The Archbishop of Harare, Robert Christopher Ndlovu, on 9 February 2018 issued a Lenten campaign message calling on Catholic Christians of his diocese to pay attention to the youth with special needs in accordance with the diocese’s Pastoral Plan. Archbishop Ndlovu reminded the Christians that Lent was a period of serious spiritual commitment and time of sacrifice characterized by prayers, fasting and alms-giving and asked Christians to be in solidarity with the young people with disabilities and special needs.
“I would like to remind you that Lent is a special, grace filled time of the year that we need to embrace with joy, in particular this year which is being dedicated to the young people. Over and above all, it is a period of serious spiritual commitment and time of sacrifice characterized by prayers, fasting and almsgiving. It is as well a period we are called to return to God and be reconciled with Him and neighbor in preparation for Easter celebration, the core of our Christian faith,” Archbishop Ndlovu said in a message that was published in all parishes of the diocese.
He said since 2018 was dedicated to young people more focus should be directed towards helping the youth with disabilities and special needs. He appealed to Christians to make sacrifices, penance and prayers for the young people especially those with disabilities.
“Being the year dedicated to young people in accordance with our 2018 Pastoral Plan, our Lenten Penance shall be in solidarity with the young people with disabilities and special needs. Remember disability does nor mean inability. Our Lord Jesus through his passion and death on the cross gave his life for us so as to uplift and save us from all the situations that harm our human nature. Therefore, I appeal to all of us to do our Lenten Sacrifice, penance, and prayer for the young people , especially those with disabilities and special needs so as to empower them as Jesus told the lame man at the well, ‘Rise, take up your mat and walk,” Jn 5:8. In this regard, let us intensify our prayer, fasting and almsgiving through penance that leads us to be united with the sufferings of Christ for the salvation of human kind. I pray that the Lenten season this year will help us to grow together with the young people who are the joy, strength and hope of the family and Church as highlighted in the pastoral plan,” he said.
The Archdiocese of Harare launched its pastoral plan to dedicate this year to young people on 20 January 2018 at the Catholic University of Zimbabwe.