“Prayer, charity and fasting are not medicines meant only for ourselves but for everyone: they can change history. First, because those who experience their effects almost unconsciously pass them on to others; but above all, because prayer, charity and fasting are the principal ways for God to intervene in our lives and in the world.”

Pope Francis, Ash Wednesday 2022

Every Lent, Development and Peace raises funds through our Share Lent campaign to support integral human development projects in the Global South (Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East). These projects contribute to the resilience of communities facing the challenges of climate change, war, and inequality. THINKfast is one major way we raise those funds, fasting in solidarity with all those who hunger and thirst for justice!

Returning to in-person

YES! This year, we are returning to an in-person THINKfast, organized by YOU, school or church communities, to bring students together in a spirit of solidarity. The D&P team will still offer plenty of resources and support to help make your THINKfast a success, most importantly, a step-by-step guide on how to organize a THINKfast:  

Connect with other fasters

Even though THINKfast is returning to an in-person format, the team at D&P will be offering two moments of virtual connection for those who wish to fast March 9-10, 2023:

  • Thursday, March 9 at 7pm ET: games night
  • Friday, March 10 at 12pm ET: Caritas Mass viewing

To be clear, we want you to plan your THINKfast whenever it works best for your school or parish communityThis is simply an offering for students to feel a sense of community with other fasters.


Here are some staff recos from our extensive activities database, aka 100+ ready-to-use liturgies, prayers, icebreakers, and learning activities. Hint: you can search by theme, group size, type of activity, and amount of prep work needed!

Cookie Mining

Canada is home to 75% of the world’s mining companies. While we all need resources that come from the earth, D&P’s partners often tell us that Canadian mining companies are responsible for environmental and human rights abuses in their communities. In this activity, participants build a playdough home on top of a cookie—and then have to mine out the precious chocolate chips as best they can without disturbing the community! Full outline here.

Solidarity Circle

Though our human family is spread across the globe, we are all integrally connected. In this Solidarity Circle activity, participants take part in a visual example of this profound point by holding a string, rope, or piece of yarn representing solidarity. The activity drives home the challenging realities the poorest in the world face, and how only a strong thread of solidarity can help us overcome these realities. Full outline here.

CST Tree

Catholic Social Teaching is a profound way of orienting ourselves as people of faith in a complex and unjust world. But CST is not as simple as just doing what the church tells us to do! CST invites us into a creative relationship with the world and our conscience. Using the “See, Judge, Act” process, this activity encourages students to name the world events around them, and explore how the principles of CST can help them navigate big issues! Full outline here.

Liturgical Resources

We’ve got a bunch of different liturgical resources on our activities database. We’ve also created a folder of our favourite THINKfast-specific ones. And we couldn’t resist sharing this beautiful mass for the World Day of the Poor, created by youth of the Caritas Internationalis confederacy! (This is the mass we will be screening as a community Friday, March 10 at 12pm ET).

Audio Resource

To center yourself before or during the fast, listen to a guided examen meditation with Fr. James Martin S.J., available on your browserApple, Spotify, and elsewhere!

Voices from the Global South

If you’re unable to join our “Voices from the Global South” D&P partner presentation on Friday, March 11th (10:30 – 11:30 am EST), we recommend watching a pre-recorded one, for example:

Important update on fundraising

We are currently in the process of changing over our website server. Unfortunately,  during this transition we do not have an online fundraising platform. We invite you to use cash and cheque donations; pages 16-17 of the organizers toolkit offers forms to facilitate tax receipts. You may also wish to order D&P envelopes to help with the collection. We will let you know when our new online platform is ready; stay tuned!

Other FAQs:

  • What is “fasting”? In the Christian tradition fasting is usually understood to be a period of abstaining from food where the person fasting focuses instead on their connection to God. However, fasting is not exclusively about food! In this contemporary time perhaps, some people might want to give up social media or use of their cellphone as a fast. We welcome participants to fast in whatever way is most appropriate to them.  
  • Will I earn volunteer hours? The million dollar question! 🙂 Most schools allow THINKfast to count towards volunteer hours. It is up to each individual school to decide how many hours students will receive, and to credit them for those hours.
  • How do I promote THINKfast? Check out our promo resources!