, will be for the victims of the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas; a gesture of solidarity and participation in their suffering, which we are making in collaboration with Caritas Jerusalem,” Bishop dos Santos announced in his message that was shared with ACI Africa Tuesday, February 21 and made available to the Correspondent of the renowned RECOWACRERAO NEWS AGENCY, RECONA based in Praia, port city, the commercial capital of cape Verde.

He added, “Let us not lack the boldness of charity; let each of us give as we have decided in our hearts, without sadness or embarrassment, for God loves a cheerful giver.”

Gaza has been wreaked by violence for more than 100 days amid the ongoing Israel-Hamas war, which began in October 2023 after Hamas launched a deadly invasion into Israel and Israel responded with a full military invasion of the Gaza Strip.

Nearly 30,000 people — the vast majority of them in Gaza — have died in the conflict so far.

In his Lenten message dated February 14, Bishop dos Santos invited the faithful to allow themselves to be “renewed by the Word of God, for a new direction in life during this Lenten journey.”

“The key word of this time is conversion; a serious transformation in us is possible because God is love in action and He can do anything. This season is a favorable door that opens before us,” the 59-year-old Catholic Bishop, who has been at the helm of Mindelo Diocese since his Episcopal Ordination in April 2011 said

He added, “Lent, as a path to Easter, is an entrance on the road to liberation. God persists in seeking us out, offering us the opportunity to be reintroduced to life. This is the time to refocus on the path of fraternity, true light, and freedom.”

“This journey towards Easter is a personal and communal adventure achieved within the horizon of hope,” the Catholic Church leader said, and continued, “Hope must be discovered amid our wars, among the rubble of the horrific, among the poor, the fragile and the unprotected who continue to be exploited by the powerful and by economic systems that mercilessly suffocate and kill.”

Bishop dos Santos said, “The Church’s proposal to us is clear: to turn from our bad ways: to sow the beauty that opens our imagination to the transcendent, the good, and the truth because this is the medicine that puts us back on the path to holiness.”

He implored, “May the spirituality of our Lent infuse us with courage, light, and strength to continue our journey, awaiting the new heavens and the new earth.”

Rev. Fr. George Nwachukwu