Family Fast Day may seem very different this Harvest… but we are a people of hope.


It has been a challenging year. For many of us, it’s a hard year we’ll look back on recognise God’s love and care as he carried us through. For others it has been a time when we’ve rediscovered our love of nature or the simple joys of life.

Family Fast Day this Harvest looks different. Our church buildings have fewer people in them and we can’t do certain things we always took for granted. I miss the camaraderie of the cleaning team, my fellow flower arrangers and being in church singing together at Mass.

But some things haven’t changed. And they won’t change. We know that each person, especially the poorest amongst us, matters. We know that every life is created by God and is precious. And we know that our love of our neighbour reflects our love of God.

We also know that, sadly, countless people throughout our world face chronic food shortages, malnutrition and poverty.

This year schools and parishes, Catholic networks and religious orders and countless individuals are doing what they can to help those in need, showing that their love is practical, not abstract.

It is easy to see in our own families that if one person suffers, we all suffer. We also know that we are a global family, each of us brothers and sisters, each of us precious and loved. Click here to watch our Harvest Fast Day film.

Many will support our work by donating online while others will text CAFOD to 70085 to donate £10* to our Coronavirus Appeal, the focus for our appeal this Harvest.

Our volunteers are trying extra hard to let people know about the need and inspire them to respond.

Here are a couple of examples from our own dioceses:

Parish justgiving page at St Joseph’s, Penarth

St Joseph’s and St Mary’s RC parishes in Dinas Powys and Penarth responded to the Summer of Hope appeal and set up an online JustGiving page for the parish which has received almost £3,000 in generous donations from parishioners.

Sarah’s Summer of Hope JustGiving page – what a star!

And Sarah O’Kane from Our Lady Star of the Sea parish in Mumbles also responded using her creative skills to crochet beautiful stars. 

Her parish were a great support too – and over £1,200 has been raised to date.

In Herefordshire, Jane Davies, a CAFOD volunteer at Belmont Abbey did a walk and pray day, raising money in aid of the CAFOD emergency coronavirus fund, with her sponsorship donations achieving over £1,400 so far. Jane said:

” As bad as it is in UK, in developing countries they still do not have clean water and soap for every village, let alone the PPE or medical facitilities etc that we have.    We have to help them in any way we can.”  

Jane, who has experience of working in Zambia, walking and praying for the poorest members of our global family, coping with the Coronavirus pandemic

It’s such a sign of hope that our communities are still determined to support our work, to help those in need, even when many of us are in need ourselves. Thank you for your compassion. Thank you for expressing your faith and sharing the love of God with people you’ve never met.

Many people won’t be able to get to church this Harvest. If you would like to join us online and enjoy being church with us in prayer and community we would be delighted to open our doors and welcome you in.

We have virtual events to suit everyone, all of which can be found on our website I have included them here for every event (click the blue highlighted text to access the link to register your interest in attending)- hopefully making it as easy as possible to join together!

Please do let others know about these events, particularly if they’ve not been able to get to church recently and might be missing it. Maybe you could send them the links and help them get online?

If you use Facebook or have a parish WhatsApp group, maybe you could share CAFOD’s posts about the events and encourage your friends to join. 

Here’s a suggested message for social media:

This CAFOD Family Fast Day, our parish can help the poorest and most vulnerable people in the world survive, rebuild and heal. Donate here:


This Harvest, let’s try to ensure that no-one is beyond reach.

*Texts cost £10 plus one standard rate message and you’ll be opting in to hear more about our work and fundraising via telephone and SMS. If you’d like to give £10 but do not wish to receive marketing communications, text CAFODNOINFO to 70085. For more information please see our Privacy Policy 

You can download the prayer card here. 

Our faith is anchored in hope.

“The World We Want” CAFOD’s National School Assembly on Thursday 10 September


We look forward to joining others during @CAFOD’s assembly on the theme of The world we want.

Please follow the on Thursday 10 September at 9.30 am (for primary schools) and at 10.00 am (for secondary schools) to hear more about how we want to transform our world.

Pope Francis said:

“Today we have an opportunity to create something different.”


Join CAFOD’s assembly on Thursday 10 September to hear about the world young people want to create.

More details here 


Virtual Harvest Fast Day meetings via zoom!


Coronavirus has affected us all.

We can’t get together as we normally do, so this Harvest – we have to meet “virtually” – it’s a whole new way of working together!

But this will not stop us standing alongside communities across the world to help them to survive, to rebuild and to heal. Let’s hold them in love and prayer.

CAFOD Family Fast Day is on Friday 9 October this year.

This Harvest Fast Day, for the first time, we will be asking our parishes to continue focus on the Coronavirus appeal.  We know from all the webinars and conversations we have had with our international colleagues, that the need is great and will continue to be for many months to come.

We know that parishes are struggling financially themselves. People are returning to church, but not in great numbers; due to restrictions: social-distancing, anxiety over recruiting and training stewards and cleaners, limited numbers allowed at Mass. And Mass has to be shorter than usual.

Many are unable to return at all and may not be able to do so for the forseeable future.

We know too, that in this difficult environment, the world’s poorest are not top of the list, in fact they may not even be on the list.

So to recap, the new collection date is the weekend (Saturday 10th/Sunday 11th October).

It’s been postponed by one week by the Bishops’ Conference to enable other second collections normally held while we’ve not been at Mass, to be held.

Every parish is worshipping in different ways.

We’ve all felt the impact of this terrible disease – let’s come together to help the poorest and most vulnerable people in the world to survive.  We can help people facing the worst of the Coronavirus crisis.

I have scheduled Harvest Fast Day “meetings/briefings” on zoom, as we are still not allowed to gather.  Please take a quick look at the suggested meeting times and come along – it would be great to bring you up to date with the latest initiatives and response from CAFOD and some of our new ways of working.

An hour and a half is scheduled for each meeting in case we secure an international speaker, but generally – they will take up less than one hour and you are free to leave at any time if you need to!

The dates and times are:

Friday 4 September – 11.00 am – 12.30 pm

Saturday 5 September – 11.00 am – 12.30 pm

Saturday 5 September – 6.30 pm – 8.00 pm

Tuesday 8 September – 2.30 pm – 4.00 pm

Thursday 10 September – 6.30 pm – 8.00 pm

Tuesday 15 September – 10.30 – 12.00 noon

Tuesday 22 September – 4.00 pm – 5.30 pm

Monday 28 September – 11.00 am – 12. 00 noon

Tuesday 29 September – 7.00 pm – 8.00 pm

Wednesday 30 September – 2.30 pm – 4.00 pm

Some things will look different. We will look at resources, envelopes, the poster, insert for the parish newsletter/online bulletin/website, contactless donations, text giving, prayer cards and more information on a “Global Family Food” event online between the 9-11 October.

Click the link to check the times most suitable for you. There are five separate dates, so hopefully you will be able to attend one of the time slots.

If none of these are convenient, please do get in touch with me and we can sort something out for you on an individual parish basis.

Click here to sign up for a particular date.  You will then be sent a unique link to join the secure zoom meeting.  Please do spread the word.  If some of your fellow parishioners would like to join, please get in touch and they can be given the link too.

Thank you again, for all you do and look forward to talking together “on zoom” in the near future.



Investment For a Green Recovery: How investments can make positive environmental and social impacts

Join our webinar on Wednesday 21 October at 4 pm for an overview of how Catholic organisations, religious and individuals can make investments that deliver positive environmental and social impacts.

Catholic Impact Investing Collaborative (CIIC) is a network where individuals and institutions interested in Catholic Impact Investing can come together, share experiences, and build relationships based on their spiritual as well as financial commitment to impact investing.

The webinar will aim to inform those who are new to impact investing and be the first stage in the process of developing a community of those interested in supporting Catholic Impact Investing in the UK, Ireland and across Europe.

Meet the panel

  • Keynote Speaker: Lord Deben, Chair of UK’s Committee on Climate Change: Impact investing through a Catholic lens
  • Dr. Sr. Gemma Simmonds CJ, Director of Religious Life Institute at University of Cambridge: A theological perspective on impact investing 
  • Neil Thorns, Director of Advocacy and Communications at CAFODHow impact investing is enabling development outcomes in the global South 
  • Sr. Pat Daly OP, Former Executive Director of Tri-State Coalition for Responsible Investment: Case study of 16 US Dominican religious congregations & the Climate Solutions Fund 
  • Shaun Cooper, Head of Finance at Franciscan Missionaries of the Divine Motherhood: Case study on beginning the impact investing journey 
  • Victoria Carrion, Director of Membership & Partnerships at the Catholic Impact Investing Collaborative

Register here to join this webinar with an excellent panel of speakers.

National Primary School Assembly recording for Harvest & link to this Sunday’s Children’s Liturgy

Many thanks to the schools that were able to join us online on Thursday for our third National School Assembly.

Today is Harvest Fast Day and if the timing wasn’t convenient for you this week, please do take a look at the Assembly when you have a moment.

Hopefully you will all find it inspiring.

Here are the links for Primary Schools:



Don’t forget to join our special Children’s Liturgy live on Sunday morning at 10 am – we have a special guest from Sierra Leone!  Please register if you haven’t before. Follow the link and click on “Enter the series” to register. If you can’t join us live, a recording will be available to watch afterwards.

Register for virtual children’s liturgy

Resources for liturgy here

Illustrations here

Sowing seeds of goodness in our human family

In his new encyclical, Fratelli Tutti, Pope Francis writes of ‘dark clouds over a closed world’, evoking the uncertainty we have about the future.

We are also affected here across the Archdiocese of Cardiff and the Diocese of Menevia, with many local lockdowns.

Millions more vulnerable families around the world are now struggling with food shortages and loss of income as a result of coronavirus.

Pope Francis reminds us that ‘despite these dark clouds’ there are ‘new paths of hope’. He tells us:

‘God continues to sow abundant seeds of goodness in our human family.’


The generosity of CAFOD’s  supporters is proof of these seeds of goodness.

In Brazil, CAFOD’s partners are helping to distribute emergency food packages to families in urban areas unable to earn money and to assist farmers safely sell their produce.


In Sierra Leone, Sister Gertrude and her fellow doctors and nurses at the Handmaids Health Clinic and Maternity Unit now have personal protective equipment so they can treat patients safely.

In Cambodia, migrant worker Pheng has participated in training in rice farming so that she can overcome travel restrictions and find work in her home country.



In Fratelli Tutti, Pope Francis looks at the world today through the lens of the well-known parable of the Good Samaritan. Pope Francis writes:

‘the parable shows us how a community can be rebuilt by men and women who identify with the vulnerability of others, who reject the creation of a society of exclusion, and act instead as neighbours, lifting up and rehabilitating the fallen for the sake of the common good.’

CAFOD’s Family Fast Day this Harvest looks very different. Coronavirus restrictions mean our parishes in the diocese of Menevia and Archdiocese of Cardiff cannot come together in all the normal ways to fundraise or gather for soup lunches or coffee mornings to support our brothers and sisters around the world.  But now, more than ever it is vital to come together as a community, even from a distance.

CAFOD has created a programme of free events between Thursday 8 and Sunday 11 October to enable people to gather online as a big Church community. Everyone is welcome and there is something for everyone.

Please invite your friends and family. Let us recognise Christ in our abandoned or excluded brothers and sisters in the global South and respond to Pope Francis’ call to:

‘care for the needs of every man and woman, young and old, with the same fraternal spirit of care and closeness that marked the Good Samaritan.’

Find out more at or click on the links below to register.

A Harvest like no other Programme of Events

Watch today’s (Thursday) recording of the Harvest Assembly for Schools: Primary and Secondary.

Light candle buring in celebration and spirit meditation

Listen to a live update about CAFOD’s coronavirus response with International Programme Director, Maria Gonzales at 11am on Friday 9 October Book your place

Bishop Peter Brignall will celebrate Family Fast Day Mass, livestreamed from 6pm on Friday 9 October. Register to join our Mass

CAFOD’s new Global Family Food Event is at 12-1pm, Saturday 10 October.

Have fun, eat some delicious food, and make a donation to transform the lives of people in poverty. Find out more

Get a team together or enter solo for the Harvest Like No Other Quiz at 7-8pm on Saturday 10 October. Register here

A special Harvest edition of CAFOD’s popular Children’s Liturgy Live is at 10am on Sunday 11 October, with a special guest from Sierra Leone. Register here.

Prayer and reflection: At 7pm on Sunday 11 October, Bishop John Arnold will reflect on Pope Francis’ catechesis, Healing the World, as well as the new encyclical, Fratelli Tutti Book your place


Download prayer card

Same Storm, Different Boats

Great blog from Kirstie which sums up pretty well how most of us feel but how we don’t lose hope. We can do something. We can help. We are in this together.

CAFOD in the North East dioceses

Kirstie, one of CAFOD Hexham and Newcastle’s new volunteers, shares her thoughts as we prepare for a Harvest like no other.

So, 2020…what a year! I’m guessing we’ve heard this said so many times over the last 6 months as we’ve tried to navigate our way through the storm of the coronavirus pandemic – all of us in the same storm but very much in different boats.

The last few months have given me an opportunity to reflect. As a lay chaplain to a busy secondary school here in the North East, the coronavirus and the closing of schools came at the mid-point of our Lenten fundraising. There were Lent liturgies, Stations of the Cross and Easter celebrations still to come, and yet here I was at my kitchen table. By day it was my office and my daughter’s classroom; by night it was the table we all gathered around…

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Transform lives this Harvest

CAFOD Arundel & Brighton Blog

With children and young people now back at school and settling into a new normal, Julia Corcoran – Leadership Development Coordinator at CAFOD – discusses our third national assembly on 8 October, and how small actions can transform the lives of millions of people this Harvest.

In the last few months, CAFOD has hosted two national assemblies. The first assembly challenged viewers to make the summer a Summer of Hope for our global brothers and sisters. The second asked children and young people to think about the world they want, and how they can act to make what seems impossible possible.

On Thursday 8 October, CAFOD will be hosting our third national assembly on the theme of this Harvest being a Harvest like no other.

Join our national assembly on 8 October

Every year we have two CAFOD Fast Days, one in Lent and one in Harvest. We ask individuals…

View original post 475 more words

CAFOD events this week to celebrate Harvest

Harvest time is traditionally a time to give thanks for all the wonderful things God has given us and think about how we can share them more fairly with our global family. We have a series of Harvest events coming up this week where we will be doing just that. We would love you to join. If you are unable to make the live session, you can register and will be sent the recording. Please do spread the word about these events to your friends, family and parishes.

Friday 9 October, 11am-12pm

Harvest 2020 Family Fast Day

Join our exclusive dialogue with CAFOD’s International Programme staff to hear about how coronavirus is affecting some of the most disadvantaged communities around the world.

Register to join us.

Friday 9 October, 6pm-7pm

Family Fast Day Eucharistic Celebration

All are welcome to join together in solidarity and prayer with Rt Rev Peter Brignall Bishop of Wrexham celebrating the Eucharist from St Mary’s Cathedral, Wrexham.

Register to join us.

Saturday 10 October, 12pm

Global Family Food event

Join our CAFOD’s Global Family Food Event, have fun, eat some delicious food, and raise funds to transform the lives of people in poverty. There will be a chance to share recipes and eat together as well as hear about our work in response to the Coronavirus Pandemic around the world.

Register to join us.

Saturday 10 October, 7pm

‘Harvest Like No Other’ Quiz

Join many other supporters at ‘Harvest Like No Other’ Quiz, have fun, get competitive, and raise funds to transform the lives of people in poverty. Thomas Delamere will be presenting the questions as well as talking about his work as the programme coordinator for South Sudan.

Register to join us.

Sunday 11 October, 10am

Children’s liturgy live Harvest special

We have an exciting Children’s liturgy this Sunday 11 October at 10 am to mark our Harvest Family Fast Day. Come together in prayer, praise and song with other families. Everyone is invited to dress in party clothes for our celebration and we will be joined by a very special guest live from Sierra Leone. Please invite other families who you think might be interested. They can sign up here. We hope to see you and your family there!

Register to join us

Sunday 11 October, 7pm-8pm

Healing the World: An evening of prayer and reflection with Bishop John Arnold

Bishop John Arnold with a mother and child in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan

Join us for an hour of prayer and reflection with Rt Rev John Arnold Bishop of Salford and Chair of CAFOD’s Board of Trustees, in the last of our ‘Harvest like no other’ events.  Bishop John will reflect on the lessons of Pope Francis’ new catechesis, Healing the World, and consider the significance of the highly anticipated new encyclical, Fratelli Tutti, for our global family.

Register to join us.

We look forward to sharing our stories and experiences with you online soon.


Miracles do happen…

On Sunday 4 October the Virtual London Marathon took place.

2020 has not been a normal year and the marathon event was no exception as it could not be staged in its normal format.

This year was truly unique as it was virtual!

But that didn’t stop the event being sold out – inspiring 45,000 people to sign up from 109 countries around the world.

And this was the 40th London marathon!  Participants were asked to run, jog or walk the 26.2 mile distance locally on a route of our choosing and at any time between the hours of 00.00 to 23.59.59 BST on Sunday.

Since the Coronavirus pandemic struck and perhaps a little before, current estimates are that the charity sector is facing a funding shortfall of £10 billion at a time when services are needed more than ever.

Three weeks ago CAFOD was offered extra places… not enough time for training that’s for sure. But I have volunteered to take a place!

Sunday dawned with lashing rain and no prospect of it letting up.. nothing for it but to step out and get on with it.

Inevitable flash flooding followed on my route, but after four changes of clothes and fresh socks and trainers – it was accomplished!

I was worried about not getting over the finish line and in all honesty those last four miles were slow and painful.

But it’s all forgotten now!

Thank you for your prayers – they definitely got me through – and I certainly asked St Oscar Romero to intercede for me too!

If you are able to share a small donation to support CAFOD’s Coronavirus appeal – you can do so via my JustGiving Page: click here.

Thank you to everyone who has kindly donated already.

You gave me the impetus to carry on until the very end.

A short summary of Pope Francis’ Social Encyclical “Fratelli tutti”

Fraternity and social friendship are the ways Pope Francis indicates to build a better, more just and peaceful world, with the contribution of all: people and institutions. With an emphatic confirmation of a ‘no’ to war and to globalized indifference.

Pope Francis’ new encyclical, urges the world to work together to rebuild from the coronavirus pandemic.

Fratelli Tutti, a letter addressed to all people, praises the togetherness shown by society during the Covid-19 crisis. But the Pope warns that a fragmented global response risks creating a “setback” on the journey to building a fairer world.

Francis argues in the encyclical that politics should be “re-evaluated” to focus on serving the common good, not economic interests.

The document – which also addresses conflict, racism and the situation faced by refugees and migrants – was signed by the Holy Father at St Francis’s chapel in Assisi, the day before its publication on the Saint’s feast day on 4th October 2020.

Encyclical a ‘blueprint for a post-coronavirus world’

The encyclical on human fraternity follows a series of teachings – or ‘catecheses’ – given by the Pope during his general audiences in August and September which has focused on rebuilding a more just world after the pandemic. It is the first encyclical since his letter on care for our common homeLaudato Si‘.

CAFOD’s Director, Christine Allen said:

“Pope Francis’s message is clear: we cannot just switch on the reset button and go back to ‘normal’.   “This encyclical is a radical blueprint for a post-coronavirus world. Now is the time to change the framework of our economic systems, through debt relief for the poorest countries, the reduction of inequality, and investment in local, green sustainable economic development.”

Read a short summary of Fratelli Tutti

Download the full encyclical.

Read a long summary of the encyclical

CAFOD Harvest Family Fast Day online giving and links to videos

We know that our parishes are suffering from the impact of the coronavirus and that these are pressured times for you. The crisis of coronavirus is a global one, affecting us here in England and Wales and devastating communities in poor countries. Millions of families face chronic food shortages and malnutrition as a result of coronavirus and are struggling to survive.

Many of you will have received Family Fast Day Harvest materials from us recently and we hope that your parish will continue to support CAFOD’s vital work, through Church partners, to help the world’s most vulnerable people survive, rebuild and heal.

Family Fast Day has changed to 9th October at the request of the Bishops’ Conference, and the collection will now be Sunday 11th October.

Given current circumstances in England and Wales, we would hugely appreciate anything your parish can do to let fellow parishioners know how they can support CAFOD’s Coronavirus Appeal however they are able and ask them to keep our global family in their prayers.

We would be so grateful if you could consider:

  • Placing a notice (see suggested insert below) in parish newsletters and the parish website or social media pages with options to give online or via text message;
  • Sharing our Coronavirus Appeal video (links below) on parish Facebook pages;
  • Displaying the CAFOD poster on the noticeboard; Download the poster here
  • Making a short announcement at Mass or include details of the appeal on an image or in the notes of livestreaming Mass;
  • If feasible, making CAFOD envelopes available to parishioners who can take them away and post back to CAFOD.*

Suggested notice for parish newsletter:

This week our parish is marking CAFOD’s Family Fast Day to help people facing the worst of the coronavirus crisis. We’ve all felt the impact of this terrible disease – let’s come together to help the poorest and most vulnerable people in the world survive, rebuild and heal. Please pray for all those affected and donate online at or by using one of the envelopes.

You can also give easily via text. Text CAFOD to 70085 to donate £10. [Please also add in slightly smaller type]: Texts cost £10 plus one standard rate message and you’ll be opting in to hear more about our work and fundraising via telephone and SMS. If you’d like to give £10 but do not wish to receive marketing communications, text CAFODNOINFO to 70085.

For more information please see our Privacy Policy:

Link to Coronavirus Appeal video: Vimeo: and on YouTube:

*We finalised our Family Fast Day materials in July, after churches were permitted to re-open for public worship.  We made the decision to prioritise options for online giving and text giving and to reduce envelopes we sent to parishes to 40 per cent of the usual quantity, in the knowledge that CAFOD’s supporters give in a variety of ways.

Making donation envelopes available to parishioners is consistent with the Bishops’ Conference’s Coronavirus guidance and they should be treated as single use paper materials and taken away by parishioners.

They can then either post them back to CAFOD with their donation, or use the online or text options to give.  If parishes permit, they could also be treated as cash would be treated in parish collections – deposited in a collection box, left for 72 hours and dealt with by counters wearing appropriate PPE, consistent with the coronavirus guidance.

Contactless giving

We also have contactless devices available for parish use and have advised CAFOD parish volunteers how they can order these for the parish and how they can be operated in a COVID-19 secure way.

Please get in touch with me if you wish to consider this option (free of charge with downloadable app for a smartphone).

Please follow our blog and if possible also our social media channels.

Click the links below.

CAFOD South Wales Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram |

Just seen the news about further areas of lockdown in Wales.
You are all in our prayers at this challenging time.
Thank you for your prayers and commitment.