On Saturday 12 November, supporters from Cardiff and Menevia dioceses welcomed CAFOD’s Head of Campaigns, Daniel Hale, to the Ty Croeso Centre at Llantarnam Abbey in Cwmbran for a retreat focussing on “Proclaiming the Mercy of God.”
The day started with a warm welcome from the Sisters of St Joseph of Annecy: Sr Collette and Sr Clare, followed by refreshments and introductions.
Then Dan lead us ably in examining what the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy had meant to each of us as supporters, to CAFOD and how Pope Francis’ encyclical, Laudato Si’ is inspiring and shaping CAFOD’s future work.
After a very enjoyable shared lunch and an open space when we could go out and explore the beautiful surroundings of Llantarnam Abbey, we came together to look at how each of us could make changes to our lives to live more simply.
CAFOD’s liveSimply initiative provides an invaluable framework for looking at ways to tackle “rapidification” that Pope Francis highlights in his encyclical.
liveSimply comes under three headings: living simply, living sustainably with creation and living in solidarity with people living in poverty.
This was further explored by reflecting on the changes we could and would like to make in our families, in our parish communities and in our wider community.
It was wonderful to hear how many good things are already being done around the Archdiocese of Cardiff – which has itself switched to a renewable energy provider.
Experiences and ideas were shared with the group as the retreat drew to a close.
In our frenetic world, the retreat offered a wonderful and welcome opportunity for peace, sharing and spiritual reflection.
Dan Hale said:
” As this holy Year of Mercy has drawn to a close, we have a responsibility to uphold its legacy. On one hand we should remember that small acts of kindness and generosity really are mini works of mercy and help little by little to foster our own sense of mercy, but that ‘social love’ that Pope Francis calls us to engage with means we need to keep campaigning – changing the rules so that people can live a life of dignity. We have been shown so much mercy; our challenge is to show it to others through our lifestyle change, solidarity and political engagement.”