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.
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:
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.
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.”
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 cafod.org.uk/fastday. 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!
- Harvest assembly for schools – Thursday 8 October, 9.30am (primary) and 10:00 (secondary)
- Fast Day live talk on the coronavirus crisis – Friday 9 October, 11am
- Family Fast Day Eucharistic Celebration – Friday 9 October, 6pm
- Global Family Food event – Saturday 10 October, 12pm
- ‘Harvest Like No Other’ quiz – Saturday 10 October, 7pm
- Children’s liturgy– Sunday 11 October, 10am
- Prayer and reflection with Bishop John Arnold, Sunday 11 October 7pm
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: https://cafod.org.uk/give
This Harvest, let’s try to ensure that no-one is beyond reach.
You can download the prayer card here.
Our faith is anchored in hope.
- Coronavirus appeal
- Emergency response
- Fast Day
- Hands On
- live simply
- National CAFOD Event
- Overseas Visitors
- Upcoming CAFOD Event