CATHOLICS around the country were told to remember the needy during this sacred time of Lent.
This was the main message by Archbishop Peter Loy Chong in his Ash Wednesday service address to thousands of church members at the Sacred Heart Cathedral.
"Poverty is the Pope Francis' 2014 lenten message," Bishop Chong said.
"Pope Francis 1 has repeatedly emphasised the importance of caring for the poor and the vulnerable, so it comes as no surprise that he wants Catholics to remember the needy.
"One of the key themes of Catholic social teaching is the option for the poor and the vulnerable, therefore a basic moral test is how our most vulnerable members are faring."
Archbishop Chong said this year the Archdiocesan Commission for Justice and Development would use the lenten collection to help build proper housing for about 30 persons with mental disabilities.
"These people live behind St Vincent House on Brown Street in Suva.
"I ask parishes to send out special lenten envelopes to parishioners and I thank you for your generosity and let us be good news to the poor.
"Last year the lenten collection raised $11,782 and we are grateful to the 10 parishes that sent in their lenten collection."
The lenten period started on Wednesday and will be observed for 40 days.