Magnficent Mumbles response to Lent and East Africa Crisis appeals

Give, Fast, Pray

Giving alms, Jesus teaches us, means making the needs of others our own.  In his message for Lent, Pope Francis said that:

 “Lent is a favourable season for opening the doors to all those in need and recognising in them the face of Christ. Each of us meets people like this every day.”

Joy Stafford, Tess O’Donahue, Anne Lane, Sue Philippart, Sarah O’Kane and Diane Davies

For CAFOD’s Lenten appeal, the parish of Our Lady, Star of the Sea in Mumbles hosted a tasty soup and bread lunch which was provided by the ladies of the parish.

The soup was deemed delicious by all who shared in the meal and a great success in raising funds as the event realised the magnificent sum of £1000.

Parish volunteers, Sue Philippart and Sarah O’Kane had attended the Lent Fast Day briefing and learned, in more detail, about the country of focus – Zambia.

Florence whose life was transformed through fish farming

The appeal focussed on a 41 year old widow called Florence who struggled to make a living when her husband died in a mining accident.

Thanks to the generosity of parishes in England and Wales, CAFOD’s partner in northern Zambia, the Sisters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, were able to give Florence tiny tilapia fish – the size of a thumb.

Sr Yvonne from the Sisters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary

They gave her the tools and the training to build fish ponds, look after the fish properly which gave her the means to help herself and her two young sons.

Small fish turned into big fish and a sustainable, growing business which supports her family.

OLSS’s parish priest, Fr Mansel Usher, is very supportive of the CAFOD group at OLSS and was delighted to report that the event raised £1,000 which was a fantastic result for all the effort and hard work put in and the wonderful support of the parishioners.

The Pope also encourages us to take part, where possible, in Lenten campaigns promoted by local Church organisations.

On March 15 – a week after CAFOD’s Lent Fast Day, the DEC (Disasters Emergency Committee) of which CAFOD is a part, launched the East Africa Crisis Appeal as over 16 million people are in need of urgent life-saving assistance because of starvation.  Drought and war have hit the supply of food and the UN warned that this was the largest humanitarian crisis since 1945. Famine looms.

Fr Mansel and his parishioners immediately responded to the emergency appeal, holding a second collection which brought in nearly £1200.

As one parishioner said: ” It’s so heart warming to be part of such a generous and compassionate parish.”

In the space of a week, CAFOD supporters across England and Wales raised £1 million for the East Africa Crisis appeal.

Pope Francis’ final words in his Lenten message for 2017:

“Let us pray for one another so that, by sharing in the victory of Christ, we may open our doors to the weak and poor. Then we will be able to experience and share to the full, the joy of Easter.”


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